While rumors pertaining to Chris Paul's impending exit from the Houston Rockets were already rumbling as soon as the team lost to the Golden State Warriors in this past season's Western Conference Semifinals, his recent trade to the Oklahoma City Thunder apparently still came as a shock for most of his Rockets teammates.
According to Kelly Iko of The Athletic, there still appeared to be a general belief within the team that they would be playing with the same backcourt next season, which is exactly what led to their surprise upon learning about the blockbuster deal:
When news of the trade broke, there was a collective shock from teammates. “Wow,” one prominent teammate responded via text. Paul’s camp had maintained the “wait and see what happens” stance during the offseason, but it’s hard to believe most people thought Paul would have a new home in 2019-20.
As it turns out, the players themselves were just as shocked as the rest of the basketball world. Nonetheless, this was probably something they had in the back of their minds, especially considering how there were already earlier reports that emerged about Paul's “unsalvageable” relationship with Rockets cornerstone superstar James Harden.
Whatever the case may be, everyone will now need to move on, as Houston is now officially entering a new chapter in its organization. The Harden-Paul era has come to a bitter end, and the new Brodie-and-Beard pairing is definitely something to get excited about for the Rockets faithful.