There’s been rumor of discontent down in the basketball haven of Houston that Daryl Morey has created. Up until this point, it hasn’t been reported as serious enough to jeopardize the team makeup as a whole, and it didn’t come as a surprise to anyone that two ball-dominant stars rub each other the wrong way every now and again.
New reports suggest quite differently, however. Vince Goodwill of Yahoo Sports reports the two’s relationship is “unsalvagable”, and the pair went two months without speaking to each other during the regular season. Paul demanded a trade to Rockets management, while Harden told them it was him or Paul after their loss to the Warriors in the second round of this year’s playoffs.
Goodwill also reports Harden hasn’t responded to any of Paul’s attempts to communicate this offseason. Neither player “respects” the other, according to Goodwill’s sources, and Paul would even go so far as to curse out Mike D’Antoni about the offense getting bogged down when just Harden was out there.
This presents quite the conundrum for Morey. Paul is signed to a gigantic contract that will pay him nearly $40 million a year for the next four years. That’s tough to offload, and keeping Paul instead of Harden certainly isn’t an option.
It’s all come to a head in Houston. How things might’ve turned out differently had Paul not hurt his hamstring in 2018, or if they could’ve capitalized on Kevin Durant’s injury in Game 5 of the most recent playoff series, we’ll never know. Now the team is falling apart, and Harden and Paul aren’t on speaking terms. Not quite the outcome Morey was looking for.