Chris Paul signed a four-year, $160 million contract extension this past summer with the Houston Rockets. The mutual agreement between Paul and the Rockets when the All-Star was traded from the Los Angeles Clippers was that Paul would get an extension the following summer. The move had to be done by Rockets general manager, Daryl Morey, but there could be some serious backlash down the road.
The Rockets lost to the Golden State Warriors in seven games in the Western Conference Finals last season. Chris Paul injured his hamstring in game five when the Rockets had a 3-2 lead and would have Game 7 at home in Houston. Before Paul’s injury, the Rockets seemed to have control of the star-studded Warriors. CP3 got injured and missed the final two games and the rest is history.
I say this because Chris Paul has a history of bad injuries and currently he has missed several weeks with, yet again, another hamstring injury. The Rockets have fared well since the Paul injury with James Harden recording a current streak of 17 straight 30+ point games, including several 50-point games.
But when Paul returns the offense will have to adjust to having the ball in CP3’s hands again. Who knows how the Rockets will fare when CP3 returns. Houston was out of the playoff picture before the injury.
The injury history of Chris Paul further brings more skepticism to how well Paul will play in as a 36-year-old (currently 33) while being paid $44 million, according to Spotrac. If the current trend continues, CP3 will be sidelined for a good chunk of the season while being paid max money. I do not see Chris Paul being a productive player three years from now, let alone two, and the massive amount of money he’s being paid makes matters even worse.
Don’t get me wrong, Chris Paul can still hit his signature step-back three-pointer, his pull-up mid-range jumper, and make incredible plays to get teammates open shots due to his brilliant passing. I also don’t blame Daryl Morey for making this deal. The Rockets were in a “win now” mode and their window for competing for a championship was closing, so the Paul deal was a no-brainer.
If you check out other bad deals in the NBA you would look towards John Wall’s four-year, $169 million dollar deal, Andrew Wiggins four-year, $147.7 million, or you could look at Wesley Matthews’ deal or Nicolas Batum’s deal as well. John Wall 28 and Andrew Wiggins is 23. Neither of those guys is as good as Paul but in Wall and Wiggins’ late years of their contracts, they will be more productive and more available than a 35 or 36-year-old Chris Paul.
Chris Paul is an all-time legend and future Hall of Famer. He does not have too much control on how well his body holds up. You can’t blame CP3 for taking the money (no one would turn down $160 million). You can’t ignore the fact that his current contract puts the Rockets in a hole if his health and play continue to diminish. The first of his four years already have had a shaky start and if things don’t continue to improve and CP3 does not return to prime form, it will be the worst contract in the NBA.