The news of a huge trade between the Los Angeles Clippers and the Houston Rockets is trending and I’m sure many people were as shocked as I am. Chris Paul had recently opted out of his contract and Houston was believed to be the favorite to sign the point guard during the offseason. However, today we learned he opted back into his contract and was traded to Houston for Patrick Beverley, San Dekker, Lou Williams, and a first round pick in next years draft.
This trade doesn’t make sense as Houston was expected to sign Paul this offseason anyways. It also makes no sense to sign a second point guard after Harden had what was easily his best season that put him in the conversation for MVP after being moved to point at the beginning of the season. The Rockets also gave up two huge role players in Lou Williams and Patrick Beverley. Williams was a favorite to win sixth man of the year with the Lakers before being traded late in the season to Houston. In the last 20 games of the season, his minutes slightly increased while his points slightly decreased. Beverley’s season wasn’t as good as seasons past as he returned from injury to average less than 10 points per game. Dekker played significantly more than in his rookie season, but was by no stretch a key player. However, all three players were impactful role players and Houston’s rotation will definitely miss these three.
The only way this deal could be explained is if it was a move to clear up cap space as the Rockets hope to land another superstar during this offseason. Who the star could be is unclear at this point, but with a trade to send role players and a first round pick away for a player that was already going to sign in the offseason, the Rockets seem to be confident they can sign someone else. The options are numerous as we could see Paul’s teammate Blake Griffin join Houston and help out in the post like they desperately need after losing Dwight Howard last summer.
Gordon Hayward could be a possible target as well as Carmelo Anthony should he be bought out. All of these players have been linked to other teams, but the Rockets seem confident that they can land someone if they’re willing to make this move. Reportedly, the Rockets are trying very hard to get Paul George as well, but I’m not sure who they have left to deal that could be of value to the Indiana Pacers after this trade. An unlikely course of action would be trading for Chris Paul and sending Chris Paul for Paul George. I don’t see that happening at all, but it’s a possibility.
I’m not sure which side of the fence I fall on this trade. I think it’s a great trade if they end up signing another good player with the cap space, but if they don’t this is an absolutely horrible trade to give up a few role players and a first round pick for a player they would’ve already signed. All we can do now is sit back and enjoy what should be a roller coaster of a ride through this offseason and free agency.