Chris Paul and Clint Capela may have played their last games for the Houston Rockets.
According to a report from ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, Rockets general manager Daryl Morey has been making his “entire roster” — including Paul and Capela — available in trade negotiations in recent weeks.
Per Woj, Harden isn’t likely to be traded after he averaged 36.1 points and 7.5 assists per game this season.
Morey is a notoriously aggressive general manager, so it’s not surprising he’s pursuing all avenues. However, the timing of this report coming so early in the offseason and the fact that it explicitly mentions Paul is intriguing.
The Rockets could have a difficult time moving Paul. He is 34 years old and is scheduled to make $38.5 million, $41.4 million and $44.2 million, respectively, over the next three seasons.
Paul’s production fell off dramatically this season. He played in just 58 games, and posted career lows in field goal percentage (41.9 percent), points per game (15.6) and free throw attempts per game (3.5). He also made just 35.8 percent of his three-point attempts, his lowest mark since 2012-13.
It will be difficult to find a home for Paul that keeps Houston as a contender. One option could be the Lakers if general manager Rob Pelinka is willing to part with any young pieces in order to place a future Hall of Famer next to LeBron James.
As for Capela, his situation isn’t much more optimistic for the Rockets. He’s played just one year of a 5-year, $90 million contract that ends with $18 million in 2022-23. Capela is a good player, but centers who can’t space the floor are becoming less and less valuable.
Against the Warriors in the Western Conference Semifinals, he averaged just 8.8 points and 10 rebounds per game while playing 28.7 minutes per contest. For context, he played 33.6 minutes per game during the regular season.
The Rockets are well over the salary cap, so any roster movement would have to come via trade.
Houston is currently the third-favorite (+1200) to win the 2020 NBA title according to Bovada, trailing only the Warriors (+180) and Bucks (+450).