Houston (CBS HOUSTON) – If the Houston Rockets want to join the NBA’s arms race and create the next super team, they had to go out and grab another superstar to pair with James Harden, and Wednesday they did just that by trading for future Hall of Famer Chris Paul.
“With James Harden in prime and Chris Paul in his prime, this gives us a real shot to chase the juggernaut team’s that are out there,” general manager Daryl Morey said.
In total, the Rockets are sending, Patrick Beverley, Sam Dekker, Montrezl Harrell, Lou Williams, Kyle Wiltjer, the team’s 2018 first round pick and Darrun Hilliard and DeAndre Liggins, who both were acquired in sperate trades with the Detroit Pistons and Dallas Mavericks respective to help make the money work.
“Any trade you feel great about one thing and bad about another,” head coach Mike D’Antoni said. “I probably coached a 160 guys in this league and (Patrick Beverley) is one of the top five, just his heart and his soul and what he does, so you hate that, but Chris Paul is Chris Paul and I’ve always thought Chris for the last 10 years has been the best point guard in the league.”
Morey Wednesday shared that a Paul sign and trade with the Los Angeles Clippers was something that could happen in July. But once the Clippers came back to the table wanting to get the deal done earlier the Rockets jumped at it and moved very quickly.
What the Rockets did by grabbing Pual now instead of in free agency, the team now doesn’t have to worry about if he’ll join the team and then trying to grab more players around him and Harden. The Rockets now will be able to pitch to free agents the idea of playing with two of the best shot creators in the game.
In free agency, the Rockets will have a lot of work to do, after Wednesday’s trades, the team now only has five players under contract who played meaningful minutes with the team last season.
Harden, Ryan Anderson, Eric Gordon, Trevor Ariza and Clint Capela are all that remain of the team’s rotation players.