On June 28, 2017 Chris Paul was traded from the LA Clippers to the Houston Rockets. He had been recruited by James Harden to join the Rockets during free agency, and that idea became a reality on June 28th. However, will Paul, Harden, and (Mike) D’Antoni’s Rockets offense mesh well together on the court, and if not, where should Chris Paul have essentially signed with in free agency.
During the 2016-17 NBA season, James Harden was moved to play point guard in D’Antoni’s run and gun, free fire offense. As a result, Harden had a historic season and was runner up in the MVP race. That transition to point, forced Harden to be more ball dominant and run the offense for a significant percentage of time while he was on the floor. Even on a broken down play, Harden was still able to score a bucket or get his teammates involved.
However, with the addition of Chris Paul to the Rockets, who is one of the last true point guards in the NBA and thus very ball dominant, Harden will have to adjust to playing off the ball again. Paul is not a point guard that can fully contribute to the team playing off the ball. In order to completely help his team, Paul has to handle the ball. After the Rockets traded Lou Williams and still looking to unload Ryan Anderson, who can both shoot the ball in D’Antoni’s offense, Paul may not be a great fit to run the show under D’Antoni. Without shooters to kick the ball out to, the Rockets offense can quickly crumble. Overall, the Rockets will likely take a step back compared to last season, but will still make a run in the playoffs.
Instead, I believe that the San Antonio Spurs would have been the best fit for Chris Paul. Paul’s skill set would have matched almost perfectly with Gregg Popovich’s offensive system. Other than John Stockton and possibly Jason Kidd and Steve Nash, I do not believe their is a better point guard for the Spurs and Gregg Popovich than Chris Paul.
By: Zachary Byrd