One big name free agent may be making his way to Houston next season.
It has long been known that the Rockets are going to try to sign Chris Paul this summer. It is official as of this week that he would be pursued along with Kyle Lowry, Paul Millsap, and Blake Griffin. According to ESPN reporter Chris Haynes, the Rockets “have a serious chance of luring Chris Paul away from the Clippers” and that the team is “pursuing him aggressively.” Haynes said that Houston is going to try to clear enough cap space to go after Paul by trading players like Patrick Beverley and Lou Williams.
This news comes a day after it broke that he will opt out of his contract. It has been assumed for awhile, but it will become official on the 29th of June.
Sources: Chris Paul also intends to opt out but is waiting until June 29 to make it official. https://t.co/NtNlBNkNpJ
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) June 23, 2017
What will the Rockets do to lure him to the team? Pairing Paul and Harden alone would not be enough to beat the Warriors, so they need to add another star. The idea that the Rockets could form a Big 3 of some sorts might get both stars to sign. Or the Rockets could trade for a star like Paul George before they even have a conversation with Chris Paul. Either way, the Rockets would be improving enough to be a top team in the league.
Improve solely through free agency
One option the Rockets have is to attract Chris Paul by telling him about the team’s free agency plan. Pairing him and Harden with another star might push him to come to Houston. However, one of the two big man free agent targets might cause some issues. His former teammate, Blake Griffin, is also being sought after by the Rockets. It is unknown for sure if the two had a toxic relationship, but it is rumored that they did. But if they did not, then bringing two-thirds of the Lob City Big 3 to Houston to play with Harden could be something special.
Improve through trades pre-free agency
Improving through the trade market is another viable way to lure Chris Paul to Houston. If there is already two stars in Houston, then maybe CP3 would have more incentive to create a potential super team. This way, Paul would already know that another star, such as George, is on the team and not just being pursued. How good would a team of Paul, Harden, and George be?
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If Chris Paul is interested in coming to Houston, the team should sign him immediately regardless of fit. A player with the basketball IQ of CP3 can adapt his game to the offense of the Rockets and improve the team. He would be a perfect fit next to Harden, as the Beard’s ball dominance has not completely worked in the playoffs. Adding another All-Star ball handler can do nothing but good for the Rockets.