HoopsRumors Reversing his decision to head to the free agent market, Chris Paul has opted into the final year of his contract as part of a trade, reports Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical. According to Wojnarowski, the Clippers are sending the veteran point guard to the Rockets in exchange for Patrick Beverley, Sam Dekker, Lou Williams, and a 2018 first-round pick.
In shocking breaking news, Chris Paul was set to opt-out of the final year of his contract and hit the free agent market on Saturday, where he was going to be courted by several teams including the Spurs. Instead, Chris Paul has agreed to opt-in to his contract for the 2017-2018 season as part of a blockbuster trade, which will send him to the Houston Rockets.
Rockets All-Star guard James Harden, who finished second behind Russell Westbrook in MVP voting last season, has spent the past few weeks courting Chris Paul and convincing Houston’s brass to clear enough cap room so that his team could make a run at Chris Paul in free agency. With the Clippers convinced Chris Paul was leaving as a free agent, the Clippers and the Rockets initiated trade talks so the Clippers would not lose Chris Paul without getting anything in return, and Chris Paul elected to opt-in to the final year of his contract in order to facilitate a trade to Houston.
It remains to be seen how the ball dominant Chris Paul and the ball dominant James Harden will play together on the court, but both of them pushed for this trade, and it will be a lot of fun to watch in Mike D’Antoni’s offense.
For the Clippers, you have to wonder if they will try to continue on with a core of DeAndre Jordan, Blake Griffin, Sam Dekker, Lou Williams and Patrick Beverley with players like Austin Rivers, Jamal Crawford and Luc Mbah a Moute still in the mix? Or will they blow it all up and start from scratch?
As Blake Griffin is set to enter free agency on Saturday, we will have more answers shortly, teams like the Miami Heat and Boston Celtics are rumored to be set to make a push to sign Griffin.