Reports are that the Houston Rockets have reached an agreement on a trade for perennial All-Star point guard Chris Paul of the L.A. Clippers. The Clippers will receive guards Patrick Beverley and Lou Williams, as well as small forward Sam Dekker. In addition the Clippers will receive a top-three protected 2018 first-round pick.
The Rockets receive in Paul, 32, a nine-time All-Star, seven-time All-NBA defensive team member, a four-time NBA assists leader and a six-time NBA steals leader. During his career he has averaged 18.7 points, 4.4 rebounds, 9.9 assists, and 2.3 steals per game.
NBA Hall of Famer and Rockets studio analyst Calvin Murphy is cautiously optimistic about the trade.
“I think it has a very good chance to work, but it will be interesting to observe the chemistry between the two superstars [James] Harden and Paul,” Murphy said. “Paul has a very high basketball IQ and that always helps the situation tremendously. He’s a natural leader. James really wants to win and I think he has shown his game is flexible enough to play different roles. The Rockets would not have done the deal if Harden was not totally on board.
“I kind of chuckle when I hear folks question how it will work with such ball-dominant players,” Murphy continued. “I’m reminded of a time in the ‘70s when the Knicks had an All-Star guard in Walt Frazier and traded for a guy by the name of Earl “the Pearl” Monroe. Folks wondered how they would coexist in the same backcourt. They made it work out because they respected each other’s game and learned how to compromise. The result was an NBA championship.”
How closely does this put the Rockets to the Golden State Warriors? Only time will tell, but Murphy believes the team had to do something to make an attempt to improve.
“Everybody is chasing the Warriors,” Murphy said. “They’re the standard. You got to take chances to follow them. Hopefully this helps gets them a step closer.”
Paul will be eligible for a five-year deal worth an estimated $205 million from the Rockets after this season, since he was traded to the Rockets.