Rockets GM Daryl Morey Explains Why Chris Paul Not on Trading Block

Back on May 29, ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski reported the following:

Houston Rockets general manager Daryl Morey has made his entire roster and future draft picks available in trade talks, a dramatic initiative with hopes of reshaping the team into a championship contender, league sources told ESPN.

On Tuesday morning, Morey was a guest on The Dan Patrick Show and was asked if he wants to change his team this offseason.

"We're very aggressive," Morey said. "I actually called Woj after his story came out saying we're changing everything. And I was like, 'Really? Is that news that we're gonna be aggressive to try and get better and do a trade if it makese sense?'

"We've generated a lot of clicks in the last few weeks for some reason."

For some reason? Since the Rockets lost to the Warriors in Game 6 of the second round of the NBA playoffs, there have been a plethora of stories coming out of Houston.

And for good reason, actually.

So what does Morey mean when he says that Houston is very aggressive?

"The main thing is that we're going after one of these top free agents and because of that, it's probably gonna have to be a trade," Morey revealed. "It has to be through sign-and-trade."

Houston's general manager then made it very clear that James Harden and Chris Paul are not available via trade.

"We were the best team down the stretch. We've spent a lot of time putting together two superstars. We're trying to add a third," Morey said. "Going backward from that doesn't make a lot of sense to us."

Hmmmmm. Perhaps CP3 was on the trading block three weeks ago when Woj issued his report but things have changed? Perhaps CP3 is still available but Morey doesn't want to declare that publicly?

On Monday, ESPN's Tim MacMahon reported that Rockets owner Tilman Fertitta "has grumbled about Paul's contract, expressing regret to Rockets staffers and even in front of rival executives, according to league sources."

Paul has three more seasons remaining on his deal:

--2019-20 = $38,506,482
--2020-21 = $41,358,814
--2021-22 = $44,211,146 (player option that will assuredly be exercised)

By saying that Harden and Paul are the only two Rockets who will definitely return next season, Morey essentially admitted that Clint Capela, Eric Gordon and PJ Tucker are certainly available in trades.

Not many general managers are this transparent when it comes to future plans.

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Despite all the turmoil in Houston the last six weeks, Morey is very confident about his team's chances next season.

"We can win the title," he declared. "We feel like we're the favorites in the West going into next season and that should be the story."

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