Since entering the NBA back in 2005 as the fifth overall pick, Chris Paul has made $299,909,419 through NBA contracts alone, per Spotrac.
The first contract Paul signed in the NBA was his rookie deal with the New Orleans Hornets. It was a two-year, $6.52 million contract. Paul averaged 16.1 points and 7.8 assists during his rookie season. He won Rookie of the Year and made $3,144,240.
In his second season in the league, Chris Paul earned $3,380,160 and increased his scoring average to 17.3 points and his assists average to 8.9. CP3 made his first All-Star team during his third season in the league and it set him up to sign a lucrative rookie-scale extension with the Hornets.
In the summer of 2008, Paul signed a four-year, $63.6 million rookie-scale extension with the Hornets. The contract kicked in during the 2009-10 season. Paul made $15 million that year and also averaged 18.7 points and 10.7 dimes.
Chris Paul kept putting up superstar numbers for the Hornets but the team didn’t have enough talent around CP3 and he got tired of losing. The future Hall of Famer requested a trade and was initially sent to the Los Angeles Lakers to play with Kobe Bryant.
However, David Stern vetoed the trade and Paul was traded to the Los Angeles Clippers instead in December of 2011.
In the process of the trade, Paul exercised his $17.8 million player option with the Clippers for the 2012-2013 season. CP3 made $13,167,648 in his first season with the Clippers and averaged 19.8 points and 9.1 assists. Lob City was born shortly after Paul, Blake Griffin and DeAndre Jordan began terrorizing the rims with their spectacular alley-oops.
In the summer of 2013, Chris Paul signed a five-year, $107.3 million maximum extension with the Clippers. He started making over $20 million a year during the 2014-15 season and it has been like that ever since.
In his final season with the Clippers, Paul made $23,529,828. He requested a trade to the Houston Rockets in the summer of 2017, ending the Lob City era.
Paul made $24,268,959 in his first season with the Rockets. He averaged 18.6 points and 7.9 assists. The team made it all the way to the Western Conference Finals and probably would have won the series if Paul didn’t get hurt in Game 5.
Without CP3, the Rockets couldn’t win Games 6 or 7 and watched the Golden State Warriors end James Harden’s MVP season.
That defeat didn’t stop the Rockets from paying Chris Paul, though. Houston signed him to a four-year, $159.7 million maximum contract in the summer of 2018, only to trade him one year later.
That’s right. The Rockets traded Paul to the Oklahoma City Thunder in a deal that brought them Russell Westbrook. The Thunder are now stuck with Paul and his lucrative contract.
Before the 2019-20 season was suspended due to COVID-19, Paul was averaging 17.6 points, 5.0 rebounds, and 6.7 assists for the Thunder. He is scheduled to make $41.4 million in 2020-21 and has a player option worth $44.2 million for the 2021-22 campaign.
There’s no way Paul is going to decline that player option since he won’t make that type of money on the market.
Chris Paul is 36-years-old and has a lot of mileage on his body. Even at his age, he was able to lead the Phoenix Suns to the playoffs as the No. 2 seed in the Western Conference, thanks to a 51-21 record in the regular season. It’s hard to imagine the Suns, despite all the talent they have, achieving a high seed, without the guidance on the floor by the Point God.