The Houston Rockets have made perhaps the biggest splash in the NBA offseason so far, trading for the Los Angeles Clippers’ Chris Paul. The 32-year-old, a perennial All-Star at point guard, opted in to the final year of his contract in order to avoid free agency and allow the Clippers to get some assets in the process. Paul reportedly agreed to this because of his long time desire to play with Rockets superstar James Harden. In order to get Paul and make space financially, the Rockets will send seven players plus a 2018 first round pick. The bevy of players received by Los Angeles include guards Patrick Beverley and Lou Williams, as well as forwards Sam Dekker and Montrezl Harrell.
Paul has made the All-Star team nine times, and has also been named to nine All-Defense teams in his career. In his career, Paul averages 18.7 points, 9.9 assists and 2.3 steals per game. While he’s accomplished. Harden has been even more dominant in his Rockets tenure. Since 2013, when he joined Houston, he has averaged 27.4 points, 7.6 assists and 1.7 steals per game. Now, Houston has two accomplished high-scoring point guards on their roster, with Paul being able to bring defensive ability that Harden is not known for.
Critics are wary of how Paul will mesh with the young Houston core, as he was not known for being a warm personality with the Clippers. Reports infrequently leaked out talking about Paul alienating younger stars Blake Griffin and DeAndre Jordan in the past.
The Rockets don’t sound finished quite yet, as ESPN reports that the Rockets are also going to make a push to acquire either Indiana Pacers star Paul George or New York Knicks player Carmelo Anthony. George has expressed his desire to play for the Los Angeles Lakers, which makes that a monkey wrench in the situation. Meanwhile, Anthony has a no-trade clause and would reportedly waive it only in the absolutely most favorable circumstances.