Chris Paul is headed to the Houston Rockets. Paul will join the Rockets via a trade where the Los Angeles Clippers will trade the superstar point guard to the Rockets in a multi-player deal. The trade is expected to become official soon.
The news of the Los Angeles Clippers agreeing to trade Chris Paul to the Houston Rockets was originally broken by Yahoo Sport’s Adrian Wojnarowski. It is a deal between the Clippers and Rockets that has several layers to it.
According to Wojnarowski, Chris Paul had informed the Los Angeles Clippers that he was going to sign with the Houston Rockets. After giving the Clippers some consideration regarding building their team up in Paul’s absence, both sides came to an agreement to end things amicably.
That decision, a mutual one was for Chris Paul to reverse his decision to opt-out of his Clippers’ contract, allowing him to be dealt to the Rockets. In giving the Clippers a head’s up on what his plans were, Paul put the Clippers in the position where they would not lose him for nothing.
By informing the Los Angeles Clippers his intentions, it has to be viewed as a classy move by Chris Paul. Now each party involved can feel whole.
To complete the trade, the Houston Rockets have agreed to send forward Sam Dekker and guards Patrick Beverly and Lou Williams. The Rockets will also give the Los Angeles Clippers it’s 2018 first round draft pick. That pick comes with some lottery protections of Nos. 1-3, but no one expects the Rockets to be in next year’s draft lottery, let alone have one of the top three picks.
The Clippers lose Chris Paul, who is arguably one of the best natural point guards in the NBA, but they gain overall team depth. His departure opens up an opportunity for Austin Rivers to take over as the lead guard.
The Los Angeles Clippers’ trade of Chris Paul to the Houston Rockets could lead to two more defections. Both Blake Griffin and J.J. Redick are NBA free agents. They have already been rumored to receive interest from several teams. Griffin, most notably, is the reported target (courtesy of CBS Boston) of the Boston Celtics. Chris Paul being dealt to the Rockets either opens the door for the Clippers to re-sign him or lose him to another NBA team.
J.J. Redick is on the radar of teams who need shooting. Odds of his possible return to the Clippers may have increased with the trade of Chris Paul. Redick’s role would rise if he were to re-sign.
As for the Rockets, they lose much of their depth with the trade. Acquiring Chris Paul leaves them without a trusted backup point guard. It is a trade that comes across as the first domino to fall.
According to Bleacher Report, the Rockets are eyeing a trade for Indiana Pacers’ star Paul George or a free agency pick-up of Carmelo Anthony.
The latter would hinge on Anthony securing a buyout from the New York Knicks. A buyout could get dicey with the reported firing (courtesy of the New York Daily News) of Knicks’ president Phil Jackson. Jackson’s ouster may have an effect on whether or not Carmelo Anthony wants to stay.
The Houston Rockets will do everything they can to add another star player. They already have guard James Harden in place, and if they can add either Paul George or Carmelo Anthony, the Rockets can truly challenge the Golden State Warriors.
Adding Chris Paul also pushes the Rockets ahead of the San Antonio Spurs, simply by keeping him away from their rivals. Another move the Rockets will have to consider is keeping center Nene.
Expect some other deals coming from the Houston Rockets in the next few days. There could be something huge on the horizon for them.
[Featured Image by Harry How/Getty Images]