Chris Paul doesn’t want to leave the Rockets.
During a recent meeting with reporters, the 34-year-old guard addressed a report that said he asked the Rockets to move him because his relationship with star James Harden is “unsalvageable.”
“I never asked for a trade,” Paul said Sunday, via the Houston Chronicle. “I never demanded a trade. … I’ll be in Houston. I’m happy about that. I’m very happy about that. I’m good.”
Paul, who has three years and $125 million remaining on his contract, averaged 15.6 points, 8.2 assists and 4.6 rebounds in 58 games for the Rockets last season. He shot 41.9% from the field and 35.8% from 3-point range.
The Rockets finished with a 53-29 record but fell to the Warriors in six games in the Western Conference semifinals. Golden State has eliminated Houston from the playoffs in two straight years.
“There’s only one team that wins at the end of the year, you know what I mean?” Paul said. “Since I went to Houston, from day one, it’s been about winning games. It’s always about winning games.”
Austin Rivers also called the reported rift between Paul and Harden “fake news” while general manager Daryl Morey forcefully denied that there was a trade request.
“I’ve talked to Chris since (the end of the playoffs), for sure,” Morey told the Houston Chronicle last week. “Myself, (coach) Mike D’Antoni, James Harden are all super competitive, all frustrated we were eliminated from the playoffs, all want to get over the hump. That leads to a lot of competitive fire. All of it is normal. We’re all in the same boat, pursuing the championship. We’re all frustrated we’re not there. But there is nothing past that.
“I’m very frustrated right now. We’re literally trying to do real work on making the team better and every day I have to learn about a new media rock that has been turned over.”
The Rockets will reportedly pursue Jimmy Butler this summer and have also discussed dealing center Clint Capela to the Celtics. Rivers will be a free agent.