Rockets Earn Chris Paul, the Best Backcourt of NBA
NBA free agency will start when the calendar flips to July, but one of the biggest dominoes already has fallen. Chris Paul being traded to Houston represents a huge shift in power for both Rockets and the Clippers, and it takes the point guard off the market for teams like the Spurs that planned to pursue him.
You can tell the effects of the trade by seeing through the popular "NBA 2K" video game series as well, where the acquisition of Paul gives the Rockets the best backcourt in the league.
Paul in the game has a rating of 91 Overall, which ranks him third at point guard behind Russell Westbrook and Stephen Curry. He's now paired with James Harden, who at 96 Overall rates only behind LeBron James for the best player in the league. (He's tied with Westbrook and Kawhi Leonard.)
The Paul-Harden duo supplants the NBA champion Warriors' Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson as the best backcourt in the game. Curry is rated 95 and Thompson 88. Behind them are the Wizards (John Wall and Bradley Beal) and Raptors (DeMar DeRozan and free agent Kyle Lowry).
As for Rockets, Paul's exceptional ability to score at the rim and in the mid-range game is a huge treasure. He will even be an upgrade from outside the arc over the departing Patrick Beverley. While Paul has great passing skills, Harden actually rates better in the majority of those categories.
Well, here comes a question: can Paul and Harden coexist?
Where Paul shines comparatively the most, though, is defensively, where he's rated considerably better than Beverley and anywhere from 20-35 points higher than Harden in all of the categories.
There's no question that the acquisition of Paul makes the Rockets a better video game team. Of course, it remains to be seen how well he will gel with Harden on the real court together, whether they have the right complimentary pieces around them and what other moves might be made this summer in the reshaping of Houston's roster.