In a surprise reveal two days before the beginning of free agency, the Houston Rockets and Los Angeles Clippers have agreed upon a deal to move superstar point guard Chris Paul to Houston to pair him with other superstar point guard James Harden.
Free agents aren’t even allowed to contact other teams until July 1, but that didn’t stop Chris Paul, according to reports broken by Adrian Wojnarowski. While meeting with his current team, which is allowed prior to July 1, Paul reportedly informed the Clippers that his intention was to sign with the Houston Rockets. This preempted the free agency process and led to the two teams instead structuring this as a trade.
Chris Paul will opt into the last year of his contract, meaning he will make $24.2 million this season, much lower than his max available under the new CBA. The fine print of the trade is not known yet, but the core is Sam Dekker, Patrick Beverley, Lou Williams and a 2018 first round pick for the all-star point guard.
Those players will certainly be missed in Houston, but will provide a surprising haul for a team set to lose their best player for nothing in free agency. This is offset by Chris Paul taking much less money to be in Houston, giving the Rockets unexpected flexibility. As with most moves Houston General Manager Daryl Morey makes, this is out of left field and a surprisingly good move for both teams.
Now that the news has broken, expect more coverage, analysis and information from Red Nation Hoops over yet another new era for Houston basketball. This time, everything changed on a Wednesday morning.