Chris Paul traded to RocketsLos Angeles Post-Examiner

Chris Paul traded to Rockets

In news that might not be entirely unexpected, but still a shock to many, the Los Angeles Clippers are reported to have traded their All Star, super point guard Chris Paul to the Houston Rockets. In a show of what Paul’s worth is to any team that picks him up, in return they will be getting former Lakers guard Lou Williams, former Wisconsin star Sam Dekker, point guard Patrick Beverley (who was a Lakers 2009 draft pick) and a first round pick in the 2018 NBA Draft.

Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN tweeted the news earlier today and it was reported that Paul had informed the Clippers he would be going to Houston once he was a free agent July 1. Currently Paul is making $22.87 million per year, so the trade would help keep them under the salary cap.

Lou Williams is now with the L.A. Clippers

Los Angeles fans are very familiar with Lou Williams. In his nearly two season with the Lakers Williams was the most consistent and productive player on the team. The Lakers traded him to Houston earlier this year when the Rockets were making their run to the playoffs. Last season he averaged 17.5 points per game, 24.6 minutes per game, and his field goal percentage was .429. He started his career as a point guard with the Philadelphia 76ers in 2005, so he has the skills to fill that role if needed.

Sam Dekker has had two seasons in the NBA, both with the Rockets. He was part of the University of Wisconsin team that made it to the NCAA championship game in 2015. He’s from Sheboygan, WI and it’s likely TV announcers will stumble over the pronunciation of Dekker’s home town. Houston made Dekker the 18th over all pick of the 2015 NBA Draft. he averaged 6.5 points and 3.7 rebounds per game last season.

Patrick Beverley has had a good career with Houston, averaging 9.3 points, 3.4 assists, 4.1 rebounds and 1.3 steals per game. If the Clippers decide to keep him when the 2017-18 season starts he will have a chance to be an every day point guard.

But Clippers fans can expect the team is not done making trades. Blake Griffin becomes a free agent July 1 as well, although with Chris Paul gone they may want to keep him on the team. Which means all three players could be involved in more trades this summer.

The Clippers have not made it to the Western Conference Finals since acquiring Chris Paul, but it’s hard to see how they can do it without him on the floor. Austin Rivers has improved quite a bit in his two seasons working for his father, head coach and President of Baseball Operations Doc Rivers, but it would be stretching credulity to put him at the same level as Chris Paul, who is widely considered to be one of the top three point guards in the league.

It will be a new Clippers team that takes the floor next October.

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UPDATE: In their press release announcing the trade, the Clippers said they received seven players (and the draft pick) in return for Chris Paul.

Along with Lou Williams, Sam Dekker and Patrick Beverley, they picked up center Montrez Harrell, guard Darrun Hilliard, guard DeAndre Liggins and forward Kyle Wiltjer.

Photos by Claudia Gestro

 


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