Martin has previously questioned Chris Paul's reputation as a teammate and stood by his take.

By Emily Caron
July 12, 2019

Former NBA veteran Kenyon Martin weighed in on the Chris Paul-James Harden feud rumors that reportedly may have played a role in Paul being traded to the Thunder in exchange for another All-Star guard, Russell Westbrook.

Martin previously publicly questioned Paul's reputation as a teammate so SI Now's Robin Lundberg asked Martin if he was surprised about the rumors regarding the Rockets' backcourt drama.

"People have heard these things before about Chris Paul, not only from me but other teammates," Martin said. "Where there's smoke, I'm a firm believer there's fire."

He continued: "He always wants to be the biggest voice in the room when it comes to basketball and I think that rubs guys the wrong way."

At the end of the season, reports surfaced about the rumored friction between Harden and Paul. The duo reportedly got into a verbal altercation following the team's season-ending loss at home in Game 6 of the second round of the playoffs to the WarriorsVincent Goodwill of Yahoo! Sports later reported their relationship was "unsalvagable."

Paul denied the rumors and also said he didn't ask to be traded from Houston. General manager Daryl Morey said earlier in the offseason that Paul wouldn't be traded. P.J. Tucker said Harden and Paul could work out any potential problems and all that mattered was competing for a championship, comparing the tension between the two stars to Shaquille O'Neal and Kobe Bryant.

Harden's role in the Houston-Oklahoma City trade was immediately questioned once reports of the deal surfaced, a did rumors of a second potential Paul trade. Paul was sent to the Thunder, along with draft picks, Thursday night as part of the Westbrook acquisition. ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski reported shortly after the news broke that OKC would consider trading Paul to the Heat and possibly use some of their newly-acquired draft picks to incentivize the deal.

Houston had reportedly hoped to find a third-team destination for Paul before finalizing the deal before sending CP3 to the Thunder and leaving Paul and his agent Leon Rose to discuss next steps with Oklahoma City general manager Sam Presti. Miami is reportedly now a possibility for Paul, who has three years and $124 million remaining on his contract.

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