Home https://server7.kproxy.com/servlet/redirect.srv/sruj/smyrwpoii/p2/ Sport https://server7.kproxy.com/servlet/redirect.srv/sruj/smyrwpoii/p2/ Rocket owner Tilman Fertitta believed Chris Paul had the ‘worst contract’ he had ever seen, per. Report

Rocket owner Tilman Fertitta believed Chris Paul had the ‘worst contract’ he had ever seen, per. Report

The Houston Rockets are in the middle of a transformative offseason, with both head coach Mike D’Antoni and general manager Daryl Morey retiring in recent weeks. Rafael Stone steps in as the new GM, but they have yet to find a replacement coach, and there have been trade rumors suggesting that more changes may be in store.

While we wait to see what’s next in Houston, this is a good time to look back and reflect on what happened in the fascinating Morey era. Whenever there are big changes like this around a team, stories always come out about what was going on behind the scenes. In the latest Lowe Post podcast with ESPN̵

7;s Zach Lowe, we have a perfect example.

Fellow ESPN author Tim MacMahon was on as a guest and provided some insight into one of the biggest decisions Morey made as a GM, and perhaps the one that ultimately sealed his fate – yes, he resigned voluntarily, but the writing was on the wall for the future of this team as a challenger. Per MacMahon, the trade that sent Chris Paul to the Oklahoma City Thunder in exchange for Russell Westbrook, was orchestrated by Rockets owners Tilman Fertitta and James Harden.

While it was widely accepted and everyone knew about the dysfunctional relationship between Harden and Paul, MacMahon provided some further insight into the motivation, which is quite remarkable. Apparently, Fertitta thought Paul had the “worst contract” he had ever seen.

The full monologue from MacMahon:

This trade was made because Tilman Fertitta wanted it made – he thought Chris Paul’s contract was the worst he had ever seen in business or sports – and because James Harden wanted it made. James Harden, obviously there was a personality conflict, these things have all been well documented and well reported. I still believe and I wrote it last summer before things went downhill. I still think that if necessary, they could have managed that situation; I know many people throughout the organization who believe in it.

But when Westbrook became available, they saw an opportunity that Fertitta and Harden wanted to jump on, and they threw themselves over it. Daryl Morey was the greatest Chris Paul backer in the organization. No one – Daryl or anyone else – has ever told me that he did this trade with objections, that he made this trade even though he did not fully believe in it. But I just can not help but think that it was a deal where basically his two bosses – Fertitta and Harden – said ‘hey, we want this deal, get it done.’ And he did what he had to do to get it done.

Paul is in the midst of a massive $ 160 million four-year deal that is generally considered one of the worst deals in the league at the moment. Despite the fact that the veteran point guard is still playing at an All-Star level and was great to run the show for the Thunder last season, it’s a huge amount of money to pay a 35 year old point guard, and few teams want to get stuck with the bill for the last few years of the contract.

However, to say that it is the “worst contract” he had ever seen in business or sports is a bit of a bizarre claim. First, Paul still operates at a high level and remains one of the best point guards in the league. The problem with his deal for most teams is that they would have trouble putting together a deal for him because of how much space he would take on their cap sheet, and not want to take the risk of him getting hurt after doing yes, rather than a situation where he gets paid and does not produce.

In addition, there are currently worse deals in the NBA right now – see Wall, John – and Fertitta is not exactly the best business mind ever. So perhaps it’s not so surprising that this move has not worked so well for the Rockets so far. Additionally, this is a worrying sign for the franchise to move forward. When your owner starts maneuvering moves for business reasons rather than basketball, it’s hard to turn things around.

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