Chris Paul, Clint Capela on trade block as Rockets trying to blow it up
The Rockets may be ready to tear it all down and start, relatively, anew.
According to ESPN.com, Rockets GM Daryl Morey has made all of his players and picks available in trade talks with the exception of James Harden. Even Chris Paul may be available, according to the report. The New York Times backed up ESPN, saying the Rockets have shopped around center Clint Capela in recent days.
Paul has a lengthy injury history and is 34 years old with three years and $124 million left on his contract, which could make him a difficult piece to trade off. Capela, 25, could be seen as much more valuable as one of the rising centers in the game and a reasonable four years and $76 million left on his contract.
The Rockets have been unable to get past Golden State with their current core, made up of Harden, Paul and Capela — falling to the Warriors in the second round this season even after Kevin Durant suffered a calf injury that kept him out of the end of Game 5 and all of the decisive Game 6. Paul and Harden engaged in a “verbal back-and-forth” after the Game 6 loss, needing to be separated over tension that arose because of how the offense ran, according to The Athletic.
With Durant’s free agency looming, it arguably makes more sense for Houston to wait out the Warriors, but if there are chemistry issues, it’s understandable why Morey would rebuild around Harden. If the Rockets are able to offload some of their expensive contracts, it could give them a chance to get involved in this summer’s star-studded free-agency class.
The Rockets won 65 and 53 games in two seasons with Harden and Paul together, but twice fell short in the postseason. If a title is the goal, then perhaps a drastic move is in order.
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