Chris Paul: “I Never Asked For A Trade”

Appearing at a youth basketball clinic in Los Angeles on Sunday, Rockets point guard Chris Paul addressed last week’s report on his supposed trade request, suggesting that it didn’t happen.

“I never asked for a trade,” Paul said, per Jonathan Feigen of The Houston Chronicle. “I never demanded a trade.”

Last week’s report from Vincent Goodwill of Yahoo Sports suggested that the relationship between Paul and fellow Rockets guard James Harden was “unsalvageable” and that the two stars didn’t want to play together anymore. Goodwill’s report came on the heels of a separate story from Tim MacMahon of ESPN.com, who didn’t report that Paul had requested a trade, but outlined many of the same details Goodwill did when it came to the discord in Houston.

Rockets general manager Daryl Morey quickly shot down the idea that Paul had requested a trade and said that CP3 will be on the roster next season, a sentiment the veteran echoed on Sunday, according to Feigen.

“I’ll be in Houston,” Paul said. “I’m happy about that. I’m very happy about that. I’m good.”

Feigen notes that Paul wasn’t very specific when asked on Sunday if there are issues to be worked out between him and Harden, and it seems clear that the two guards didn’t always see eye-to-eye during the 2018/19 season and postseason.

Still, with three years and more than $124MM left on Paul’s contract, it will be difficult for Houston to find a taker for him this offseason even if CP3 wants out. As such, it makes sense for both sides to prepare to move forward together.

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59 thoughts on “Chris Paul: “I Never Asked For A Trade”

      • DynamiteAdams

        I’d rather have Andrew Wiggins if it comes down to taking bad contracts in a sign and trade. Tbh I’d rather have Butler or Harris over either of them but whether they want to stay is yet to be seen. Paul is developing into the role of a locker room killer in the twilight of his career and his contract is God awful.

        • yeah at least andrew wiggins is young and has possible improvement (purely on age and athleticism) vs Chris Paul.

          Worst Contracts in the NBA:
          1) John Wall
          2) CP3
          3) Gordon Hayward
          4) Andrew Wiggins
          5) Nicholas Batum (could swap with wiggins)

          • southbeachbully

            Can we agree that if Paul continues to perform at the level of a top 5-8 PG that while he’s overpaid he’s far from the worst contract. We are speculating that there will be precipitous falloff in production in the next 3 years. It’s not a foregone conclusion.

            I would say the same about Wiggins. He’s overpaid but I wouldn’t call his contract the worst. With Parson’s you’re getting almost nothing back in return. With Wall it’s a wash for 2019-20 but MAYBE he regains his form after that. Still overpaid but can still be very productive.

  1. Rockets have 2 problems. First their GM thinks he knows everything better than anyone else. Second Harden is to much of a ball hog. Harden needs to pass more not pass only when they stop him less than 5 seconds on the shot clock.

    • White Mamba

      Three problems: also their coach. D’antoni will never win and when he leaves he will bring the franchise down (see Lakers and Knicks). The man never holds himself accountable for anything.

    • goldenmisfit

      Their biggest problem is Chris Paul. He says he did not ask for a trade that in five dollars will get you a cup of coffee at Starbucks. You can never believe a word this guy says always have heard what a behavioral problem he has been in the locker room and this goes back to his time with the clippers. As far as the rest of the Rockets problems the general manager thinking he knows more than everyone else and their star player being a ball hog funny sounds a lot like my team back about 15 years ago. Mitch Kupchak thought he knew more than anyone else and Kobe Bryant was the pure definition of a ball hog but five championships later I guess it’s not exactly a bad thing.

      • KnicksFanCavsFan

        @goldenmisfit If Chris Paul’s problem is that he feels the team needs to have more ball movement and less Harden ISO then being mad at Paul is like killing the messenger. We all KNOW that’s the problem and he’s let his team, coach and best player know it. To his credit, he’s never spoke ill about anyone publicly.

        He does have a history of clashing with teammates but it’s been said it comes from being too confrontational towards teammates not doing their jobs or being prepared. His “angry general” approach might rub some the wrong way but it’s born out of what’s good for the game. Can’t really fault him. His contract is tough to move unless it’s a “win now” team that thinks it’s 1 floor general away from winning it all and see themselves as having a 1-2 year window. Sounds like Houston needs to figure out how to keep these two together and bring in another 3rd option that complements their game. I don’t know what his priorities are but if they can move Capela, then a healthy Cousins would be perfect. If the personalities could co-exist then a big 3 of Harden/Paul/Cousins could be amazing. I think the offense should run thru Paul and it’s his job to make sure everyone get’s their shots at the right time and the right situation.

        • victorg

          IDK to me Harden might be a ball hog BUT that is what got the best results for them they don’t have a ton of playmakers especially if paul is down or Gordon is off … the biggest reason they do not have a ring is because Harden does not come through in the clutch when the stage is its biggest he tends to go away form the things that got him success.

        • KnicksFanCavsFan

          Because they were wrong? Please don’t ever compare Deron Williams to Chris Paul. There’s a reason why Williams has been out of the NBA for 2 years and hasn’t been an all-star caliber PG since 2012.

          • DomFeroce

            DWill was an excellent PG for a long time. No need to be rude. BTW how many rings does CP3 have?

            • southbeachbully

              How many does Williams have? How many does Barkley, Malone, Stockton, etc? Does that make them any less of HOF and top 50 players of all time.

              My reply was to the guy who had the audacity to make it seem that drafting Paul ahead of Deron Williams was a mistake. Take the personality out of it, Paul is one of the greatest PG ever. And the aspect of his personality that I’ve heard rubs teammates the wrong way is that he wants to win so bad that win teammates are not practicing, training right or making mental mistakes during the game that he lays into them. Not exactly a bad guy just a guy who’s “barking general” approach doesn’t sit well with some teammates.

              • Greatest point guards ever? LOL that’s hilarious !!

                CP3 never made it out of the second round of the playoffs. I’m not saying Deron Williams has any championships but he’s a point guard that worked with his teammates and distributed the ball and still averaged big points.

                Chris Paul is abrasive and if you don’t do it his way it’s the highway, and he’ll tell you about it. He has a strong personality that does not match up with what a point guard needs to be. Think Jason Kidd. Distributor. Make his teammates better.

                That’s not Chris Paul. Sure he has talent sure he scores sure he’s a fighter and a winner. But don’t ever compare him to Deron Williams as far as being a teammate and point guard. That’s audacity.

                • KnicksFanCavsFan

                  Disclaimer: My account’s been wacky. SouthBeachBully and KnicksFanCavsFan are both my account. 1 was created for mlbtraderumors. When I couldn’t remmeber my password I started this one for NBA rumors. Depending on if I’m using y laptop vs ipad determines which user name. Forgive. Like anyone cares…

                  @gary I never said CP3 was the greatest PG ever. I don’t even like the guy personally but clearly, if you’re being objective, he’s one of the greatest of all-time. I actually liked DWill when he was with the Nets and the brief time with the Cavs. But CP3 is an all-time great and DWill is just a good basketball player.

                  CP3 #3 in apg (9.6 per) behind Stockton and Magic. 10th in career assists. 6th in steals per game. 10th in career steals. 0x all-defensive team. DWill doesn’t come close to touching him at all. CP3 is an all-time great PG.

                  So the comment made “There’s a reason the Jazz selected Deron Williams before this guy” makes by you makes me wonder wtf?

                  • I guess it boils down to I’m talking fit for the Jazz. Even though CP3 is a great player there’s a reason why the Jazz did not draft him.

                    It comes out now later in his career as abrasiveness and unwilling to do it the team way but rather his own way. Talent is there the stats are there the regular season winning percentage is there. Sure great player. But the Jazz drafted Darren Williams instead of this guy for a reason. That sentence is all I said.

                    • KnicksFanCavsFan

                      Unless you were in the draft room or can show me an article where, coming out of college, Paul was seen as a team distraction, then you’re really offering YOUR opinion and presenting it as a fact. I on the other hand am referencing interviews by players and coaches who’ve said they like Paul but that most players see him as “upper management” and very vocal towards guys he feels are dogging it or not doing the little things to try and win. In other words, they feel like he’s an extension of the coach and not “one of the guys”. And I’ve heard that from at least 5-6 ex-teammates, current players and guys like Steven Smith, etc.

                      “It comes out now later in his career as abrasiveness and unwilling to do it the team way but rather his own way.” This is a joke. This is half right and half wrong. He plain and simply put has an issue with the way Harden plays ISO ball and the way he seems uninvoled when Paul is running the offense meaning the plays drawn by coach aren’t effective if Harden chooses to just sit on the side and just watch the play instead of moving around, setting up ball screens…you know…participate? He also had issues with D’Antoni because he felt he was enabling Harden to play a style of basketball almost every “expert” says is not working for them in the playoffs especially against the GSW.

                      Paul seems like a player who demands a lot of his teammates and isn’t scared to call them out. You call that a locker room cancer, I call it a guy willing to challenge his teammates. I’ve never heard hims say anything negative towards the media. I’ve heard him take blame himself for his own mistakes. You can tell being best friends with LBJ and WADE that this guy wants to win badly. He doesn’t want to be the Barkley to Jordan and Magic. A all-time great who’s never won a chip. I’m not mad at him for that. And we certainly can’t be mad for signing a contract that was offered to him.

                • whoneedsfacts

                  Gary I don’t love CP3 either, but your crazy acting like DWill is better than Paul.

                  • andremets

                    Agreed. Paul 100%. Plus Dwill demanded a trade out of Utah for no reason and was a major reason why the Nets became so terrible this decade.

                  • All I said was the Jazz drafted Aaron Williams instead of this guy for a reason. Never sizing fit and willing to do it the team way, for the betterment of the team. Plus all the other stuff I said above lol

      • Big difference is the Lakers won championships and Rockets has not. Not sure why people are afraid to call out Harden for being a ball hog. Next time watch Harden where he plays the isolation game and when he is covered passes it with very little time on the clock. That is exposed in the playoffs.

        • KnicksFanCavsFan

          @arc89 Absolutely right. I wish there was a such thing as a “real assist” or “real rebound”. Assists that came from proactive set-ups as opposed to bail out passes where the teammate gets the ball with 4 seconds on the clock following 15 seconds of ISO dribble. I could be more thorough but basically a lot of these triple doubles aren’t as impressive when you actually watch the game.

          • victorg

            I have been a die hard ROX fan since 10 years old … I loved watching the dream and Maxwell and elie … I put up with francis and got through those cato/taylor/Anderson years loved watching tmac and yao … got behind scola and brooks .. got excited with harden ..but speaking truthfully these last 4 years have been very hard to love my team and ALOT of it falls on harden … for the past 3 years when I play NBA2K I either trade harden and or i go through franchise mode with a different team.

            • DomFeroce

              @victorg – Agree…he is frustrating to watch sometimes…not smooth team ball at all…

          • DomFeroce

            Agree – plus they changed the rules in the 80’s, prior to that the pass had to lead directly to a basket/layup. Magic’s record breaking dime was him coming up casually past midcourt, tosses it into the corner under no pressure to Byron Scott, who drills a 3. Thats an assist? Please. Bob Cousy and Oscar wouldve averaged 20 a game…

    • actually

      the problem is they spend too much effort and energy into “okay, so Referee X calls charges at a rate of 87% above average, so make sure you reallllyyy milk it when he’s nearby” BS

    • DomFeroce

      Exactly right on both counts. Paul is becoming as much a locker room cancer as Kyrie.

  2. CP3 can’t be traded now (few players making any $$ can, as teams view their cap space as turning into their ideal signings). In a month or two, things will look different. There won’t be a lot of natural landing spots, but there will be some. Still, I don’t see Houston having any motivation to move him without getting back something back that furthers their goal of contending (who cares if Harden and CP3 are no longer BFFs). Significant players (with or accompanied by bad contracts) and/or, if draft picks are attached, a TPE (or even cap space) that allows them to add significant players. It won’t be, “take him off our hands, and we’ll take back dead money and give you 1st round picks”. They might as well blow up the team, starting with making Harden available.

  3. goldenmisfit

    Also, am I the only one that noticed the rocket had no problem with team chemistry until they acquired Chris Paul? James Harden was on the Rockets for a few years before Paul showed up and there were no issues. Something else it seems most of the league knows what a headache this guy can be reports have come out the Rockets had contacted more than half of the league regarding Chris Paul and they had no takers. The reason why they know this guy is a headache and has virtually a immovable contract at four years and just over 160, million. The Rockets are pretty much screwed for the next four years because there is no way Chris Paul will opt out that final year at $44 million.

    • johnstodder

      Not really true. What about 2015-16, the year Harden got McHale fired and went after Dwight Howard? That team was toxic.

      Don’t blame it all on CP3, even though he is a pain.

      • KnicksFanCavsFan

        I think in the situations pertaining to Paul vs Harden and Kyrie vs the young Celtic players we get it twisted and blame the vets, in this case Paul and Kyrie because they failed to react to the problems that come there way instead of placing blame on the “root” of the problem.

        Paul has legit issues with the way Harden plays (ISO ball where he dribbles down the shot clock) and with D’Antonio for empowering Harden’s play. Cp3 is a lil general and with Rivers, he was allowed to play that role, partially because Rivers was a spirited PG too. You can even see a little bit of that “dog” in Austin Rivers too. Word was that Blake Griffin didn’t like being called out by Paul.

        Kyrie came to a team with a bunch of young guys that, warranted or not, felt entitled to more playing time ahead of Kyrie and Hayward. Rozier stated so publicly in two ESPN interviews and Jackie MacCullen (forgive if misspelled) said so in her article. Kyrie failed to handle it the way the leader of a team is supposed to but he didn’t CAUSE the drama. He’s not built for being second guessed or questioned which is something LBJ and other all-time greats have had to deal with their entire careers as leaders of their teams.

  4. Strike Four

    Other than Wall-Paul there is literally nowhere to trade him. Harden on the other hand…

    • goldenmisfit

      They actually contacted the New York Knicks and the Knicks response was “no, we are good“. If you can’t get the Knicks to take him I agree no one will. No way Houston would trade James harden because the return they would want would be astronomical. Also, Chris Paul denies demanding a trade the same guy who demanded a trade out of New Orleans and the same guy that demanded a trade out of Los Angeles but everyone is supposed to think he did not demand a trade out of Houston. If anyone believes that I got a bridge in Brooklyn I’d love to sell them.

      • Strike Four

        lol yeah he definitely demanded a trade

        but my point is other than for John Wall, no one can take on that contract, so its Harden that has to move, which I think he could be

        • KnicksFanCavsFan

          @strikefour You’re letting money dictate the market and that’s the wrong way to view this. Paul’s is overpaid but he’s still a top PG in this league. Yes, he’s getting older. How precipitous of a decline he will have in the next 3 years is to be seen. There are a ton of players that are overpaid but it doesn’t mean they can’t help a team significantly. Paul is that guy. The only reason why we focus on his contract is just because of the salary cap restrictions not because of a lack of on-court major impact.

          • Strike Four

            Why do you always write essay-length posts and they’re always mostly wrong???

            CP3 is old, and he is making $41M in the last year of his deal, and has long been known as a lockeroom cancer totally incapable of winning a title.

            The fact is no one wants that, no matter how many questions you want to pose, go back to watching ESPN instead of replying to me in future, you add nothing to the convo ever, other than just to argue well-made points with stupid questions that arent based in reality.

            • KnicksFanCavsFan

              Ignorant people like you assume that everyone else is wrong but yourself. They’re times where another poster enlightened me or made me see an issue differently. My posts might be lengthy but I usually try and base what I saw on facts or logic. Your’s are usually “him bad”, “me no like” or “him good”. Strike Four likes team with pretty color uniforms”. From now if you see my name next to a post you can simply choose to ignore rather than whine about it. Also, I don’t single you to comment. You have a problem with the interaction then take your anti-social a$$ off the site dude.

              “CP3 is old, and he is making $41M in the last year of his deal, and has long been known as a lockeroom cancer totally incapable of winning a title”.

              CP3 is 34. That’s a fact. But was he still a top PG in the league last year? He averaged 8.2 apg. That was 3rd best in the NBA. He still shoot well across the board and his on-ball defense was still among the best as his 2 steals a game ranked 3rd overall. So while we might see signs of regression, and health is still a concern, he’s still quite productive. Big difference between being overpaid vs having a bad contract where the player is giving you nothing at all.

              Finally, I’ve read numerous interviews from current and former players as well as journalists who describe the issue with Paul is that he’s hard on teammates he feels aren’t giving 100% or does something detrimental to the team. Also, he’s very serious about winning a title. In the case between he and Harden the issue is Paul called out Harden and D’Antoni because every year since joining them they tend to lose because of Harden playing ISO ball. He’s not calling him out for choking but because the offense doesn’t adapt to what the other teams are doing.

              You put Paul together with guys like the GSW, LBJ, Wade, or others thought to have hi IQs when it comes to the game and I bet there would be less stories of locker room problems because those guys play the game the right way.

              That’s my educated opinion. You don’t agree, I don’t care. Don’t read it if you don’t want to. We can have a dialogue and maybe you could change my opinion. But kick rocks otherwise.

          • victorg

            @ knicks conley and cp3 have nearly the same contract i think so i am sure the rockets would have taken less then what the jazz gave up for conley… right ?

            • KnicksFanCavsFan

              @victorg Paul’s contract is more per year. However, CP3 is the better player and those contracts were signed under completely different situations. Once of the reasons why Conley got his money was because he plays in a market no one wants to play, seldom attracts top FA and have to spend money to get over the salary floor. To keep their best players they have to overpay the same way the Hornet’s may have to do so with Kemba.

              The Rockets traded assets for Paul because they felt he could get them over the top. Once you are over the salary cap it’s hard to maintain a title contender when you want to improve the team. Sometime, the only way to maintain the competitiveness is to bring back your own players. Paul was promised a max and new management gave it to them knowing they were not going to be able to bring in any new talent via FA because they couldn’t take on “new” salary. Bringing back your own is the only way to go. The GSW are in the same exact situation. They can’t sign a Kyrie, or Kemba, etc because no cap space. However, they can bring back Klay, Durant and next year Green and give them the max because they hold draft/bird rights.

              Unless Houston is willing to retool in 2019-20 then they have to keep Paul because it doesn’t make sense to move him AND get less than an all-star back. If all Houston is offered is a collection of “Timothy Mozgiv-ish” contracts (insanely overpriced role players) then it doesn’t make sense to accept if they want to try and win next year. If they want to rebuild then they could move him if they wanted.

            • x%sure

              Paul has been over a 20PER all 14 of his years. The past year was the first year Paul’s PER slipped below Conley’s. Paul is only 2,3 years older but is probably not the athlete Conley is.
              Paul’s contract costs about $6MM more and lasts one more year.

            • x%sure

              Memphis was over the cap and was NOT having a problem with the salary floor when they offered to Conley. They were a 50+win team with some questionable personalities (ZBo, a raw Gasol) and they needed to secure Conley’s leadership into the future. And it was the famous summer of 2016.

              NixCavs has been repeatedly ignorant abput Memphis & Conley. He thought Memphis would have to give up firsts to move Conley. But they actually RECEIVED two, plus players, not even surprising, but flap flap flap anyway.

  5. Ironmonger835

    Him saying this is like when your homie gets rejected by every chick at the bar and at the end of the night he says he wasn’t even trying. Dude knows nobody wanna trade for his overpaid contract. lol. Make more crappy State Farm commercials bruh

  6. Richard Hangslow

    Harden’s game is not compatible with anyone. He is an iso player that stunts team offense.

      • KnicksFanCavsFan

        KD’s a scorer the same way Harden is but KD is much more deliberate about what he’s going to do where as Harden just dribbles down the clock. GSW will move the ball around or move the bodies around and all three have the option to take shots or pass the ball to the open guy. The problem with Harden is that in addition to being a heavy ISO guy that runs down the clock is that he tends to sit in the corner when the ball is in Paul’s hands. One of the criticism I heard was that Paul complained that Harden makes it obvious the play isn’t for him because he just sort of stands aside and watches the team run the offense instead of moving around as a decoy to get others open. Almost like he takes the play off when it’s not run thru him.

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