The Houston Rockets traded for Chris Paul two years ago. In those past two years, the Rockets were knocked out of the playoffs by the Warriors. Last year they had Chris Paul’s hamstring as an excuse. This year the tables turned, and Kevin Durant went down with a calf strain. Opportunity knocked, and the Rockets didn’t answer. The Warriors also had Boogie Cousins go down with a quad injury before this series. The Rockets had their best opportunity to advance past Golden State, but they failed to take advantage.
Chris Paul is 34 years old, he is not going to get any better, he probably only declines from this point on. He is making $38 million next season, $41 million the year after that, and then he has a player option before his age 36 season. That year, Paul’s set to make $44 million. That is a ridiculous amount of money for a 36 year old point guard, who isn’t really the point guard when James Harden is on the court. He put up 15 points and 8 assists this season, thats pretty good, but not for the money they’re paying him.
Now look at what they gave up to bring him to Houston. They traded Lou Williams, Pat Beverly, and Montrezl Harrell, and a top 3 protected pick. Those three led the Clippers to the playoffs, and took the Warriors to 6 games, the same as the Rockets. Patrick Beverly would have been helpful for the Rockets in this past series, he would have guarded Kevin Durant and do what he does best, be a pest on defense. Lou Williams would have given the Rockets some more bench depth and scoring. Harrell would have joined Williams on the bench. The Warriors without Cousins lack strong big men. Draymond is great but I mean a real big, a 7 footer. Clint Capela would have started and then you bring Harrell off the bench, thats a lot of defense and rebounding that could have made a difference against Golden State.
In my opinion, the Rockets made the wrong move in trading for Paul. I was skeptical about how he and Harden would play side by side but they proved they could do it. It’s just not good enough to win a championship. Now the Rockets have less depth, more age, and less money. The Rockets are going to need too add some new pieces this offseason if they want to get past Curry and the Warriors. That gets a hell of a lot harder when Chris Paul is making $40. Million. Dollars.