Daryl Morey back tracks on CP3 being untouchable based on Westbrook availability

hris Paul of the OKC Thunder attends a game between Team Delle Donne and Team Wilson during the AT&T WNBA All-Star Game (Photo by Melissa Majchrzak/NBAE via Getty Images)
hris Paul of the OKC Thunder attends a game between Team Delle Donne and Team Wilson during the AT&T WNBA All-Star Game (Photo by Melissa Majchrzak/NBAE via Getty Images) /

Earlier this offseason Daryl Morey stated Chris Paul was untouchable but is having to backtrack on his comments citing Russell Westbrook for his change of mind.

With the trade of Chris Paul to the OKC Thunder, his previous General Manager is now dealing with the fall back of comments he made previously this offseason on the Dan Patrick show.

This isn’t news to NBA fans  – General Managers and players aren’t always to going to tell you the absolute truth. I point you to numerous occasions where GMs have gushed over a specific player only to trade them the week after.

In reality, at least half of what gets stated publicly is only posturing to move ahead the narrative that particular franchise wants the public (and other franchises) to believe. When I was younger my Grandpa told me “believe nothing they tell you and only half of what they show you and you’ll be ahead of the game” basically a longer form of actions speak louder than words. Good advice as it turns out.

Such is the case with many of the moves occurring this offseason as free agent players who stated they hadn’t made decisions on their destination announced their intentions approximately a minute into the moratorium.

This is a whole other can of worms for the NBA to address because the blatant tampering running amok in the Association has all but made it impossible for teams not to cheat. If a certain franchise follows the rules they are in jeopardy of missing out on all the moving parts. And, it’s not just the players who can’t be policed anyway it’s also the head offices, agents and General Managers who are clearly ignoring the rules.

This isn’t something the League will be able to fix overnight and in truth, it might not be fixable at all barring a hard cap. The only things which might help at this point is if Adam Silver got much stricter in administering punishments (even to players) and moved up the start of free agency to begin immediately after the season ended. Granted, that puts teams who go on deep playoff runs at a disadvantage and again, the teams, agents and players will still likely talk all season anyway.

OKC Thunder making Westbrook available changed Morey’s mindset:

More from Thunderous Intentions

I digress — back to the Chris Paul portion of this and showing how stories get spun to get the desired result. Daryl Morey stated on the Dan Patrick show earlier in the offseason CP3 was untouchable. Now he’s stating the only reason Paul was moved is former MVP Russell Westbrook became available.

I can’t get inside Morey’s head to know 100 percent if he truly felt CP3 was unmovable, but reading between the lines this seems like Morey spinning PR for the desired effect.

The reality at the time of his statement was Morey knew there simply weren’t trade partners willing to eat the CP3 contract which limited his trade options. Moreover, he was trying to downplay the issues between his two stars James Harden and Paul who were clearly not happy with how things panned out this postseason or with each other.

Of course, all the parties are going to state after the fact, there weren’t any issues but then why is Morey spilling how James Harden was impatiently contacting him to find out if the deal was done?

In the end, Russell Westbrook was traded to the Rockets, Chris Paul becomes an OKC Thunder and is expected to start the season in Oklahoma.

Next. Chris Paul has opportunity with OKC to rebuild his reputation. dark

As for Sam Presti, he seldom lets anything leak out of his camp, but it’s likely the team will keep CP3 (for now) and let him channel his motivation into production on the court. That will allow for the OKC Thunder to get more value and have better (yes, the top word of the month)  “leverage” in trade packages.