Paul had a strong desire to play with Rockets All-Star guard James Harden, which led to the Clippers working out a trade with Houston, league sources said.
The presence of Paul should be a godsend from Harden’s usage and playing time standpoints, as this allows the Rockets to have an elite ball handler and playmaker on the floor at all times. This trade could be the start of a super team in Houston should other free agents want to join the cause.
The Clippers got an instant upgrade with NBA Sixth Man of the Year (2015) Lou Williams, Houston Rockets’ starting point guard Patrick Beverly, and two reliable young big players, Sam Dekker and Montrezl Harrell. There was still strong internal debate on whether the team should pay $45 million in the final year of a deal, in which Paul would have been age 37. However, both guards are more than capable as off-ball shooters and slashers, so look for “Coach of the Year” Mike D’Antoni to make things work offensively. Whether the Clippers keep Blake Griffin, they will have ample cap room in 2018 and intriguing pieces to potentially offer to teams in other trades now – for someone like George, should in choose to move him. Dekker averaged 6.5 points and 3.7 rebounds across 77 games in his second National Basketball Association season previous year.
Chris Paul will soon be unveiled as a Rocket after being dealt by the Los Angeles Clippers to Houston. To the Los Angeles community and CLIPPER NATION I say THANK YOU! We felt that with James Harden in his prime and Chris Paul in his prime, this gives us a real shot to chase the juggernaut teams out there and puts us right there with them. They’re still going to go after forward Paul George out of Lancaster, who is now with the Indiana Pacers. He has also been selected to nine NBA All-Star teams, eight All-NBA teams, and nine All-Defensive teams.