The Houston Rockets traded Chris Paul and multiple future first-round draft picks to Oklahoma City Thunder for Russell Westbrook, thus bringing to an end the point guard’s two-season partnership with James Harden. Paul made the Western Conference finals in his first season with the Rockets and the semifinal in the second, losing to Golden State Warriors on both occasions.

Westbrook is certainly an upgrade on the veteran point guard but more than one report claimed that the Rockets made the decision to trade Paul due to his strained relationship with Harden, who is the outright leader of the franchise. It was believed the two players were not on talking terms during the playoffs, which contributed to their six-game loss to the Warriors.

Harden, who in a recent interview admitted that he is excited over Westbrook’s arrival, has dismissed suggestions of a rift between him and former teammate Paul. He revealed that like most teammates, they did have arguments on the court but made it clear that the negative reports in the media were false.

"There was a lot of false talk. Obviously as teammates, as competitors, we argued on the court," Harden said, according to the Houston Chronicle's Brian T. Smith. "That's just part of basketball, everybody has that, no matter what level of basketball you're in. The negative media stuff, it wasn't true. Me and Chris had constant communication and we're good."

Harden even praised Paul with whom the Rockets won a franchise-record 65 games during the 2017-18 campaign. He credited the veteran point guard for making him a better player and teammate on the court.

"Chris has been unbelievable these last two years," Harden added. "He's helped me as a leader, as a mentor, just all that good stuff."

Paul’s future, meanwhile, continues to remain up in the air at the moment with Thunder open to trading the guard. However, they have been unable to find a team to trade for Paul owing to his hefty contract and it looks likely that he will start the season with the Oklahoma franchise.