This morning I woke up to find that Clippers’ star player for the past six seasons was traded the Houston Rockets to play alongside MVP candidate, James Harden.
The Clippers received Patrick Beverly who made First Team All-Defense, Lou Williams who was nominated for Sixth Man of the Year, Sam Dekker who is still only 22 years old, and a 2018 first round pick in return for Chris Paul.
If I’m the Clippers, I’m ecstatic I could get anything in return for him. I don’t know how the Clippers were able to pull this off; everyone including me thought he was about to opt out and join another team. The Clippers were somehow able to trade him in return for a pretty decent package.
I don’t think the Clippers are done making moves either. With Blake Griffin’s likely departure incoming, Deandre Jordan would be the team’s only all-star player. I can’t imagine the Clippers keeping Deandre if the other two parts of the big three are gone, so a possible Deandre Jordan trade becomes somewhat expected now. There is also Lou Williams, Jamal Crawford, and J.J. Redick. I can’t imagine all three of those guys playing together, and I would expect at least one of them to be either bought out or traded.
Contrary to popular belief, I think Chris Paul and James Harden will actually play well together. I hear a lot of people saying that James Harden is a point guard now and should always have the ball in his hands. Aren’t Ben Simmons, Giannis Antetokounmpo, and Lebron James also all supposed point guards? They play with Markelle Fultz, Malcolm Brogdon, and Kyrie Irving respectively. The NBA is shifting into positionless basketball, and that makes it okay to run a lineup with 2 or 3 point guards together.
Both Chris Paul and James Harden are going to have to play off-ball a little bit more now. If Steph Curry was able to accommodate to Kevin Durant, I don’t think they will have an issue not having the ball in their hands the whole game. I see Chris Paul as an extremely good version of Patrick Beverly; He plays great defense, can shoot threes on or off ball, and is also great at hitting teammates cutting to the basket.
Chris Paul and James Harden have the potential to be deadly together, especially if Clint Capela is willing to finally play some offense.