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Chris Paul says no chance he gives up $44.2 million option even if it means going to a title contender

Thunder

Oklahoma City Thunder veteran Chris Paul would like you to get one thing right — he’s not letting go off that $44.2 million check that awaits him two years from now. No way, no how.

The Thunder point man signed a four-year, $160 million deal with the Houston Rockets two summers ago and he’s reaping a beefy $38.5 million this season in a gruelingly escalating contract that will see him make $41.4 million in 2020-21 and $44.2 million in 2021-22 as a player-option, one he fully intends to take.

Some have speculated Paul could be willing to forgo that player option to go out a champion and sign with a title contender, but the point guard has already lined up his steps.

“No chance,” Paul told Rohan Nadkarni of Sports Illustrated. That’s not happening. Nope.”

Paul was traded to the Rockets under the premise that he would get a four-year max deal the following summer. The Rockets obliged and made him their first priority in 2018, committing so much money into his contract that they were forced to navigate an incentive-filled deal for free agent Clint Capela.

Fast forward one year and the Rockets dumped their investment to the Thunder in exchange for Russell Westbrook.

The Thunder thought Paul would be an easy flip to teams like the Miami Heat, but soon found that no team was willing to take on a player that would make a massive $44.2 million at age 36.

As they feared, Paul does not intend to let those $44.2 million walk out of the door, even if it means giving up on his chance to capture the elusive Larry O’ Brien trophy.