Chris Paul Denies Trade Demand Claim, Will Stay With Rockets
Earlier this week, rumors started to circulate regarding Chris Paul demanding to be traded. Recently, the star point-guard set the record straight saying that he did not make such demands. He also added he wants to stay with the Rockets and that he is happy with his situation in the team.
According to Houston Chronicle's Jonathan Feigen, Paul said, "I never asked for a trade. I never demanded a trade. I'll be in Houston. I'm happy about that. I'm very happy about that. I'm good."
Rumors started to hit the mill claiming that Paul is not satisfied with his role in Houston. There are also rumors claiming that he had a falling out with James Harden, which is one of the reasons why he is demanding a trade. Intensifying these rumors is the fact that the Rockets decided to put every player in its roster, with the exception of Harden, on the trade block. According to sources with insider knowledge about Houston's operation, the organization is looking to offload some of its assets to make some notable signings in the free agency season.
With a cap salary of $35.6 million, Paul is the second highest paid player in the league. Should the Rockets decide to trade him, it will open up a lot of cap space for the team to attract notable superstars who are expected to hit the free agency market.
It is also important to note here that some of the league's top teams are currently facing major injury issues. The Golden State Warriors, in particular, have two. Kevin Durant, who is an unrestricted free agent, will most likely sit the next season following the season-ending injury. Klay Thompson is also expected to sit a significant portion of next season and will not return until at least February. With this injury situation in mind, the Rockets can capitalize early in the season to pad their wins for them to be able to get a better seeding come playoff season. With the Warriors severely undermanned next season, the Western Conference is up for grabs. The Rockets is among those who are considered frontrunner to win the number seed.
The authority that can decide which team Paul will play with next season remains at the hands of the Rockets front office. This is regardless of Paul's willingness to stay with the team.