Rockets GM Daryl Morey shoots down report Chris Paul demanded trade

Rockets GM Daryl Morey shoots down report Chris Paul demanded trade

Are Chris Paul and James Harden friends? That might be the biggest question -- other than what the immediate future holds for the Warriors -- heading into the NBA offseason. 

After losing to the Warriors in the second round of the NBA playoffs, reports have repeatedly leaked out about the Rockets, with the latest suggesting the relationship between the two star guards is "unsalvageable" and Paul has demanded a trade.

Well, not long after that report dropped Tuesday, Rockets general manager Daryl Morey went on the defensive, shooting down the report of the trade demand while denying there is friction between his backcourt stars.

So, which one is it?

It would be easy to view this as Morey doing damage control. If Paul has asked for a trade, then word getting out would put the Rockets at a disadvantage in negotiations.

However, now that the Rockets have been on summer vacation for six weeks, perhaps Harden and Paul have cooled off and hashed things out.

[RELATED: Would Dion Waiters trade be good idea for Warriors?]

Losing to the Warriors without Kevin Durant might have broken the rival Rockets. There was a report that Paul and Harden had a tense exchange following the Rockets' Game 6 loss in Houston. Now it appears things could be worse than initially imagined. 

With Golden State limping out of the NBA Finals with both Durant and Klay Thompson injured and headed for free agency, now would be the perfect time for the Rockets to finally take what they believe is their rightful place atop the conference. If CP3 and The Beard are on the outs, though, there's no telling what the offseason could hold for the Rockets.

Paul is owed $38.5, $41.3 and $44,2 million, respectively, over the next three seasons. With the surefire Hall of Famer's body continuing to break down, it's hard to see a team that would be willing to take on that price tag for the aging star.

Then again, perhaps all is jolly in Rocketland and the two stars will continue to make those State Farm commercials everyone loves so much.

2020 NBA Draft sleepers: Can Jaden McDaniels develop into Kevin Durant?

2020 NBA Draft sleepers: Can Jaden McDaniels develop into Kevin Durant?

Editor's note: As the Warriors prepare for the 2020 NBA draft, during which they will have a lottery pick for the first time since 2012, NBC Sports Bay Area will present a twice-weekly series spotlighting two players expected to be evaluated. This is the seventh of a 12-part series over the next six weeks.

The long and exceedingly lean physique is reminiscent of a Brandon Ingram or a Jonathan Isaac or a Chris Boucher. Or even a young Kevin Durant.

That the resume is as thin as frame partly explains why Jaden McDaniels is a bit of a sleeper. After one season at the University of Washington, there is a chance he’ll sneak into the lottery but it’s more likely he’ll be drafted later in the first round.

Potential is why McDaniels is on the radar of NBA teams, including the Warriors. If Golden State trades out of the top five and drops toward the middle of the draft, McDaniels likely will be available. His game is, at his best, is stellar.

McDaniels is as comfortable playing above the rim as pulling up from deep. Despite being 6-foot-10, he handles well enough to score off the dribble. In his collegiate debut, he scored 18 pounds, grabbed eight rebounds and blocked four shots in an upset win over mighty Baylor.

Indeed, it is McDaniels’ combination of small forward finesse and power forward length that caught the attention of opposing coaches and NBA scouts.

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Those scouts already knew McDaniels was a five-star prospect at Federal Way High in the Seattle area. They’d already seen the clips, including those in which McDaniels, perhaps bored, would finish in transition by lobbing balls off the backboard to himself for dunks.

They also glimpsed red flags. McDaniels was prone to turnovers. His shot selection was spotty. There was some inconsistency insofar as some nights McDaniels was the best player on the floor and other nights he was liability to the Huskies.

It also will concern front offices that McDaniels displayed fits of immaturity. That was a factor in him leading the Pac-12 Conference in technical fouls with six. He also fouled out eight times in 31 games. At one point of the season, McDaniels was benched by Huskies coach Mike Hopkins, who was displeased with a spate of fouls and poor judgment.

McDaniels is, in this regard, not unlike teenage Marquese Chriss, who struggled in his first three NBA seasons but exhibited clear signs of maturity after joining the Warriors last fall.

McDaniels, however, has a deeper basket of pure offensive skills and possesses the ability to defend at least three positions. The comps in most mock drafts – such as Ingram and Isaac – are not so much about what he is than about what he can be.

If McDaniels, the younger brother of Hornets guard Jalen McDaniels, matures nicely contains his emotions and adds 10-15 pounds to his frame there is a reasonable chance he can become a star. It’s rare that someone with his size/skill combination comes along.

[RELATED: Could Cassius Winston follow Draymond?]

Some team will be willing to take that chance. McDaniels is a longshot for the Warriors, but any play they make for him will come only after they’ve gone beyond the tantalizing gifts and come away convinced their culture can help him reach his ceiling.

Jaden McDaniels

Position: Forward
Class: Freshman
Birthdate: Sept. 29, 2000 (19)
Hometown: Federal Way, Wash.
2019-20 stats: 13.0 points (40.5 percent FG, 33.9 percent 3p, 76.3 percent FT), 5.8 rebounds, 2.1 assists, 1.4 blocks.
Height: 6-foot-10
Weight: 200
Wingspan: 7 feet
What they’re saying: “You know the funny thing is, and I don’t mean funny to make a joke, but only really good players can lead a league in (turnovers and fouls). You go take a look at the all-time leaders on those lists and it’s nothing but Hall of Famers. I say that to say, how good must Jaden be to where he’s giving you so much that it outweighs those things you don’t like? And the answer is, he’s really, really good. Now as a coach, you have to ask yourself: ‘What can I live with and how can we curb some of those erratic behaviors?’” – former Warriors coach and current NBA/NCAA analyst P.J. Carlesimo, to the Seattle Times.

Ranking Warriors' seven most important trades over last 20 years

Ranking Warriors' seven most important trades over last 20 years

Nothing can get the NBA conversation ablaze more than trade talk, so let's dissect the best trades the Warriors have made in the last 20 years. 

For the better half of the 1990's and 2000's, the Warriors struggled mightily to pull off a trade in their favor. The notorious Chris Webber deal and many more poor decisions plummeted Golden State to the cellar of the league standings for many years. 

However, starting in 2005, the Warriors slowly began to swing the pendulum the other way leading to the We Believe years and the future historic dynasty. Let's take a look back.

[RELATED: Warriors' five worst trades]

Here are the best 7 trades the Warriors have made in the last 20 years.


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