Chris Paul traded

29 June 2017 12:45:59 EST

With free agency in the NBA about to open there was stunning news out of Los Angeles with the trade of Chris Paul from the Clippers to the Houston Rockets.

Paul had opted out of his deal to become a free agent, but with a super max contract available for re-signing with the Clippers, most observes expected the former Wake Forest star to sign a five-year deal.

Instead the perennial All-Star informed LA that he would join the Houston Rockets and for cap reasons it made more sense for Paul to sign for the Clippers and then be dealt to the Rockets.

Heading to LA are Patrick Beverley, Lou Williams, Sam Dekker, Montrezl Harrell, Darrun Hilliard, DeAndre Liggins, Kyle Wiltjer, a protected first-round pick in 2018 and cash considerations.

Extra players were added to the deal to make it work from a salary swop standpoint, but the bottom line is that Houston gave up one starter in Patrick Beverley, and a low first round draft pick next season to salvage something from losing Paul.

The pairing of Chris Paul and James Harden in Houston may only be the start as the Rockets are obviously looking to add another star as the team attempts to compete with the talent laden Golden State Warriors.

Paul George and Carmelo Anthony have both been linked, but the issue with the latter has always been family considerations.

Still it shows that the addition of Kevin Durant to Golden State has fundamentally changed the way teams are looking at building to compete and it seems that this move is just the first one of a number of dominoes that will reshape a lot of the NBA landscape this summer.

The Rockets are 11/1 to win the NBA next year with the Golden State Warriors 5/8 and the Cleveland Cavaliers priced at 15/4.

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