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Report: Rockets have had ‘preliminary conversations’ about trading Chris Paul

Chris Paul, Rockets

The Houston Rockets have had “preliminary conversations” about trading starting point guard Chris Paul, including teams that have the necessary cap space to absorb the three-year, $125 million sum left on his contract, according to Shams Charania of The Athletic.

The Rockets signed Paul to a four-year, $160 million contract this past summer, one that will only escalate after every season, paying him over $44 million in 2021-22, when he will turn 37.

His contract is largely viewed as an untradable one, considering his injury history, age and the sheer amount of dollars it would take to haul him into the last few years of his career.

Paul has showed signs of slowing down, losing a step or two this past season after sustaining now two important hamstring injuries that have made him play a more calculated game less reliant on quickness and athleticism.

Formerly an all-around point man, Paul has slowed down into a pick-and-roll maestro, operating almost solely in a half-court set, making use of his smarts more than his athletic gifts.

Trading him will prove a tough task for general manager Daryl Morey, who insisted earlier that Paul did not request a trade and that the Rockets have no intentions to trade him.

Houston could also grease the wheels on a young Clint Capela, who signed an incentive-heavy contract worth $80 million over five years ($10 million in incentives), though doing so would put the Rockets back to square one, searching for another big man who can take the pressure off the backcourt.