With so many moving parts to free agency, the Houston Rockets got one assurance as the period opened on July 1: Chris Paul will remain in the fold going forward.
Paul, whom the Rockets acquired in a blockbuster trade during the summer of 2017, agreed to sign a 4-year, $160 million max extension. He will continue playing alongside James Harden for the foreseeable future. In fact, Paul’s presence freed up Harden offensively and helped contribute to an MVP Award.
Paul, now 33 years old, has been to nine All-Star Games. He also played a pivotal role in the Rockets winning 65 games a season ago and coming within one game of the NBA Finals. Paul’s hamstring injury, with the Rockets leading the Golden State Warriors 3-2 in the Western Conference Finals, prohibited the team from possibly getting through to the final round.
According to ESPN, Paul never contemplated leaving the Rockets and was committed to spending his future in Houston.
During the 2017-18 season, Paul averaged 18.6 PPG and 7.9 APG.
Also on July 1, the Rockets were able to re-sign guard/forward Gerald Green to a 1-year, $2.1 million deal. However, the team lost veteran swingman Trevor Ariza, who opted to sign with the Phoenix Suns on a 1-year, $15 million deal.
Daryl Morey, the NBA’s Executive of the Year, will continue to try and put pieces around both Harden and Paul. While the team was said to be interested in courting LeBron James, it would require a sign-and-trade and several creative cap maneuvers.
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