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Carmelo Anthony Says He Warned Chris Paul 'Just Be Careful' Before Rockets Trade

Tyler Conway@jtylerconwayFeatured ColumnistDecember 9, 2019

BROOKLYN, NY - APRIL 10: Carmelo Anthony, Chris Paul #3 of the Houston Rockets, and LeBron James #23 of the Los Angeles Lakers look on during a game between the Miami Heat and the Brooklyn Nets on April 10, 2019 at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2019 NBAE (Photo by Issac Baldizon/NBAE via Getty Images)
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It's clear Carmelo Anthony still feels burned by his abrupt departure from the Houston Rockets last season, so much so he shared an anecdote about warning Chris Paul to "be careful" trusting the organization.

Anthony told ESPN's Nick Friedell when asked if he was surprised about Paul's trade to the Oklahoma City Thunder:

"No, I wasn't surprised at all. When my situation happened in Houston, he was the first person that I called to come to my room. And we had to clear some things up, and I wanted to know if he had anything to do with it. And that was the first thing that I wanted to know, and he told me, 'No.' And from that point on, I told him, looked him in his eyes and said, 'Look, just be careful.' You know what I mean? Just be careful. And damn sure if [the same situation] didn't happen to him."

Paul revealed in an interview with Marc J. Spears of The Undefeated that Rockets general manager Daryl Morey informed him days before his trade to OKC that he would not be dealt to the Thunder. Morey declined to comment on what was said to Paul behind the scenes.

Anthony spent the first 10 games of last season with the Rockets before the team sent him away, beginning a basketball exile that would last more than a year. While most observers would quickly point to Anthony's struggles defensively as a major factor, he said he never received an explanation from the front office.

"I haven't talked to nobody in their organization, no," Anthony said. "I'm not angry. I'm not bitter at it. It happens. I wish I had an explanation when it happened, but I'm past it."

Paul's departure appears to have been more about his relationship with James Harden than anything basketball-related. The pair "haven't really talked" since the trade went down, and their on-court relationship was clearly deteriorating throughout most of last season. Houston traded Paul, along with multiple draft picks, to the Thunder for Russell Westbrook—a move that has paid few on-court dividends.

Anthony said of his conversation with Paul:

"No, he didn't say I was right. He was in Vegas when all of that happened, so we was talking. And when I talked to him, he was like, 'Man, look, I understand it. It's messed up, but I understand it.' And for me, I'm like, 'Yo, it took me months to kind of, like, get past that.' My pride was hit. My ego was hit. I had to really get past that. To a point where it was like, 'Man, Chris, is you good?' I wanted to make sure he was good. So he told me he was good, and that was that."

Anthony has started all 10 of his games since signing with the Blazers last month, while Paul has a rebuilding Thunder team at a surprise 10-12. Oklahoma City's win over Portland was its fourth in five games.