Chris Paul trade to Rockets shakes up National Basketball Association title odds

Posted July 08, 2017

Ironically, Houston is bringing in Paul as they look to make the leap from good to great - Paul has never made the Western Conference Finals during his 12-year career. The trade obviously pairs two of the league's best guards in Paul and James Harden. But beyond that lies uncertainty.

If the Wizards offer something similar to what the Rockets gave up, that hypothetical would likely include some combination of Otto Porter, who would have to do a sign-and-trade, Kelly Oubre, Jr., Marcin Gortat or Ian Mahinmi. The NBA's power balance may not yet be done shifting. The Rockets were targeting Kyle Lowry, Blake Griffin and Paul Millsap on the open market, but after landing Paul, Millsap is the only player of those three that seems to still be a viable option. But once the Clippers came back to the table wanting to get the deal done earlier the Rockets jumped at it and moved very quickly.

American star point guard Chris Paul as part of a major trade became the player of "Houston". The Rockets will be gaining #Chris Paul, while the Clippers will be getting Lou Williams, Patrick Beverley, Sam Dekker, and a first round pick in next year's draft. Paul has been the league's second best mid-range shooter over that time (minimum 500 attempts), with his 48.5 percent from mid-range trailing only Kevin Durant's 48.7 percent, but the Rockets have basically erased his best shot from their offense.

The Rockets led the entire National Basketball Association with 1,181 made three-pointers this regular season, 114 more than second-place Cleveland.

Add the Houston Rockets to that elite company.

That won't be almost enough to make up for the loss of the future Hall of Famer, and it virtually ends any hopes the Clippers had of giving the Golden State Warriors any kind of challenge next season.

Morey called Beverley the "heart of the team". A Paul George one-year rental still lingers, and Capela, Gordon and the remainder of Ryan Anderson's contract are all viable pieces that could be dealt.