We have our first major splash of the summer.
The Los Angeles Clippers have agreed to trade Chris Paul to the Houston Rockets after the All-Star point guard agreed to opt in on the final year of his contract with L.A., Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports’ The Vertical reported Wednesday, citing league sources.
Per Wojnarowski, the Rockets will send the Clippers a package that includes Patrick Beverley, Sam Dekker, Lou Williams and a 2018 first-round selection that’s protected in picks No. 1 through No. 3.
It was reported that Houston planned to aggressively pursue Paul in free agency, and ESPN’s Marc Stein reported earlier Wednesday that Rockets star James Harden was making a personal pitch to the 32-year-old veteran. Now, it appears Houston has its man, pairing Paul and Harden in a star-studded backcourt that will try to close the gap on the mighty Golden State Warriors in the Western Conference next season.
The Clippers, meanwhile, get a decent return for Paul by executing a sign-and-trade instead of letting him walk in free agency. Paul’s departure also signals a potential blowup of L.A.’s roster, meaning there’s a good chance pending free agent Blake Griffin also will be on the move.
Paul now will be eligible to sign a five-year, $205 million maximum extension with Houston, and it sounds like the Rockets might not be done making moves.
Thumbnail photo via Kirby Lee/USA TODAY Sports Images
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