The knee issue plagued Paul throughout the preseason, and forced him to sit out the last five minutes of the fourth quarter in his first (and so far, only) regular-season game as a Rocket. He mostly struggled before being removed from the game, scoring just four points on 2-of-9 shooting, failing to get to the free-throw line, and posting a team-worst minus-13 rating.
Combo guard Eric Gordon, who has averaged 24.5 points through two games, will continue to start in Paul's stead, while the Rockets reportedly rummage through the scrap heap for a temporary fix at point guard.
The implications of the injury could be more damaging for Paul than for the Rockets. The nine-time All-Star could've opted out of his contract and signed a five-year max deal worth over $200 million this past offseason, but he chose to eschew that long-term security, instead opting into his final year so the Rockets could work out a sign-and-trade with the Los Angeles Clippers to acquire him.
Paul will be 33 when it comes time to negotiate a new deal next summer, and with the league's salary cap leveling out after a couple of spikes, money figures to be tight around the NBA. If his health continues to be a concern, that decision could wind up haunting him.
The Rockets host the visiting Dallas Mavericks at the Toyota Center Saturday.