Houston Rockets Make Blockbuster Trade for Chris Paul

There are a lot of things you can say about the Houston Rockets over the past five or six seasons, many of them good, but with a few sketchy blemishes along the way (Dwight's last season, Game 6 last month). However, one thing you cannot say about them, especially with Daryl Morey constructing the roster, is that they're boring.

After promising the basketball world that he had "something up his sleeve" (his exact words) this offseason, Morey pulled the trigger on a classic Morey-move, giving up what amounted to three role players and what will be a late first round pick for a future Hall of Famer, sending Patrick Beverley, Lou Williams, Sam Dekker and a 2018 first-round pick to the Clippers in exchange for perennial All-Star point guard Chris Paul.

The deal was first reported by The Vertical's Adrian Wojnarowski:

In recent days, news had circulated that Paul planned to opt out of his contract and become a free agent, but reportedly he wanted to do the Clippers a solid, and by actually opting INTO his deal, they could trade him and at least get some pieces for him. The Rockets can still sign Paul to a long-term extension and retain his "Bird rights," which allow the Rockets to go over the cap to extend Paul.

The deal pairs up two of the game's top half dozen or so backcourt players, Harden and Paul, both of whom, according to Wojnarowski, have privately expressed a desire to play together:

There are several elements of the deal to unpack, some of which will be answered over the next several days (e.g., what other moves does Morey have up that magical sleeve?) and some that we won't get to assess until next season, when we watch how head coach Mike D'Antoni blends the two playing styles of Harden and Paul. Presumably, this would mean much more of Harden playing off the ball (not the worst thing in the world), after a season in which he finished as the MVP runner-up playing point guard.

The presence of Paul should be a godsend from Harden's usage and playing time standpoints, as this allows the Rockets to have an elite ball handler and playmaker on the floor at all times. Also, the Rockets managed to pull off this deal without trading Clint Capela (one of their few blue chip trade pieces) or Eric Gordon (the now reigning Sixth Man of the Year).

Of course, nobody outside of Harden and Paul on this roster should be too comfortable. A Paul George one-year rental still lingers, and Capela, Gordon and the remainder of Ryan Anderson's contract are all viable pieces that could be dealt.

Even if this is the only move, Daryl Morey has once again proven there is no deal maker in the NBA quite like him.

Listen to Sean Pendergast on SportsRadio 610 from 2 to 6 p.m. weekdays. Also, follow him on Twitter at http://twitter.com/SeanTPendergast and like him on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/SeanTPendergast.

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