Chris Paul of the Clippers was an upcoming free agent and was more than likely to sign with another team. So the Clippers did a very smart move and traded him to get value. The Clippers got Lou Williams, Patrick Beverly, Sam Dekker, Montrezl Harrell and a 2018 first round pick while the Rockets acquired Chris Paul.
Because of the trade, the Rockets have one of the best (or most likely the best) backcourt in the league with James Harden and Chris Paul. They will probably be the 3rd or 4th seed in the stacked west and advance to the Conference Finals for the first time in Chris Paul’s career.
I think that Chris Paul and James Harden will be perfect teammates the moment they step on the court. James Harden can change into a shoot first shooting guard and if Chris Paul stays as a pass first guard, he might get a career high on assists this year. My prediction for Chris Paul’s numbers are 16 points, 11 assists and 3 rebounds. The one leading the rockets will be James Harden.
After being second in MVP voting for the last 2 years, James Harden will probably be at his best this season. He doesn’t have to worry about always handling the ball because Chris Paul is now on the team. That will up his PPG by at least 3 or 4 points from last year. His assists per game might decline but the raise in points and rebounds will make up for it. My prediction for his averages this season is 32 points, 7 assists, and 9 rebounds. If he averages these numbers, the Rockets will be big contenders for the title.
The Clippers on the other hand are in big trouble. They won’t make the playoffs for the next few years if they don’t sign a big name free agent. Also, the Rockets pick won’t be useful because now the Rockets are now a top 5 team. The only good thing is that instead of losing him in FA, they get value. Without this trade, the Clippers would have been dead meat.