Chris Paul is now a Houston Rocket according to multiple reports out of the NBA this morning. The Rockets traded Lou Williams and Patrick Beverley to the Clippers for Paul. While we don’t yet know where players will be rated heading into NBA 2K18, we can use NBA 2K17 as a rough guide for how the trade shakes out for both teams.
Needless to say, the Western Conference race was reshaped in a big way, as the Rockets adding Paul adds quite a bit of firepower to an already pretty well oiled machine.
The Rockets are coming off of a 55-27 season while the Clippers had a respectable 51-31 year of their own.
NBA 2K17 put the Clippers as the fourth best overall team with both Paul and Blake Griffin (also leaving) in the lineup. The Rockets were sixth overall in the league. So, you know, both teams were pretty highly regarded.
And while rosters aren’t finalized and ratings will change, here’s now NBA 2K17 sees both teams post-trade:
Its obvious that the Clippers would take a step back losing both Paul and Blake Griffin (their two best players). However, 2K17 seems to indicate the Clippers could still be a fringe playoff team even without both. Lou Williams and Patrick Beverley are hardly slouches, though neither are close to Paul or Griffin.
The Clippers seem to be completely rebuilding their roster, there have been rumors that DeAndre Jordan could be dealt as well. If so, I think the playoffs will be a distant memory for Clippers fans. There are still more roster moves to come, but its doubtful the Clippers are aiming to improve their roster so much as look at what could be possible a few years from now at this point.
The Rockets on the other hand now have one of the (or the?) best backcourts in the league. Paul at point guard with Harden alongside him at SG makes for a powerful 1-2 punch. The Rockets probably could stand to improve their front court, and likely will need to in order to contend with Golden State.
Given (again) that rosters and ratings are far from finalized, there’s possibly still room for Houston to make a few improvements this offseason to perhaps make a run at challenging Golden State in the West.
Regardless, this is a move by Houston that’s certainly aimed at making a move towards a better chance at a championship run.
Here’s a couple of other shots of the Western Conference’s newest power backcourt in action:
What do you think of the trade and Houston’s addition of Paul into their lineup? Will they challenge for the West? Will they be a more intriguing team to play as in NBA 2K18?