Heading into last summer’s free agent period, it looked as if Chris Paul was poised to opt out of his contract and sign a new max deal. When he picked up his player option instead as part of a trade to Houston, there was a belief that CP3 and the Rockets had an understanding about what his next contract would look like. ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski suggested as much during a recent podcast, as Shane Mickle of ClutchPoints.com notes.
“When the Rockets made that deal for Chris Paul, knowing they would re-sign him, they made a conscious decision that they were going to have to live with [a] $46-47MM salary when he’s not nearly the player anymore in his late 30s, but, ‘We’re going to make a run at it now, we want to win a championship now. We’ll deal with it [Paul’s contract] later,'” Wojnarowski said, according to Mickle.
“We’ll see how that plays out in their contract talks [with Paul] here in free agency,” Wojnarowski continued. “Chris Paul didn’t turn down $200MM from the Clippers because he thought that somehow the Rockets were gonna talk him into saving them luxury tax money. I don’t imagine it playing out that way.”
While it sounds like Wojnarowski expects Paul to look to maximize his earnings, the Rockets are headed way into tax territory if both CP3 and Clint Capela sign lucrative new deals. It will be interesting to see whether GM Daryl Morey and the Houston front office can convince the veteran point guard to take any sort of discount in order to help accommodate other roster reinforcements.
Here’s more from around the Southwest:
- It’s hard to imagine Tony Parker playing anywhere besides San Antonio, but the Spurs point guard will be an unrestricted free agent this summer, prompting Frank Urbina of HoopsHype to explore a few potential landing spots.
- Ronald Tillery of The Memphis Commercial Appeal identifies five prospects the Grizzlies could consider with the No. 32 overall pick as they look to replicate the success of last year’s Dillon Brooks selection.
- Appearing on ESPN Radio 103.3 FM in Dallas, Mavericks forward Dirk Nowitzki talked about his recovery from ankle surgery and the team’s No. 5 overall pick, as The Dallas Morning News relays. “You’re not going to carry a team on your back and carry them to the playoffs at age 19,” Nowitzki said of the Mavs’ incoming rookie. “When you draft somebody that young, you’re looking for somebody who’s obviously already good and can contribute a bit. But you draft for upside when somebody’s 19. So we’ll see what’s there.”
- While the Mavericks are unlikely to land a superstar free agent this July, there are a number of second-tier targets that are more realistic. Eddie Sefko of The Dallas Morning News lists five of them, including restricted free agents Julius Randle and Aaron Gordon.