The Chris Paul-James Harden era in Houston could be coming to an abrupt end amid reports that the relationship between the two is beyond repair and rumors that Paul could be headed to the Lakers.
A new report from Yahoo Sports claimed that the relationship between the two stars has become “unsalvageable” and that Paul gave the team an ultimatum to either trade him or get rid of Harden. The likelihood of the Rockets dumping Harden — after having signed him to a then-NBA record extension — seems to be slight at best, so it seems that Paul may be looking for a new home.
The report went on to say that Paul and Harden went nearly two months during the season without talking to each other, and that Paul has tried to reach out and communicate with Harden during the offseason but has not gotten any response.
A source told the outlet that there is no respect left between Paul and Harden, and that both need a clean start away from each other. The source said that Paul doesn’t respect the standing Harden has in the league and Harden doesn’t respect the work that Paul has put in.
So with Chris Paul likely looking at a new home next year, the ongoing rumors that he may be headed to the Los Angeles Lakers may have taken on new significance. Shortly after the Lakers completed the long-anticipated trade for Anthony Davis, there emerged a new report that Paul wanted the Rockets to ship him west to Los Angeles.
Sources told Yahoo senior writer @VinceGoodwill that the relationship between @HoustonRockets James Harden and Chris Paul is "unsalvageable," and added that @CP3 demanded a trade after the playoffs. Rockets GM Daryl Morey has since dismissed the claims. https://t.co/zlLEZm5xZF— Twitter Moments (@TwitterMoments) June 18, 2019
As the Fansided blog Space City Scoop noted, the rumor originated from Stephen A. Smith, who said that Paul wants to join his longtime friend, LeBron James.
“Smith suggests that Paul’s preferred destination would be the Lakers, but admits he doesn’t know how LeBron James would feel about such a trade, assuming the Lakers consult James on important team moves,” the report noted. “Smith seems to be mostly speculating on Paul wanting to go to LA, but Smith was confident about the rumblings that Paul wants out of Houston, and [reporter Brian] Windhorst nodded his head in agreement, as if he has heard similar rumors from his sources.”
It’s not clear what assets the Los Angeles Lakers would have left to land Chris Paul, as the cupboard is mostly bare after sending their promising young players and three years worth of first-round draft picks to the New Orleans Pelicans.