After two years of serving as James Harden’s sidekick in Space City, All-Star point guard Chris Paul found himself being included in the trade package that the Houston Rockets sent to the Oklahoma City Thunder to acquire former MVP Russell Westbrook. Though he was no longer a member of the Rockets during that time, it seems like 10-time NBA All-Star Carmelo Anthony knew what was about to happen to Paul in Houston.
After the Portland Trail Blazers suffered a 108-96 loss to the Thunder on Sunday night, Anthony admitted in an interview with Nick Friedell of ESPN that he wasn’t “surprised” that the Rockets decided to part ways with “CP3” last summer. When the Rockets dumped him to the Chicago Bulls, Anthony revealed that he already warned Paul about his situation in Houston.
“No, I wasn’t surprised at all,” Anthony said. “When my situation happened in Houston, he was the first person that I called to come to my room. And we had to clear some things up, and I wanted to know if he had anything to do with it. And that was the first thing that I wanted to know, and he told me, ‘No.’ And from that point on, I told him, looked him in his eyes and said, ‘Look, just be careful.’ You know what I mean? Just be careful. And damn sure if [the same situation] didn’t happen to him.”
Paul admitted that he was “shocked” by the Rockets’ decision to trade him to the Thunder. Though he had heard his name being mentioned in trade rumors since the start of the offseason, the point guard claimed that Rockets General Manager Daryl Morey gave him an assurance that they intended to keep him in Houston for another season. However, Morey and the Rockets had a change of plans after seeing the opportunity to replace Paul with a younger, MVP-caliber point guard.
Like Paul, Anthony’s departure from the Rockets was also filled with controversy. After playing his first 10 games as a Rocket, “Melo” was removed from Coach Mike D’Antoni’s rotation and took most of the blame for their struggle to win games. As of now, Anthony no longer has any ill will against the Rockets, though he said he wishes that they could have given him an explanation as to why they decided to let him go.
As of now, Paul and Anthony are trying to make the best out of their remaining years in the NBA. Though his name continues to surface in trade rumors, Paul is doing his best to keep the Thunder competitive in the post-Westbrook era, while Anthony is hoping that he could help Portland turn things around in the 2019-20 NBA season.