35-Year-Old Chris Paul Is the Second-Highest Paid Player in the NBA
When his career ends, Chris Paul should be considered one of the top-10 point guards to ever play in the NBA. A standout sophomore out of Wake Forest, Paul was great in New Orleans and helped create “Lob City” in LA during his time with the Clippers.
As the athlete enters the twilight of his career, one thing stands out: Paul’s current contract. Let’s review the deal and why it makes him the second-highest paid NBA player today.
Chris Paul signs the supermax deal
As Spotrac.com details, Paul signed a four-year, $159 million contract with the Rockets before the 2017-18 season. This deal included a player option after the third season (2020-21), worth $44 million. Paul will turn 37 at the start of this deal. It looks like one of the rougher contracts to handle in the NBA.
Paul spoke to Sports Illustrated earlier this year and said there was no chance he would decline the option.
Paul moves to Oklahoma City
A report came out last summer regarding the tension between Paul and Rockets guard James Harden. The team knew they had to move one of the franchise’s cornerstones. Houston traded Paul to the Oklahoma City Thunder along with four first-round picks for Russell Westbrook.
The trade was smart for both teams. It made the Rockets younger at point guard; it also paired Harden with his best friend in the NBA in Westbrook. The Thunder also picked up multiple picks and a veteran for their young roster.
Paul has a resurgent year with the Thunder
After posting pretty good numbers in the 2018-19 NBA season, many thought Paul would be a veteran piece of the Thunder rebuild until a trade partner opened up. That hasn’t been the case. After two unceremonious first-round exits, including Damian Lillard in 2019, no one expected OKC to be as good this season.
With two new powerhouses in LA, along with the Denver Nuggets, the Thunder are somehow sitting at No. 5 in the West with a 40-24 record.
Paul is averaging nearly 17 points and seven assists per game. Oklahoma City is a surprising 10th in defensive rating and points allowed per game without a lockdown defender on the perimeter with the skillset of Paul George. The Thunder could be a sneaky pick to make a deep playoff run.
Who makes more than Chris Paul?
The only player making more than Paul is Golden State Warriors guard Steph Curry. One half of the Splash Brothers and arguably the greatest shooter the game has ever seen, Curry is making $40 million this season. Although the Warriors face injuries and the departure of Kevin Durant, we think they could be dangerous next year.
Russell Westbrook is also in the conversation as he and Paul have the same salary this year. This makes the trade financially doable for both teams.