The Red94 2017 Houston Rockets Offseason Extravaganza: Part 1, or “The Chris Paul Trade”

  • I think the biggest shock in all of this isn’t that the Houston Rockets landed Chris Paul but more in the way that it happened, via a trade, in days prior to even the start of free agency, with the news announced before I had even finished my first cup of coffee.  Recall that the Dwight Howard news was announced while most everyone who cared was steadfastly checking Twitter for breaking news updates throughout the hours prior to the actual announcement.  This just happened out of nowhere, and I also think that for many of us, there still was not full trust that Paul’s interest in Houston was genuine and not anything more than a leverage ploy to extract the full max from Los Angeles.
  • Many of you vented your frustration over the team’s handling of star guard James Harden, particularly in management’s refusal to ever offer criticism over his failures.  This is why you coddle him and why you coddle stars in general.  Because they hold the greatest power in personnel maneuvers and in the organizational hierarchy.  For all of Daryl Morey’s brilliance in manipulating the salary cap, none of this would have been possible without the relationship James Harden forged with Chris Paul on Team USA.  Morey knows this, in memory of his many failed free agency pursuits from earlier in his career.  Harden’s Game 6 was one of the most baffling performances I can remember by a player of his stature on such a stage.  But what would rebuking him have accomplished?  Maybe Morey or D’Antoni would have been out or maybe Harden would have just soured over the situation himself.  Now Harden will have Paul in his ear for the full 82, possibly the most exciting development resulting from this move.  For all of Harden’s otherworldly talents, it can be agreed he isn’t the most intense individual around.  While Paul will certainly help him keep defenses honest, his greatest contribution may come by way of helping Harden conquer whatever causes him to shut down at certain times.  The Rockets already had probably the league’s most dynamic overall offensive talent.  Now they also have its best leader.  If it doesn’t work and the laboratory explodes, it was never going to work anyways.  I didn’t want Paul at first, weeks ago, but I came to realize, just in time, that this was a risk that simply had to be made in the reality’s of today’s NBA.

About the author: Rahat Huq is a lawyer in real life and the founder and editor-in-chief of

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On the matter of the Houston Rockets’ pursuit of Chris Paul