The Houston Rockets entered the 2018-19 NBA season with the goal of dethroning the Golden State Warriors and winning the 2019 NBA championship title. After struggling earlier this season, the Rockets have managed to bounce back and secure a rematch against the Warriors in the Western Conference Semifinals. Unfortunately, in the second consecutive year that they faced each other in the playoffs, the Rockets were overwhelmed by the star-studded Warriors.
After they once again fell short of achieving their main goal, drama started to build around the Rockets. Shams Charania of The Athletic, as quoted by The Big Lead, revealed that Rockets superstars James Harden and Chris Paul had a heated exchange of words during Game 6 of the Western Conference Semifinals 2019 regarding the ball distribution. When all the Rockets’ players were ready to talk in the locker room, Harden and Paul had reportedly “gone their separate ways.”
As of now, it remains unknown if James Harden and Chris Paul have already fixed the issue, but another controversy has started to circulate once again around the Rockets. In a Twitter post, Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN reported that Rockets General Manager Daryl Morey has made all their players and future draft picks available in trade talks. Though a deal involving Harden is less likely to happen, Wojnarowski revealed that the Rockets could move Paul if the “right deal” comes along.
“Sources: In calls to front offices, Houston GM Daryl Morey is showing an aggressive desire to improve roster with all players and picks available in talks. Hard to imagine James Harden scenario, but the rest under contract – perhaps even Chris Paul – could be moved in right deal.”
— azcentral sports (@azcsports) May 29, 2019
Once he becomes officially available on the trading block, several NBA teams will surely express interest in adding Chris Paul on their roster. Paul may no longer be in his prime, but he can still be a reliable contributor to a team that is aiming to contend for the NBA championship title next season. However, it remains a big question mark what type of trade assets teams are willing to give up for an aging point guard who has dealt with numerous injuries and will be consuming a huge chunk of their salary cap space over the next three years.
On Twitter, Marc Stein of the New York Times confirmed Wojnarowski’s report, saying that the Rockets have “gauged” the market for Clint Capela in the recent days. Capela will undeniably be an intriguing trade target for teams who want to boost their frontcourt. However, like Chris Paul, Capela’s contract and his inability to knock down shots from beyond the arc may also prevent the Rockets from obtaining their expected return in exchange for the 25-year-old center.