Chris Paul has gotten traded three times in his career.
New Orleans sent him to the Clippers – but only after David Stern nixed a deal with the Lakers – in 2011. In 2017, Paul engineered a trade to the Rockets by opting in. Then, in an unprecedented star swap, Houston dealt Paul to the Thunder for Russell Westbrook last summer.
Paul recently discussed trades with comedian Kevin Hart.
Why is it always such a crazy time when it comes to these trades and whether they’re happening. You’ve been part of some big conversations. Is it at a point where it’s just business, or is it becoming personal?
Every situation is different. But the team is going to do whatever they want to do. They’ll tell you one thing and do a smooth nother thing.
That’s the business side.
Do you feel like there’s been times where, “Damn, that’s a little eye-opening. I got stabbed in the back”?
Absolutely. This last situation was one of them. The GM there in Houston, he don’t owe me nothing. You know what I mean? He may tell me one thing but do another thing. But you just understand that that’s what it is.
Rockets general manager Daryl Morey is an easy target right now. Many people around the NBA resent him tweeting support for Hong Kong protesters (who are trying to maintain and expand their freedoms) and costing the league significant revenue in China.
But, in this case, Morey brought it upon himself. He said in June he wouldn’t trade Paul then did so, anyway.
Maybe that was to protect Paul’s feelings if he stayed in Houston. In that case, Morey could tell Paul he believed in him all along. There’d be no way to know Morey was fibbing. Now that Paul is gone, Paul being upset is someone else’s problem. It’s a common tactic by executives.
Paul reportedly requested a trade from the Rockets, but he denied it. I don’t necessarily believe Paul. There was plenty of evidence of tension between him and Harden. It’d be pretty conniving to request a trade then throw Morey under the bus for making the trade.
But Paul’s denial of a trade request is on the record. So is Morey’s declaration that he wouldn’t trade Paul.
Morey must own that.