Daryl Morey Says NBA Is a 'Weapons Race' After Chris Paul TradeJune 29, 2017
Houston Rockets general manager Daryl Morey categorized the NBA as a "weapons race" Wednesday when discussing the team's blockbuster acquisition of point guard Chris Paul.
"It's a weapons race in the NBA," Morey said at a press conference. "You're either in the weapons race or on the sidelines. We felt like this is, with James Harden in his prime and Chris Paul in his prime, this gives us a real shot to chase the juggernaut teams that are out there."
The Rockets traded Patrick Beverley, Lou Williams, Sam Dekker, Montrezl Harrell, Darrun Hilliard, DeAndre Liggins and Kyle Wiltjer along with a future first-round pick to the Los Angeles Clippers for Paul. The nine-time All-Star will join James Harden to form arguably the NBA's most formidable backcourt.
"Unbelievable amount of emotions right now—I don't even know what to say. Lots of love and tears. I'm so blessed and thankful for the ability to play this game, this is the part that no one can prepare you for," Paul wrote in a statement on Twitter.
The Clippers essentially agreed to the trade out of necessity, with Paul becoming determined to play alongside James Harden in Houston, per Brad Turner of the Los Angeles Times. Paul averaged 18.1 points, 9.2 rebounds and 5.0 assists per game last season and is still widely regarded as one of the dozen best players in the league.
Harden was the runner-up for the 2016-17 MVP award and thrived in his first year under head coach Mike D'Antoni, leading the NBA in assists (11.2 per game) while leading the Rockets to the No. 3 seed in the Western Conference.
From an on-paper standpoint, Harden and Paul are two better individual players than the Golden State Warriors' backcourt of Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson.
From a fit standpoint, it appears they'll need some work. Harden and Paul are both at their best when they have the ball in their hands. While both players can work without the ball and are great shooters, they are going to have an adjustment period.
The Rockets are obviously all-in on making themselves compete against Golden State, so don't be surprised if they keep working the phones to try to find a third co-star to make this work.