It is now a done deal. The Boston Celtics and Los Angeles Clippers were finally able to reach a deal that will make Doc Rivers the new Clippers head coach. This move comes a week after it was first brought up, and looked to be dead on Wednesday until talks picked back up on Thursday.
While it seems like the news will only affect the two teams involved in the deal, this will actually impact the Houston Rockets in two ways.
It is almost a sure bet that Chris Paul will now look to re-sign with the Clippers, as Rivers is somebody who he has stated he would like to play for. The Rockets had planned to go after Paul as soon as he becomes a free agent on July 1, but it seemed to be a long shot anyways even before the Rivers deal was in discussion. Now it seems almost out of the question.
But on a larger scale, this could have a severe impact on the Rockets chances at Dwight Howard. Howard has stated that he would like to be Paul’s teammate next season, with the Atlanta Hawks, Clippers, Dallas Mavericks, and Houston Rockets as likely destinations. The Rivers hiring now eliminates all of the teams except the Clippers, who would have to pull a sign-and-trade involving Blake Griffin to acquire Howard: a move that the Clippers talked about but will not be make.
This then looks like wherever Howard chooses to go, he most likely will not have Paul with him. The question will be, do the Rockets have enough with their current team for D12 to want to join?