In a true blockbuster move, the Houston Rockets have made a trade for one of the NBA’s elite distributors in Chris Paul.
Paul told the Clippers that he was going to opt out and become a free agent, prompting the Clippers to try and find a home for Paul that returned some quality talent as well as a possible first round pick…that opportunity came to the front in the Houston Rockets.
The deal got done after Paul informed Clippers he’d sign with Houston in Free Agency, So the Clippers moved quickly to do a deal with the Rockets for Paul that sends All-NBA Defender 6-4 Patrick Beverley, 6-8 Sam Decker, 6-2 Lou Williams and the Rockets normal 2018 First Round pick to the Clippers.
Many will question this move because the Rockets Alpha Dog James Harden normally needs the ball in his hands, as does Paul, but Harden is the one who reportedly has been recruiting Paul to come and play with him in Houston, so for now we are setting that thought process aside. But, it will be something that will take time to make it work in our eyes, but once it does we expect major results.
After all, the perennial All-Star guard is headed to the Rockets along with his career averages of he perennial All-Star guard is headed to the Rockets along with his career averages of 18.7 ppg (18.1-2017), 9.9 apg (9.2-2017), 4.4 rpg (5.0-2017), and 37% 3pt fgp (41.1-2017) to the Rockets. He hasn’t had any drop off to date at the age of 32, and should even see those numbers rise along side Harden who demands attention at all times from opponents defensively. Make no mistake about it, this duo will give the Rockets one of the best passing back courts in recent memory, which in Mike D’Antoni’s system equals points, points, points!
The big loss and maybe the big pick-up for the Clippers is Beverly who is one of the few players in the league who can slow down different members of the Clippers backcourt.
But make no mistake about it, the Rockets are the winners here, as Paul gives them another dimension offensively and will create more opportunities for Harden to isolate and score, especially off of Paul’s ability to attack, breakdown the defense, than find a talent like Harden anywhere on the court.
The biggest challenge for Houston will be to replace the depth loss in the exchange. But, make no mistake about it the Rockets who are one of the top four teams in the West just got better, so they take a major step in competing offensively with the Warriors.
Their challenge will still come on the defensive end of the court, the ability to stop the Warriors, Spurs or even the Thunder still remains the real bugaboo for the Rockets if they want to catch up with the World Champs!
But, getting Chris Paul is a step in the right direction!