The Rockets locked down their All-Star point guard late last night with a massive contract.
Chris Paul is going to be with the Rockets for a very long time. He agreed to a 4-year, $160 million contract right at 11:00 last night when free agency officially began for the NBA.
This deal has gotten its fair share of praise and criticism throughout the day. It is a large sum of money, but a deal that had to be done if you’re the Rockets. Also, CP3 is the head of the Players Union and it wouldn’t have been a great look for him if he accepted less than the max.
Yes, Chris Paul will be old when the contract expires. He will be 37 and likely not the same player he is today. Will the contract hurt in the fourth year? Likely so, but there are many reasons why this deal will be worth it in the end.
Let’s examine 3 reasons why this deal was a positive for the Rockets:
Next: Positive No. 1
Keeps the Rockets in contention for 2+ years
The Rockets were just one win away from advancing to the NBA Finals and likely winning the title. Chris Paul had just advanced to the Conference Finals for the first time in his career and was playing great against the Warriors.
Unfortunately, CP3 suffered a hamstring injury that left him unable to play the last two games. He is now healthy and should be ready for the start of the 2018-19 season, but that loss left a sour taste in his mouth.
Re-signing Chris Paul gives the Rockets a chance to stay in contention with the Warriors for years to come. For at least two years, CP3 should be about the same level as he is now. If he stays healthy, and that is a pretty big “if,” the Rockets might be able to win themselves a title.
While the money part of the contract hurts, it keeps the Rockets right up there in the NBA standings. Pretty much the same team should be coming back for a chance to “run it back.” If everyone stays healthy, you’d have to like their chances of upsetting the Warriors and making it to the Finals.
Next: Positive No. 2
Sets up the backcourt for quite some time
With the multi-year addition of Chris Paul to the Rockets, the team now has their backcourt set for quite some time. James Harden signed the super-max extension last season that will pretty much keep him in Houston the rest of his career. CP3’s large and long contract will essentially do the same for him.
The two future Hall of Famers found a ton of success in their first campaign together. The teammates led the Rockets to their best season ever, piling up 65 wins in the regular season and another 11 in the playoffs. When the two played together healthy, the team was practically unstoppable. It’s truly unfortunate that CP3 got injured right at the end or we may be talking about two players that just won their first rings.
What could we have in store for the two as they get to mesh as teammates for their second season? CP3 and Harden already have a ton of chemistry and play exceptionally well together. Could we see this team approach the 70-win mark? That’s certainly Coach D’Antoni’s goal for the team next year, along with a title.
The stability in having two stars is something that the Rockets will find very nice as the years go on. Even if CP3 is not the same player that he once was, his talent and veteran leadership will always be of use to the team.
Next: Positive No. 3
Attractive to potential free agents
This positive somewhat links to the previous one. With the All-Star backcourt under contract for many years, the Rockets are now an attractive free agent destination for the future. They’ve been attractive for quite some time now, but the opportunity to play with two elite playmakers makes Houston even better looking for free agents.
The two, along with Coach D’Antoni’s offense, have a proven track record at bringing the best out of players. You could see that last season with two guys in particular. Clint Capela enjoyed the best season of his young career, thanks in part to the playmaking and abilities of James Harden and Chris Paul. He will continue to improve with the Rockets if he decides to re-sign with them this offseason.
Gerald Green is another player that was perfect for the system and with the backcourt duo. He especially found success when playing alongside CP3 and Green went from a free agent no one wanted to sign to playing valuable minutes in the playoffs for the No. 1 seed in the Western Conference.
Free agents will want to come and enjoy some of that success, and the stability in the backcourt is a huge reason for that. They will want to play with two of the best guards in the league, and who can blame them?
Be happy that CP3 is under contract for quite awhile, Rockets fans. We will be in contention for years to come because of it!