Chris Paul claims Rockets GM Daryl Morey said there would be no trade to Thunder
Chris Paul was not surprised to see his name in trade rumors this summer after a series of hamstring injuries plagued his two-year tenure with the Houston Rockets. However, Paul did find himself shocked to see them go through with a trade after general manager Daryl Morey allegedly assured him he would not be traded to the Oklahoma City Thunder.
“My initial reaction?” Paul said with a laugh. “I was shocked. Truth be told, I just talked to Daryl a couple days before the trade and he said he wasn’t going to trade me [to Oklahoma City]. That’s funny because that is going to be the alert that pops up on everybody’s phone because nobody knows that. But what the hell, I just said it.”
Morey did not comment on Paul saying he was told he wouldn’t be traded to the Thunder, but Spears reports that Morey told Paul days before the trade there was a “slim chance” he could be dealt to the Thunder and that message could have been misinterpreted.
The Rockets GM was hoping the Thunder would involve a third team, quite possibly the Miami Heat (who were then interested in adding Paul), which would land the playmaking maestro with a playoff contender — but no other team joined in on the Paul-Russell Westbrook deal.
Morey did say he appreciated Paul’s brief tenure in Houston:
“Chris got us as close to winning a title as we’ve been since Hakeem Olajuwon,” said Morey. “He was a great Rocket. I wish him the best going forward. I am a big fan of Chris. I have nothing but love for him.”
Paul certainly isn’t the first player to feel betrayed by the words of an NBA executive, and Morey isn’t the first GM who feels his words were misunderstood. Deals often happen on a whim, rendering them impossible to be lined up perfectly when factors like time and urgency often play such a huge part in superstar acquisitions.