TopicGoing to be arguably the best free agent
Rockets general manager Daryl Morey has long believed that teams need at least two top-10 players to compete for a championship. He’s had one to build around since 2012 in James Harden, NBA 2K MT and he now has a second one to work with in Chris Paul.While Paul was set to become an unrestricted free agent on July 1, he opted into the final year of his contract with the Clippers to facilitate a trade to the Rockets. In return, the Rockets gave up a relatively small price revolving around Sam Dekker, Patrick Beverley, Lou Williams and a protected first-round pick in the 2018 NBA Draft.
Paul certainly doesn’t have the upside anymore of other available All-Stars right now such as Paul George and Jimmy Butler (before he was traded to the Timberwolves), but he joins the Rockets as one of the most accomplished point guards in NBA history who is still in the prime of his career. Other than Stephen Curry and Kevin Durant, he was going to be arguably the best free agent available this offseason. However, as smart of a move as it is to pair Harden with another top-10 player, it isn’t a foregone conclusion that this experiment will work.
When it comes to the reasons why adding Paul to this roster is complicated, there are two in particular that stand out from the crowd.The first: Paul is a high-usage player who is at his best with the ball in his hands. Considering Harden is coming off a historic season in which he finished second in the league in usage rating, pairing him with someone who will dominate the ball as much as he does might bring back some of the problems of the past.
Paul and Harden can play off-ball — they each averaged over 1.10 points per spot-up possession last season on a small-ish sample size — but Mike D’Antoni’s system is ideal for a player like Harden because it puts him in a position to make a play for MMOGO Inc. himself and others every trip down the floor. Paul will undoubtedly eat into some of those possessions, which will force Harden to take somewhat of a backseat on offense.The second reason Paul might not be a great fit on the Rockets is that he isn’t a typical Moreyball scorer. According to NBA.com, the Rockets finished last season with the most 3-point attempts in the league, the fourth-most attempts at the rim and the least amount of shots from midrange.