Wow! What an off-season for the NBA. Big trades and rumors with some of the biggest stars in the league. If you haven’t heard already, Chris Paul has been traded to the Houston Rockets for Patrick Beverley, Lou Williams, Sam Dekker, Montrezl Harrell, and a 2018 First Round Pick. Rockets clearly got a steal for this trade. They got a massive upgrade in CP3 at the point guard position while really only suffering some bench scoring, but CP3 is by far a better playmaker and scorer than Beverley. Not trying to bash on Beverley because he is still a good player in our league, but you can never go wrong when you bring in a player of Chris Paul’s caliber onto the roster. As you may have saw Monday night, Beverley was awarded first-team all defense this past season. There is no doubt, he competes and plays hard. At least the Clippers received something in return, right? Would have been nice for them to at least get some young players with potential, but they got some expiring contracts at least. This means they could be preparing to free up cap space for next summer or future summers’ free agency periods.
Here’s the breakdown for their salaries:
Note: Patrick Beverley’s last year of his contract is not guaranteed (2018-19) and Dekker’s last 2018-2019 contract year is a team option.
The 4 expiring contracts that the Clippers have acquired provide tremendous flexibility for the organization to trade or keep for them to expire in the next off-season. Expiring contracts are a great trade asset as it helps any team with cap flexibility. On top of that, they receive 2 young players in Dekker and Harrell and this upcoming season can serve as an experimental season to see whether they like the basketball abilities or potential that they can provide.
Definitely will be interesting to see how Coach Mike D’Antoni organizes the offense next season with Chris Paul and Harden in the back court together. Will Harden still average a near triple-double? Personally, I still think it is possible. His usage rate is still crazy high and will most likely remain high. We may see his points or field goal percentages bump up a little bit due to the better looks he will probably get with CP3 at the one.
One thing is for sure: D’Antoni, Harden, and Chris Paul all believe they can do it. According to Jonathan Feigen of the Houston Chronicle:
The Rockets next order of business is to bolster their front court and bench versatility. There are rumors that the Rockets GM, Morey, is preparing to send cash considerations for Ryan Kelly, a stretch four from the Hawks. The Rockets have a squad full of 3 point shooters which is good for the offensive schemes that D’Antoni runs, but in order to compete with the Warriors in the West, they are going to need versatile and excellent 3 & D players. I think they should target some role players in free agency like Tony Snell, JaMychal Green, Patrick Patterson, CJ Miles, Vince Carter, Omri Casspi, Andrew Bogut, Tim Hardaway Jr., and a serviceable big man who will play defense and grab rebounds. Just naming a few potential fits for them.
The Rockets huge off-season still has not ended yet. Paul George is in their sights…
Imagine Chris Paul, James Harden, and Paul George in Houston… We’ll just have to wait and see for the rest of the off-season to play out to see what happens.