There been reports that Paul and Harden have each issued ultimatums to team management asking the executive branch to instigate a trade. This of course essentially means that the Rockets need to look for a trade partner for Paul.
The problem is that Paul has a massive $125 million left on his deal. It was an insane sum when Paul signed it, but the thought was that even a declining CP3 would be able to help the Rockets as they went all-out expecting a Warriors decline.
But Rockets GM Daryl Morey has refuted the idea that either player has issued an ultimatum. Morey told Marc Stein of the New York Times as much, and reiterated this stance on ESPN radio on Tuesday.
Just spoke to Daryl Morey. He reiterated there has been no trade demand from Chris Paul. "Tweet that I said that. Print it. Tweet it twice." https://t.co/oo6ge0Wkop
— Zach Lowe (@ZachLowe_NBA) June 19, 2019
"Even some teams that they've called as just a dump, like 'We'll give you Chris Paul for free,' those teams are like 'we're good.'The value is not there"
And this is the reason Paul is denying the Harden rift. He knows he doesn't have a choice. pic.twitter.com/v7N60WpxWu
— John Ledesma (@JohnnyNBA) June 19, 2019
Morey is a veteran general manager, and openly noting that a player has requested a trade cuts his leverage. It has been widely reported that Morey has been looking for trades for Paul and his gargantuan contract for some time, with no apparent taker as of yet.
Houston has been the perennial contender against Golden State in the playoffs, but now they appear to be bursting apart at the seams. Morey is one of the best general managers in the NBA, and he has a history of taking big risks and turning wheat into gold. But until he can offload Paul’s contract, things will be tenuous in Texas.