After the Rockets fell short by one game of the NBA Finals, most would expect Daryl Morey to keep their core and pursue LeBron. It was even reported that Chris Paul had began recruiting The King shortly after the NBA Finals. But, in recent weeks, the possibility of snagging LeBron is shrinking due to the chokehold their salary cap has on their flexibility.
LeBron aside, Chris Paul was looking all but re-signed by the Rockets as the franchise remains ‘obsessed’ with ousting Golden State. To re-sign Chris Paul, Houston would have to distribute a max-contract to Paul in order to retain his services.
The dilemma? Chris Paul is 33 years old right now, and has become injury prone in recent years. In fact, hamstring problems kept him out of the pivotal Game 6 and 7 versus the Golden State Warriors with the Rockets one win away from the Finals.
With Chris Paul demanding a max deal, his injury issues and age, and Houston’s cap issues — it looks like there is some tension building between Paul and the team as free agency nears, per FOX Sports.
— UNDISPUTED (@undisputed) June 22, 2018
The transcript was acquired by NBC Sports:
From what I’m told, there is tension now between Houston and Chris Paul. Because there was definitely some type of handshake, wink wink, “we’re going to max you out” last summer. But here’s the thing: Now, they’re not so sure. Houston, with good reason, doesn’t want to do that. But they’ve got an out, because they have new ownership. So, Daryl Morey can go to Chris Paul and be like, “I want to do it, but we’ve got the new owner doesn’t want to give you five years, four years.”
In short, the complicated spending situation in Houston could lead to a departure from CP3 thus creating an already deep free agency class even deeper. Could Paul team up with LeBron in LA? Paul has shown he wants to be in LA before. He almost was in 2011 before the league infamously vetoed, the Rockets were also ironically involved in that deal, as they would have received Pau Gasol in the three-team deal.