The most stunning move of the offseason took place on Wednesday morning when the Clippers and Rockets agreed to a blockbuster deal to send Chris Paul to Houston in exchange for a multitude of players and picks. To make the deal work, Paul will opt in to his player option for next season and the deal will take place prior to the changeover to the new league year on July 1, because Houston had to do some fancy cap work and player additions that won’t be legal once the new CBA kicks in.
That part is all legal minutiae, but what we’re left with once the lawyers and cap experts for both teams are done is a significant shakeup that not only affects the Rockets and Clippers, but the league as a whole. While we were all focused on what the Bulls were doing with the Jimmy Butler deal, where Paul George will end up, and Phil Jackson managing to get himself fired in New York, the Rockets and Clippers managed to make a move that will have a ripple effect around the entire league.
For the Rockets, it gives them the best guard duo in the league with Paul and James Harden and creates a number of very intriguing options down the road. Houston is still working to clear the way for another splash move this summer, knowing that Paul alone doesn’t get them to the Warriors’ level. The Paul trade is big for Houston and Los Angeles, but it also will have ramifications for the rest of the league that will last through next summer.