By Sean Highkin
Even if they don’t get LeBron James in free agency, the Rockets face an expensive summer of re-signing their own players. Chris Paul is expected to be in line for a five-year max deal worth upwards of $200 million, and center Clint Capela will be a restricted free agent in line for a massive raise as well.
According to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski in an appearance on Stephen A. Smith’s radio show on Tuesday, it’s highly unlikely that Paul will leave Houston unless the Rockets decline to offer him the full five-year max they can pay him.
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If he had opted out and gotten his new max number, that’s an extra $10-12 million a year last year. But listen, he wants to win. And Chris is at a point in his career where his lifestyle isn’t changing based on if he’d done the supermax with the Clippers versus what he can do now in Houston. He did the deal in Houston with an understanding he’d get the full scholarship here. The only way Chris will look around at the market would be if Houston blinks, and I have no indication at all that Houston is going to blink. They knew when they traded for Chris Paul that they did it for the long haul. And they knew that in years four and five of his deal, when he’s making $47 and $48 million, and he’s 36 and 37 years old, that may not be a very good contract. But they’re trying to win a title in the short term, and this season gave them every reason to believe they can do it with the group they...