By: Kylan Watson
July 1st is the official start of the new fiscal year in the National Basketball Association (NBA). The Houston Rockets acquired, the biggest player in the free agent market, Chris Paul from the Los Angeles Clippers in a sign and trade deal. Paul opted in to a new deal and then was promptly traded to the Rockets for Lou Williams, Sam Dekker, Lou Williams, DeAndre Liggins, Montrezl Harrell, Kyle Wilter, and a heavily protected top three pick in the 2018 NBA draft. With the acquisition of Paul, the Rockets may be the second-best team in the West and might be able to challenge the Golden State Warriors for Western Conference supremacy.
The Rockets were the third best team in the Western Conference last year, they made it to the second ound of the playoffs, before being eliminated by the Golden State Warriors. The Rockets are led by James Harden who now has one of the best point guards in basketball as a teammate now. Now Harden can play off the basketball, instead of being the primary basketball handler. Harden handled the ball a lot last year and that is what led to him being exhausted in the second round of the playoffs. Now with Paul on the team, Harden should be able to rest and be ready for the playoffs.
Now the Rockets have added Paul to an already high-powered offense that was only outpaced by the high-powered offense of the Warriors. Paul brings a veteran presence to a relatively young and inexperienced team. Paul is coming in to the Rockets to not only take ball handling duties from Harden, but also to be the second scoring option.
The Rockets offense was primarily built around Harden and he had to do way too much last year, to keep his team competitive in the Western Conference.
The Rockets added a much needed second scoring option. However, they gave up way too much to get Paul. The Rockets gave up a strong defensive prowess, to become a more powerful offense. Adding Paul, will not be enough to dethrone the Warriors.
The Rockets must not only add another scoring option. The front office must add a player who can be a spark plug, and can be a tough player on the defensive end. Without a defensive presence, the Rockets will be the second or third best team in the Western Conference, they need another weapon to compete with the Warriors and the Spurs.