This NBA offseason period has just seen its biggest move yet and many don’t know how to feel about it.
Superstar point guard Chris Paul will opt-in to the final year of his $24.2 million contract with the Los Angeles Clippers, only to be traded to the Houston Rockets. Paul had been rumored to be visiting the San Antonio Spurs and Denver Nuggets previously, but the news of this confirmed trade agreement broke today.
The Clippers don’t completely lose out, as they gain perimeter lockdown defender Patrick Beverly, talented scorer Lou Williams, Sam Dekker, Montrezl Harrell, and a 2018 First Round pick. With Paul gone, the likelihood of Blake Griffin and DeAndre Jordan sticking around for much longer has decreased drastically. JJ Redick is also confirmed to not be resigning with the team.
The Houston Rockets on the other hand, will now have two formidable playmakers in their arsenal, not to mention both can score very well. Much of their success this season came as a result of transitioning James Harden to point guard. Deciding who will assume primary point guard roles and how the two will complement each other may prove to be a big challenge for head coach Mike D’Antoni and overall team chemistry.
Naturally, there is much discussion as to whether having these two will be enough to combat the gatekeepers of the Western Conference, the Golden State Warriors. They are very clearly elite on the offensive end, but only Chris Paul brings solid perimeter defense to the equation. Paul is heading toward the tail end of his prime and may have trouble keeping up with younger guards.
This trade has also caused many to speculate about the possibility of Carmelo Anthony or Paul George joining Paul and Harden in Houston, which would certainly help their case against the Warriors. Not to mention there’s no tax down there, so the money is tempting for most players. Regardless, the Rockets are clearly on a mission and know that acquiescing themselves to the “arms race” that is loading up on superstars in the NBA will help them get that ring they’ve been chasing.