There have been several rumors regarding the Houston Rockets and future Hall-of-Fame guard Chris Paul. At times the validity of the report depends on the credibility of the reporter.
According to Kevin O’Connor of The Ringer, the Houston Rockets tried moving Chris Paul to the New York Knicks for a salary dump, which the Knicks declined. It’s hard to know the exact truthfulness of the source, as the Rockets (and Paul) have been adamantly denying any trade rumors.
It’s no surprise the Knicks would be disinterested in acquiring Paul. Chris Paul is coming off a season in which he averaged 15.6 points per game with a field goal percentage of 41.9%, both of which are career lows for Paul. He did, though, average 8.2 assists per game, which was good for No. 4 in the league (amongst players appearing in at least 55 games). He also shot 35.8 percent from 3-point range.
Paul has career averages of 18.5 points per game, 9.7 assists per game, a field goal percentage of 46.9% and a 3-point percentage of 37%. This past season, Paul did not surpass any of those statistical categories. Add that with the fact that Paul has only played in 116 games out of 164 games during his time in Houston and is 34 years old with an injury history.
Not only has there been declining production, but Paul is also owed 124 million over the next 3 seasons, including a player option in the final year of 44 million, which he most likely will pick up.
All of this will make it very difficult for the Rockets to move Paul, especially considering the fact that the Rockets don’t have much depth. The Rockets will likely have to include a first-round draft pick as a sweetener to get rid of Paul, and that may also be difficult because they are unlikely to have any lottery picks.
All of these factors make it even more difficult to get rid of Chris Paul. The most likely scenario is Paul returns to the Rockets for another season, which isn’t a bad option considering the state of the Golden State Warriors.