With Chris Paul set to be officially introduced to the Rockets on Friday, let's quickly recap the trade and why he will be a great fit in Houston.
When it was first announced that Chris Paul was traded from the Clippers to the Rockets in a blockbuster deal that saw the Rockets send seven players, including key players such as Patrick Beverly and Sixth Man of the Year candidate Lou Williams, the first thing that came to people's minds was who will run the ball and how will they fit together?
First and foremost, no team or coach will ever get two all-NBA caliber players and think they just simply can't work together. Coach D'Antoni certainly wasn't thinking that when he found out CP3 was headed to Houston.
Chris Paul can only help make the Rockets better both defensively and offensively. He is easily the best defensive guard in the NBA after making an all-NBA defensive team every year for the past decade, with the exception of 2010 where he was limited to only 45 games. Seven of those honors have seen him make the first team, while only two have been on the second team.
He also has a knack for forcing some of the NBA's best players into making bad passes or settling for bad shots, evidenced by his ability to keep his opponents FG% under fifty. Let's not forget to mention the fact that he has led the league in steals six times throughout his career and still continues to be among league leaders in that stat and he does a great job of disrupting passing lanes.
On the offensive side of the ball, CP3 will easily get acclimated to D'Antoni's run and gun style of play, as Chris Paul has been known to push the ball up the floor to set up either Blake Griffin or Deandre Jordan for a monster alley-oop. This time around, he'll just have a different face when Clint Capela is on the receiving end of those lobs.
Alternatively, he'll also have an army of three-point marksmen on the perimeter ready to fire away if they are given the chance. That is something that Chris Paul has never had the luxury of playing with, as JJ Redick was the only lethal 3 point shooter CP had to work with for the last few seasons.
CP will also be a huge upgrade compared to Patrick Beverley in terms of shooting the ball as he averaged a career-high 3 point percentage last season at 41% and his mid-range game has been known to be among the best in the game, with his patented elbow jumper.
His playmaking abilities speak for itself as he has been known to pass the ball to his teammates on a highly consistent basis. He has even received plenty of criticism for passing the ball up instead of taking some games into his own hands. Paul's passing ability will also be a step up because, no disrespect to James Harden, but CP will not lose the ball very often. In fact, he is consistently among league leaders in assist to turnover ratio, something that is surely a welcome sign for the Rockets.
Where does Harden fit into all this? He will still be the same player that he normally is and now Chris Paul finally has someone to defer to in end of game situations when the Rockets need someone to get them a bucket or take over the game. Harden will also surely get more open looks on the perimeter as well and the addition of Chris Paul will only enhance Harden's ability to get his teammates open as D'Antoni now has the ability to implement more of a passing style of play with two of the best passers in the league. Both Harden and CP will also be able to lend relief to each other, as both are more than capable of handling the ball when one of them needs a break. Coach D'Antoni also has the option to have a ball handler on the floor at all times, while the other takes a breather if he so chooses. Then there's also the fact that Harden pushed for CP to make his way to Houston, so he is obviously fine with the move.
Paul is also easily one of the best leaders in the game. His passion for the game has even led to reports that CP butted heads with some of his teammates due to the lack of improvement in some areas of their game. He also has the second most win shares since he got drafted, behind only banana boat member Lebron James and he is currently 3rd in win shares among active players.
Any logical observer will say that Chris Paul will only make the Rockets better and if money will not be an issue for GM Darryl Morey and owner Leslie Alexander, then the Rockets will only continue to get better as it has recently been reported that the Rockets are looking for a four-team deal that will land them Carmelo Anthony, who is another star in his own right. The Rockets may soon find themselves giving the Golden State Warriors a run for their money.