Ever since the veteran made his way to the Rockets last offseason, it has been expected he would agree to a long-term deal to remain with the team. However, recent speculation has raised some doubts.
Fox Sports' Chris Broussard reported Friday there is tension between Paul and the Rockets. ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski revealed on The Woj Pod (h/t Shane Mickle of ClutchPoints.com) on June 1 that the point guard is unlikely to give the team a discount on a new deal.
NBA analyst Tommy Beer broke it down:
Paul would be 38 years old by the time a max contract expired, and given his injury history, the team may view that as a risky deal.
Of course, with Paul this season, Houston was on the verge of its first NBA Finals appearance in more than two decades. It finished with the best record (65-17) in the NBA and held a 3-2 lead over the eventual champions, the Golden State Warriors, in the Western Conference Finals when Paul was lost for the series with a hamstring injury.
In 58 regular-season games, the 33-year-old averaged 18.6 points on 46.0 percent shooting, 7.9 assists and 5.4 rebounds per game.
Paul, James Harden and Co. jelled and were the league's No. 2 offense in their first year together thanks to a perimeter-heavy attack. If not for Paul's ill-timed injury, who knows how their season would have ended.
Paul is on the record as saying he loves it in Houston, but with his good friend LeBron James also a free agent, they could explore the idea of finally teaming up—with the Rockets or another team.