Rockets officially announce Chris Paul trade, send 7 players to Clippers
After agreeing in principle to the deal Wednesday morning, the Rockets commenced doling out cash to other teams for non-guaranteed, minimum-contract players that they subsequently used in part for salary-matching purposes.
In all, Houston sent seven players - guards Patrick Beverley, Lou Williams, Darrun Hilliard, and DeAndre Liggins, and forwards Montrezl Harrell, Sam Dekker, and Kyle Wiltjer - along with a 2018 first-round draft pick to the Clippers in exchange for Paul. Hilliard and Liggins were acquired Wednesday.
"Since winning back-to-back championships, the pursuit of a third title has remained the ultimate goal for our franchise," Rockets owner Leslie Alexander said in a statement. "We feel that combining two of the league’s greatest players in James Harden and Chris Paul, operating in coach (Mike) D'Antoni's system, gives us a championship caliber team that will compete at the highest level for years to come.
"On behalf of the Rockets organization and our fans I'd also like to thank Sam, Montrezl, Kyle, and Lou for helping make this past season a special one. I'd also like to personally express my deepest gratitude to Pat Beverley, who, for the past five seasons, always left everything he had out on the court."
Paul made the trade possible by opting into the final year of his contract with the Clippers, which pays him $24.2 million in 2017-18.
The Rockets are reportedly looking to add another star to form a trio with Paul and Harden.