Report: Rockets tried to give away Chris Paul, but teams – including Knicks – said no
We might never know how tense the situation has gotten between Paul and James Harden. We might never know whether Paul requested a trade.
But we will know whether Paul begins next season in Houston.
Morey’s credibility is on the line with that. Will he really refuse to trade Paul? That’s not Morey’s style.
More likely, Morey made that declaration only after exhausting the market for Paul and the three years, $124,076,442 remaining on his contract.
Shams Charania of The Athletic, via CBS:
Paul, 34, is overpaid and declining. No team should absorb his contract into cap space.
But he’s still pretty good. Not nearly as good as he once was, but good enough to help the Rockets. Their championship window hasn’t necessarily snapped completely shut yet. There’s value in keeping Paul and trying to repair his and Harden’s relationship.
There also might be better opportunities later in the summer to trade Paul. Teams want to preserve their cap space now for free agents. But some teams will strike out and might view Paul as a good fallback option.
Of course, if Morey thought a deal later in the offseason were a possibility, he probably wouldn’t have so explicitly insisted Paul will remain in Houston.