The Los Angeles Clippers have traded nine-time NBA All-Star Chris Paul to the Houston Rockets.

According to FS1’s NBA analyst Chris Broussard, Paul alerted the Clippers of his decision that he was leaving for Houston so that they would not be left with nothing.

Chris Paul led a tumultuous Clippers franchise to six straight playoff appearances, and helped re-shape the whole culture of the team. Unfortunately due to injuries, and many other untimely setbacks, the team could never maximize their potential. The combination of Blake Griffin, DeAndre Jordan, and Paul, try as they might, could never make it past the second round of the NBA Playoffs. Despite the Clippers having the ability to offer Paul a deal worth over 200 million dollars over five years, it is clear that the point guard believes that he has no chance of competing for an NBA Championship in a Clippers uniform. He did take to Twitter to express his gratitude, though.

James Harden now has a new running mate alongside of him in the back-court. It will be very interesting to see how both of them will co-habit together. Harden and Paul are both ball-dominant guards who thrive when they are the ones making decisions. Harden became the primary ball handler last year, and now it looks like he will have to go back to playing off the ball with Paul coming into town.

As a return package as part of the trade, Los Angeles will receive first-team All Defense guard Patrick Beverley, electric bench scorer Lou Williams, Sam Dekker and a 2018 first-round pick.

Houston is clearly looking to go all in to compete with the Golden State Warriors in the Western Conference. After their disappointing second-round exit last season, Daryl Morey and the rest of Houston’s management are clearly not holding back any punches. A duo of Harden and Paul likely won’t beat Golden State, but they have already begun recruiting for other players as we speak.

If Houston can find a way to acquire a player like Paul George, the Warriors would have a big challenge on their hands. We will have to wait and see, but this upcoming NBA free agency period is going to leave us with many more great story lines.

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