Nine-time all-star Chris Paul continues to deny a report that he wants to be traded from the Houston Rockets.
“I never asked for a trade,” Paul said Sunday at his "Go Hoop Day" event in Los Angeles, according to Jonathan Feigen of the Houston Chronicle. “I never demanded a trade.”
Paul's comments refer to an article published on June 18 by Yahoo Sports' Vincent Goodwill that stated that Paul wants to be traded from the Rockets because his relationship with former league MVP James Harden has been deemed "unsalvageable".
In his article, Goodwill wrote that Paul and Harden barely spoke to each other this past season and that Harden has not returned Paul's attempts at communicating in the off-season.
“They need to get away from one another. Chris doesn’t respect James’ standing in the league, and James doesn’t respect the work Chris has put in to this point," Goodwill wrote, citing a source.
Since arriving in Houston ahead of the 2017-18 season, the 34-year-old Paul, who once was a perennial all-star, has failed to make the team and has played in less than 60 games in both of his two seasons because of injuries. His 15.6 point per game last season were the lowest total of his 14 previous seasons in the NBA.
“I’ll be in Houston,” Paul said on Sunday. “I’m happy about that. I’m very happy about that. I’m good.”
“There’s only team that wins at the end of the year, you know what I mean? Since I went to Houston, from day one, it’s been about winning games. It’s always about winning games.”
The day Goodwill's article was published, Paul took to Instagram to refute the report, writing "Damn! That's news to me..." Rockets general manager Daryl Morey refuted the report on Instagram as well, writing "news to me as well" underneath Paul's remark.
Feigen also previously shared that Morey had told him that Paul and his reps had never asked for a trade and that Paul will be a Rocket next season. Morey, per Feigen, also said that the guards do not have issues with one another and that he has spoken to both often this off-season about free agency plans.
Paul has three more years left on his current contract and is owed $38.5 million, $41.3 million and $44.2 million, respectively.