Latest Rumors on Chris Paul's Status with Rockets and James Harden Relationship

Kyle Newport@@KyleNewportFeatured ColumnistJune 26, 2019

Houston Rockets' Chris Paul reacts after making a 3-point basket against the Los Angeles Clippers during the first half of an NBA basketball game Wednesday, April 3, 2019, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)
Marcio Jose Sanchez/Associated Press

Houston Rockets stars James Harden and Chris Paul have reportedly been in contact this offseason despite a prior report that their relationship had become "unsalvageable."

Per Shams Charania of The Athletic and Stadium:

"Paul and Harden have been communicating since the season ended and had a positive conversation on Father's Day, sources said. According to sources close to Paul and Harden, the two players must continue working toward fixing any issues and accomplish the goals they both have set out: Winning a championship in Houston."

Vincent Goodwill of Yahoo Sports previously reported that Paul had demanded a trade following the conclusion of the team's season. According to Charania, however, Paul did not request a trade, only telling the Rockets that he would act professionally if the organization opted to go younger. Houston officials responded by making it clear the 34-year-old point guard was in the team's future plans.

Not only did Goodwill report that Paul wanted out, but he wrote that the Rockets stars went two months during the season without talking to each other and that Harden had not responded to any of Paul's attempts to reach out early this offseason.

Per Charania, though, the lines of communication are open—and it appears as though Paul is willing to give it another go.

Following Goodwill's report, Paul took to social media to shoot down the rumors:

Houston general manager Daryl Morey has gone on the record multiple times this offseason to quiet the noise and let it be known that Paul will be in a Rockets uniform next season.

"Tweet that I said that," Morey told ESPN's Zach Lowe on June 18 while denying the reports of a Paul trade demand. "Print it. Tweet it twice."

Despite any potential friction in the locker room, Houston has been among the best teams since Paul arrived in 2017. It won an NBA-best 65 games in 2017-18 and came within one game of the NBA Finals that season. This past campaign, the Rockets won 53 games before bowing out in the second round of the playoffs to the Golden State Warriors.

ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski reported last month that Morey had made the entire roster available for trade this offseason as he looked to try to get over the hump. Morey has since said that neither Paul nor Harden is on the block.