Daryl Morey won’t discuss Chris Paul’s future until next year.
The Houston Rockets landed Chris Paul in arguable the biggest move of the summer.
After locking Harden up through 2023, signing Paul to a long-term deal seems like a logical next step.
Chris Paul has one year left on his contract and will be an unrestricted free agent next summer, but Daryl Morey isn’t ready to discuss Paul’s contract details, according to Sports Illustrated’s Ben Golliver.
“We’ve had high-level discussions [with Paul about his future]. [Paul] hopes to continue with Houston. He likes the team, the organization and the city. In terms of him actually signing long-term, that’s something that won’t be decided until next year.”
No one knows exactly how the Paul-Harden experiment will pan out. It’s likely that the two All-Stars will play well together, but Morey wants to see if they can co-exist effectively before signing Paul to a long-term deal, just in case it turns into a Dwight Howard type situation.
It’s similar to how the Toronto Raptors approached their negotiations with Kyle Lowry. Instead of signing a 30-year-old to a five-year contract, they agreed to a 3-year, $100 million deal instead. After three years, they can decide what to offer Lowry again.
Daryl Morey also offered J.J. Redick, who is 33, a three-year contract instead of a four-year deal. Most NBA players begin declining in their mid-30’s, and end up with massive contracts based on past reputations instead of their current ability. Morey’s decision to let next season play out will keep the Rocket’s cap flexible. This will allow them to go after big name free agents in 2018 if the opportunity arrises.
James Harden thinks that he and Paul can gel with more practice time, via Sports Illustrated.
“Adding Chris, it’s going to take some time, but we’re trying to get ahead of the game right now in the summer. It’s chemistry and talent [together], that’s when you’ve got something special.”
For Paul, he wants to keep his options open. If it doesn’t work out in Houston, he can become a free agent in a 2018 class featuring LeBron James, Russell Westbrook, DeMarcus Cousins and Paul George among others.