Rockets rumors: ‘Strong sense’ that Chris Paul re-signs with Houston

NEW ORLEANS, LA - JANUARY 26: Chris Paul #3 of the Houston Rockets stands on the court during a NBA game against the New Orleans Pelicans at the Smoothie King Center on January 26, 2018 in New Orleans, Louisiana. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images)
NEW ORLEANS, LA - JANUARY 26: Chris Paul #3 of the Houston Rockets stands on the court during a NBA game against the New Orleans Pelicans at the Smoothie King Center on January 26, 2018 in New Orleans, Louisiana. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images)
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According to a report, all signs point to Chris Paul re-signing with the Houston Rockets, despite earlier reports of tension between Paul and the franchise.

The Houston Rockets’ first priority this offseason is re-signing star point guard Chris Paul. Fortunately, the general feeling is that Paul is returning to Houston.

According to USA Today’s Sam Amick, there is a ‘strong sense’ around Houston that Paul will return. When the Rockets traded for CP3 last summer, it was under the assumption that he would be with the team long-term.

Keeping Paul and Clint Capela will be expensive for Houston. In order to re-sign Paul, the Rockets might have to offer him a 5-year, $205 million max contract.

Here's what a full max contract for Chris Paul would look like:

2018-19: $35.4 million
2019-20: $38.2 million
2020-21: $41.0 million
2021-22: $43.8 million
2022-23: $46.7 million

Sum total of $205 million over five seasons.

Chris Paul will be 37 years old in 2022

— Tommy Beer (@TommyBeer) June 5, 2018

On Friday, Fox Sports’ Chris Broussard said that there is ‘tension’ between Paul and the Rockets. According to Broussard, Paul signed with Houston last year with the expectation that they would pay him the max this summer. Now, the Rockets might be taking a step back on that unofficial agreement.

Although Paul does want the max, Sam Amick reported that there isn’t any friction between he and the franchise. Chris Paul recently bought a house in Houston, which is a good indication that he wants to return to the Rockets.

As for Paul’s pending free agency, the Rockets should approach the situation cautiously. If they give Paul the full max, he would be signed with Houston until after he turns 38 years old and he’ll make $46.7 million in the final year of the deal. Paying any player over 35 that much money is a risky bet, especially to someone who is injury prone like Paul.

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Conversely, if Houston offers Paul a smaller contract and isn’t willing to negotiate, he could leave and join another team that’s willing to pay up. A two-year deal with a player option after the first season would be ideal for Houston.

If Paul is hell-bent on getting a max contract, the Rockets will probably give in. Chris Paul and James Harden proved to be an absolutely lethal dynamic duo last season. Remember, Houston came up just one win short of the NBA Finals, which probably would have led to a championship.

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