The first big move of the NBA offseason has been made.
As of this morning, the Los Angeles Clippers agreed to a deal with the Houston Rockets that would send all-star point guard Chris Paul to Houston in exchange for Patrick Beverly, Lou Williams, Sam Dekker and a projected top-three first round pick in the 2018 NBA draft. This was reported by the Vertical’s Adrian Wojnarowski.
Earlier this week, Paul announced that he would opt out of the final year his contract which left him with two options: sign a max deal with the Clippers or join a different team.
Things changed for Paul this morning as he opted into a contract with the Clippers which gave them the ability to trade him and get assets in return instead of simply letting him walk away.
This marks the official breakup of a Los Angeles Clippers team that may be one of the best that never was. The catalyst of this team was Paul and he was surrounded with a solid nucleus of players and a future hall of fame coach. They could never get things to click at the right time, however.
This trade is huge as it will pair up Chris Paul with one of the best players in the league in James Harden. Paul averaged 18 points and 9.2 assist along with five rebounds during the 2016-2017 season. Harden finished the season with 29.1 points and a league-leading 11.2 assists while also finishing second in MVP voting.
But will it really make a huge difference from a macro standpoint in the NBA? Not really.
As long as Kevin Durant and Steph Curry remain in Golden State surrounded by a solid supporting cast, no one else has a shot at coming out of the Western Conference; the Warriors are simply that good.
The true winner in this trade? Los Angeles.
They unloaded Paul who was going to leave regardless of what happened while also acquiring three young, quality players and getting a very high pick in next year’s NBA draft.
It just does not seem logical to think that with the addition of Paul, the Rockets now have a chance to take down the Golden State Warriors.