NBA rumors: James Harden-Chris Paul relationship now 'unsalvageable'

NBA rumors: James Harden-Chris Paul relationship now 'unsalvageable'

So, much for Daryl Morey's PR spin.

The Rockets general manager claims he has no plans to trade Chris Paul, but it appears he might not have a choice.

Paul's relationship with superstar backcourt mate James Harden has deteriorated to the point where it reportedly is "unsalvageable," and the two stars want to go their separate ways, Yahoo Sports' Vincent Goodwill reports, citing sources. 

Per Goodwill, Paul asked the Rockets' management for a trade following Houston's second-round NBA playoff loss to the Warriors. In response, Harden made it clear it was either him or CP3. The two reportedly went two months without speaking during the season and Harden hasn't returned Paul's attempts to communicate.

“There’s no respect at all, on either side,” a source told Goodwill. “They need to get away from one another. Chris doesn’t respect James’ standing in the league, and James doesn’t respect the work Chris has put in to this point.”

In 2018, Paul's injured hamstring might have cost the Rockets a chance at dethroning the Warriors and winning the NBA title.

When Paul missed time with an injury early in the 2018-19 season, Harden carried the team, his usage rate spiking to unprecedented levels. But when Paul returned, the offense remained isolation dominant, with the ball in Harden's hands the majority of the time. This reportedly has bothered Paul and led to his trade demand. Sources told Goodwill that Paul would swear at head coach Mike D'Antoni about the offense stagnating when Harden was in with the second unit.

While Paul has been annoyed at the Harden-dominated offense, The Beard reportedly has been irked by Paul's injuries and personality. 

Now, this scene during their second-round loss to the Warriors makes a whole lot of sense.

However, Paul took to Instagram Tuesday afternoon to seemingly refute the report.

The Warriors -- who are decimated by injuries following their NBA Finals loss to the Raptors -- appear to be leaving their perch atop the NBA, but the Rockets might not be able to capitalize if Harden and Paul can't kiss and makeup, which a source tells Goodwill is unlikely.

There's also the issue of CP3's contract, which Rockets owner Tilman Fertitta reportedly has "complained about ever since" it was signed, per Goodwill. The Lakers reportedly were seen as a potential trade fit, but that was before they made the blockbuster deal for Anthony Davis. So now, the market for a potential Paul trade won't be big -- if there is one at all.

[RELATED: Rockets reportedly making all picks, players available in trade talks]

With Klay Thompson and Kevin Durant injured and hitting free agency, now appears to be the Rockets' time to strike in the Western Conference. The Rockets have become obsessed with taking down the Dubs, and the Harden-Paul backcourt supposedly was the key to getting over the top.

Now, it looks like it could undo them just when the Warriors are ripe for the picking.

Klay Thompson proclaims Warriors' championship dynasty 'far from over'


Klay Thompson proclaims Warriors' championship dynasty 'far from over'

All the national pundits and talking heads have danced on the grave of the Warriors' dynasty.

With Kevin Durant, Andre Iguodala and Shaun Livingston gone, and Klay Thompson out for a large portion of the upcoming season after ACL surgery, most believe the Warriors' reign of dominance is over.

But Thompson isn't listening to the noise. The Warriors might be down, but they aren't out.

"The dynasty ain't over," Klay said Friday during the second annual Thompson Family Foundation golf tournament in Newport Beach, Calif. "It's far from over."

After five season atop the NBA mountain, the Warriors no longer are the favorites to win the title, and they will look vastly different this season.

At the beginning of the season, Steph Curry and Draymond Green will be flanked by newcomers D'Angelo Russell and Willie Cauley-Stein. Instead of Durant at the starting small forward spot, Warriors coach Steve Kerr might go with Alfonzo McKinnie.

Super Death Lineup this is not.

Making matters tougher for the Warriors is the improvement of other teams in the Western Conference. The Clippers, Lakers, Jazz and Rockets all made blockbuster moves over the summer, while the Nuggets and Blazers return teams that were top-four playoff seeds in the West last season.

But once Thompson returns in February or March, the Warriors will be able to close games with a lineup of Curry, Thompson, Russell, Green and Kevon Looney, who signed a three-year contract in the offseason.

[RELATED: Eight things Warriors need to do to make playoffs]

As Green said last week, no one will want to face the Warriors in the playoffs. That will be especially true if Thompson is 100 percent in April.

Durant isn't around anymore, but the dynasty isn't dead until Curry, Thompson and Green say it is.

Magic Johnson can't believe Kevin Durant was unhappy with Warriors

Magic Johnson can't believe Kevin Durant was unhappy with Warriors

Kevin Durant came to the Warriors in 2016 in pursuit of a family and NBA titles.

Despite all the winning the Warriors did with Durant, he told the Wall Street Journal last week that he never quite felt like one of the guys. That possibly had something to do with him refusing to commit long term to the Warriors. It's hard for a family to accept you when you have one foot in the house and the other on the front porch.

NBA legend Magic Johnson can't begin to fathom Durant's logic in leaving for the Brooklyn Nets after three seasons and two championships in the Bay.

"KD, I hope that he finds happiness," Johnson said Friday on ESPN's First Take. "If you can't find happiness at Golden State, where are you going to find it at?

“First of all, give Steph Curry a lot of credit for saying, 'I'm a two-time MVP. I'm willing to take a backseat because I want to win.' Give Klay Thompson a lot of credit, because you know whose game suffered the most? Klay Thompson. He used to get a lot more touches before KD got there, and he said, 'I'm OK with that as long as we win a championship.' Draymond Green, even he had to take a backseat.

"So, Kevin, if you won back-to-back titles, you won MVP of the Finals as well, where are you going to find happiness at? I just want him to find happiness because when I look at Michael Jordan, when I look at Kobe Bryant, this brother, Kevin Durant, is one of the greatest scorers we've seen in NBA history, so I just want him to be happy. I just don't know where he's going to find it at if he can't find it at Golden State."

We imagine every single Warriors fan feels the same way as Magic does.

[RELATED: Durant shows no sign of limp after surgery]

Unlike Thunder fans, Warriors fans don't hold any ill will toward Durant. They're just puzzled by his decision to leave. He had everything he wanted in the Bay Area, and Golden State could have offered more money. Yet he still decided to leave.

But maybe Durant never will be happy in the same spot for too long. It's possible that in three years, Nets fans find themselves wondering why Durant wasn't happy, just like Warriors fans are right now.