Houston Rockets general manager Daryl Morey appeared on The Dan Patrick Show earlier today and said that neither James Harden nor Chris Paul are being made available for trades.
“We spent a lot of time putting together two superstars. We’re trying to add a third, going backwards from that doesn’t make a lot of sense,” he said.
Now, a couple of hours later, Yahoo! Sports is reporting that one of the Rockets’ star guards has demanded a trade.
Chris Paul, who’s one year into his four year, $160 million-plus contract, has reportedly requested a trade out of Houston.
The relationship with James Harden is reportedly “unsalvageable.”
— Vincent Goodwill (@VinceGoodwill) June 18, 2019
From the report:
The delicate relationship between Houston Rockets stars James Harden and Chris Paul has been termed “unsalvageable” and the star players want a divorce, league sources told Yahoo Sports.
Paul went to Rockets management and demanded a trade, and Harden issued a “him or me” edict following the Rockets’ second-round loss to the Golden State Warriors, sources said.
The backcourt mates went nearly two months without speaking to each other during the season, sources said, creating a tenuous environment for teammates and everyone involved with the franchise.
Morey had said earlier this week that Paul had not requested a trade.
“No. No, he has not,” he said on Golic & Wingo.
ESPN had released a story earlier in the week detailing the frustration between Paul and Harden. Morey admitted that there was some tension, but it’s natural.
“We have two high-level competitors, Chris and James, who their only goal in life at this point is to win the title. They’ve accomplished everything else, they are both going to be first-ballot Hall of Famers. Two competitive superstars at that level, there’s going to be times when they are extremely competitive, extremely focused on how do we get to that next level, and when we don’t there’s going to be frustration,” Morey said. “I’m frustrated, our top players are frustrated, Mike D’Antoni is frustrated. We want to take the last step and be the champion and I think it’s good that there is tension in the sense that we all want to win.”
Paul, 34, is still a really good point guard, though his contract is massive and he’s struggled to stay healthy in recent seasons. It’s unlikely that the Rockets will find a trade package they like for the nine-time NBA All-Star.