Rumor: Rockets owner Tilman Fertitta has grumbled about Chris Paul’s contract to other staffers, rival executives
Houston Rockets new owner Tilman Fertitta has not been happy about Chris Paul’s albatross contract, one the team was forced to honor after trading for him in 2017 to pair him alongside franchise star James Harden.
The Rockets signed a then-33-year-old Paul to a four-year, $160 million max deal, while struggling to sign their other impending free agent Clint Capela to a five-year, $80 million contract with $10 million in incentives.
According to ESPN’s Tim MacMahon, Fertitta has “grumbled about Paul’s contract, expressing regrets to Rockets staffers and even in front of rival executives.”
The Rockets’ new owner comes from a different line and is often seen as a very aggressive personality that often demands only the best of results.
He’s also come off as someone less-than-enthused about paying his employees, as was the case with head coach Mike D’Antoni, who got offered only half of what top free agent coaches were receiving this offseason to stay with the team.
Since that very public disagreement, the Rockets have re-engaged with D’Antoni and his agent, but no agreement is imminent.
Paul’s contract looks untradeable in all fronts, but the Rockets did make him that promise upon agreeing to bring him to Clutch City, forcing them to honor that promise — even if it became a difficult proposition with his age (will finish contract at age 37, making $44.2 million) and the list of injuries he’s had to overcome at this point in his career.
Yet every contract looks bad when the team isn’t winning — and the Rockets have been unable to ride the wave from a 65-win 2017-18 season for very long, as they quickly had to carve themselves out of the penultimate spot in the West to start this past season, only to culminate it by yet another playoff exit at the hands of the Golden State Warriors — their fourth in the last five years.