ESPN's Tim McMahon provided more details on the ugly split between 10-time NBA All Star Chris Paul and the Houston Rockets. In the summer of 2017, the Rockets worked out a trade with the Los Angeles Clippers to get Paul to Houston.
The Rockets organization hoped Paul and James Harden would form a strong duo and lead the Rockets to an NBA Championship. But that never happened and the bad relationship between Paul and Harden was a regular topic during Paul's tenure with the Rockets.
In the sumer of 2018, the Rockets signed Paul to a massive four-year extension worth $160 million. A year later, the Rockets made one of the biggest free agency moves when they worked out a trade which saw them shipping Paul to the Oklahoma City Thunder and receiving Russell Westbrook in return.
Per McMahon, Rockets owner pushed for a trade as he thought Paul's contract was the "worst contract" he had ever seen. Paul is now 35 years old but he is still playing at a high level. "That trade was made because Tilman Fertitta wanted it made -- he thought Chris Paul's contract was the worst that he'd ever seen in business or sports -- and because James Harden wanted it made," McMahon said In the latest Lowe Post podcast with ESPN's Zach Lowe CBS Sports.
James Harden, obviously there was a personality clash, this stuff has all been well documented and well reported. I still believe, and I wrote this last summer before things went down. I still believe that if necessary they could have managed that situation; I know a lot of people throughout the organization believe that."
The Rockets and James Harden wanted Westbrook
"But once Westbrook became available, they saw an opportunity that Fertitta and Harden wanted to pounce on, and they pounced on that. Daryl Morey was the biggest Chris Paul backer in the organization.
Nobody -- Daryl or anybody else -- has ever told me that he made that trade with objections, that he made that trade despite not fully believing in it. But I just can't help but think that it was a deal where basically, his two bosses -- Fertitta and Harden -- said 'hey, we want this deal made, get it done.'
And he did what he had to do to get it done." This offseason, the Rockets split with their coach Mike D'Antoni and long-time general manager Daryl Morey. The Rockets are now in the search for a new coach and general manager as they are hoping to construct a championship team.