Things aren’t going especially well for the Houston Rockets right now, as reports are pouring out about dysfunction within the franchise, chiefly involving a rift between James Harden and Chris Paul.
Those within the organization are, publicly, saying there are no plans to trade Paul, but there’s an awful lot of smoke right now about potential big shakeups with the roster. Shortly after Daryl Morey denied any intention to trade Paul, a report from Yahoo’s Vincent Goodwill indicated the star had issued a trade request, citing the deterioration of his relationship with Harden, who apparently also issued a “him or me” edict to management.
This is, obviously, huge news and the task of trading Paul is very difficult given his age and contract situation. However, Paul hopped on Instagram to make it known that this is the first he’s hearing of such a trade request, issuing a denial in the comments of a Bleacher Report IG post.
Now, this could just be posturing from Paul, as most players try to avoid making their trade requests public knowledge as Anthony Davis did, but for now we kind of have to take Paul’s word. That doesn’t mean the relationship has soured and it doesn’t mean the Rockets shouldn’t explore trade possibilities, but I think Paul knows his deal is difficult to trade and he needs to publicly say this so as to avoid too much awkwardness should they end up running it back next year, which feels like a very distinct possibility.