Rockets to acquire Chris Paul from Clippers

Instead of losing him with nothing in return, the team opened dialog with the Rockets and came to agreement, where Paul would opt in for the final year of his contract (worth $24.2 million) to facilitate the trade.

The Clippers will receive former Lakers reserve Lou Williams, small forward Sam Dekker and point guard Patrick Beverley as they slide into rebuilding mode while Houston attempts to field a star-laden squad to contend with the juggernaut Golden State Warriors.

The Vertical reported first reported the deal early Wednesday.

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Had Paul opted out of his contract, he could've signed a new deal that started at $34 million a year. He has career averages of 18.1 points and 9.2 assists per game.

The L.A. Clippers were reportedly going to lose Chris Paul in free agency after he and Houston Rockets' guard James Harden spoke about wanting to play together. He managed 14.9 points, 2.4 assists and 3 rebounds for the Rockets last season. The Clippers were considered a top suitor due to Anthony's no-trade clause, in part because of the close friendship between Anthony and Paul.

The eight-time All-NBA guard was also linked to the San Antonio Spurs this offseason.

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However, as ESPN's Zach Lowe noted on his podcast, "The Lowe Post," the Rockets could maybe use a dose of Paul's more traditional shot selection. Do-everything point guard James Harden will have to get used to playing without the ball at times.

Chris Paul's departure will turn the Los Angeles Clippers into one of the worst teams in the western conference.

While Paul and Harden are certainly an impressive duo, Rockets general manager Daryl Morey has his sights set on something bigger. After acquiring these additional pieces, they traded them to the Clippers to make the deal work financially. The Rockets, meanwhile, remain on the chase for another top-tier player to add to the Paul-Harden backcourt, which has an argument for best in the National Basketball Association.

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