But we will know whether Paul begins next season in Houston.
Morey’s credibility is on the line with that. Will he really refuse to trade Paul? That’s not Morey’s style.
More likely, Morey made that declaration only after exhausting the market for Paul and the three years, $124,076,442 remaining on his contract.
Shams Charania of The Athletic, via CBS:
There’s not a team in the league right now that is like, “I’m going to go trade for Chris Paul.” Even some teams that they’ve called, I’m told, as just a dump, like, “We’ll give you Chris Paul for free,” those teams are like “We’re good.” So, the value just is not there right now.
The Rockets recently explored trading Chris Paul into New York’s cap space, but the Knicks refused, according to league sources.
Paul, 34, is overpaid and declining. No team should absorb his contract into cap space.
But he’s still pretty good. Not nearly as good as he once was, but good enough to help the Rockets. Their championship window hasn’t necessarily snapped completely shut yet. There’s value in keeping Paul and trying to repair his and Harden’s relationship.
There also might be better opportunities later in the summer to trade Paul. Teams want to preserve their cap space now for free agents. But some teams will strike out and might view Paul as a good fallback option.
Of course, if Morey thought a deal later in the offseason were a possibility, he probably wouldn’t have so explicitly insisted Paul will remain in Houston.