You may remember that one of the few NBA pay regulations has been changed in the collective agreement on collective agreements from 2016, centered on the starters' earning power in the mid-30s. We called this Chris Paul Rule, because CP3 was most useful immediately and he was the players union president when negotiated and adopted.
Specifically, we should call this agreement on the over-38 rule. Basically, it took some existing pay deterrent to sign high-end players at least 32 years on long-term contracts and hit that age limit up to a couple of years from 36 to 38. (Larry Cons's priceless CBA FAQ has a more detailed breakdown).
As it happened, CP3 was 32 when the revised rule came into effect in 201
Not for nothing, Paul is known as a smart negotiator. Maybe too strong, as things have turned out. And perhaps his interest in promoting interest in himself and his assistant 30-star star friends took his role as the person who led negotiations on behalf of the entire 450 members' union.
Actually, Paul did not do the five-year deal with LA, but he still got the benefit of the Over-38 rule. CP3 told Clippers that he would renounce his contract in 2017 and write with Rockets if they did not agree to trade him to Houston. The Clippers were guilty of the prize of Patrick Beverley, Lou Williams and Montrezl Harrell, who were a beautiful package for Los Angeles in retrospect.
After a wake-up 2018 playoff run that ended a CP3 injury to hoarding away from a championship, Rockets Paul signed for a four-year $ 160 million deal. That deal was once again possible due to the CP3's over-38 rule. Without that, Paul would probably have written a three-year $ 115 million to get the max. The over 38 rule made Chris Paul an extra $ 45 million, which is the salary he will earn as a 37-year-old in 2021-22.
On the one hand, things worked as intended. Paul got his money and the rockets opened a lively, though doomed, two-year window. The problem is that when he took all that money, he made himself more responsible for the Rockets magazine.
Last week, the rockets traded Paul and two first rounds to Thunder for Russell Westbrook. The former MVP claims one of the most risky basketball contracts, comparable to John Wall's supermax agreement. But the Westbrook agreement still represented an enormous positive value over Paul.
This is how hard CP3's contract has got the clear effect of age on his performance last season: The rockets had to add more picks to get away from the contract while taking back the third most demanding contract in the league .
CP3 got paid. He got his guaranteed money, the whole of it, the whole bag. But now he is stuck to a (apparently) non-competitive Oklahoma City Thunder roster in the foreseeable future. The competitive prospects for one of the most competitive players in his generation look cruel.
This is peacefully on Carmelo Anthony's slow descent to irrelevance. Eventually, Melo released as far as he was wrapped in Hawks and abstained. He collected massive checks in 19th-19th, when he fell completely out of the NBA of Thanksgiving. It was a sad end to a famous career.
Is it Paul's destiny? If so, was it worth the extra $ 45 million? Probably. That's $ 45 million, for good reason. And there is no guarantee that Rakets would have kept him, he was on the three-year version of max.
Is the case of CP3's value in relation to his contract a perfect example of why the over-36 rule existed in the first place – Protecting teams from making costly mistakes? Absolutely!
Would CP3 and the trade union push the change again and again know what they know now? Absolutely! It's about letting players earn as much money as possible as long as possible. It is basically CP3's responsibility as president: get their members – including themselves – paid.
But this is where it gets complicated. It is here that we ask which members CP3 have worked for.
The $ 45 million that goes to Paul in 2021-22 for maybe chilling in Barbados, or maybe playing the string at a mid-range, or as a buy-out ring-hunter at a contestant, is $ 45 million that doesn't go to middle level or young players.
Every effort made by Chris Paul's union leadership to strengthen the top-line player contracts – the supermax contract and the over-38 rule in particular – takes money straight out of the pockets of the NBA's middle class.
NBA pay across the board is higher than ever. But the average NBA player could get an even larger collective record if the latest negotiations had not prioritized stars in general, and CP3 specifically.
We didn't hear too much grumbling from the mid-tier players when the news about Over-38 Rule came out. When we see that the union president earns $ 40 million annual salaries deep in the 30s, we see if that changes.