There has been no shortage of details to emerge in the months that have followed the Houston Rockets‘ blockbuster trade to move star point guard Chris Paul to the Oklahoma City Thunder for fellow All-Star point guard Russell Westbrook. The internal interworkings the situation has continued to trickle out over the weeks that have provided a clearer picture of how things truly unfolded. With that in mind, Carmelo Anthony has added to the mix with his message to Paul before his quick departure from the Rockets.
Chris Paul’s departure from Houston
Over the offseason, the Rockets made the surprising move Paul after just two seasons with the franchise.
The sudden decision stemmed from the bumbling friction between Paul and James Harden that continued to head south. All of that came to a head after the Rockets’ Western Conference semifinal exit at the hands of the Golden State Warriors, which led to reports that their relationship had reached an irreversible status.
Paul has since come out to state that he was shocked by the trade, which he stated that general manager Daryl Morey had told him that he wasn’t going to be moved. There was clearly some uneasiness that further accelerated the process towards ending the pairing with the 34-year-old’s departure.
However, Anthony may have provided a massive hint to Paul months before the entire situation transpired in the manner that it did.
Carmelo Anthony’s message to Chris Paul
Before the start of the 2018-19 season, the Rockets decided to bring aboard Anthony in hopes of adding another offensive dynamic to the mix. That quickly turned into a toxic situation after it was quite evident that the former All-Star’s playing style didn’t fit into Houston’s offensive scheme.
Anthony was let go by the Rockets just 10 games into the season, a move that he was also blinded by from the organization. Following Sunday’s game against the Thunder, the Portland Trail Blazers’ forward voiced that he had warned Paul about the potential of that occurring to him down the line, according to Nick Friedell of ESPN.
“When my situation happened in Houston, he was the first person that I called to come to my room. And we had to clear some things up, and I wanted to know if he had anything to do with it. And that was the first thing that I wanted to know, and he told me, ‘No.’ And from that point on, I told him, looked him in his eyes and said, ‘Look, just be careful.’ You know what I mean? Just be careful. And damn sure if [the same situation] didn’t happen to him.”
Anthony got put into a situation where he had no control and was tossed aside in a manner that he didn’t anticipate. It was something that left an imprint on his career where he drew a certain stigma around him that made it quite challenging to get back into the league.
Paul’s situation was very different, but it saw things paint a picture of him being the one primarily at fault for the pairing not working out in the way that was initially hoped.
Chris Paul’s future with the Thunder
In hindsight, Paul’s experience with the Rockets did have its fair share of ups and downs along the way. It could be strongly argued that had Paul not suffered a hamstring injury late in Game 5 of the 2018 Western Conference Finals, they could have reached the NBA Finals and possibly won the title.
It was a chapter in Paul’s career that saw him experience much success on the court that further added to his Hall of Fame resume. He’s in a situation where he’s on a rebuilding team that is currently in the backend of the playoff picture through the first quarter of the season.
There will undoubtedly be trade rumors floating around Paul given his desire to compete for an NBA title at this stage of his career. Beyond that, he’s in a situation where it could be almost entirely out of his control.