Rockets get Chris Paul in blockbuster trade; Beverley heads to Clippers

HOUSTON – Houston Rockets General Manager Daryl Morey announced Wednesday that the team has acquired guard Chris Paul from the Los Angeles Clippers in exchange for guard Patrick Beverley, forward Sam Dekker, forward Montrezl Harrell, guard Darrun Hilliard, guard DeAndre Liggins, guard Lou Williams, forward Kyle Wiltjer, a future first round pick, and cash considerations.

“Since winning back-to-back championships, the pursuit of a third title has remained the ultimate goal for our franchise,” said Rockets owner Leslie Alexander.  “We feel that combining two of the league’s greatest players in James Harden and Chris Paul, operating in Coach 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 (6-0, 175) has racked up a multitude of honors across his 12 NBA seasons split between the New Orleans/Oklahoma City Hornets and the Clippers.  A nine-time All-Star, Paul has also been named All-NBA First Team four times, Second Team three times and Third Team once.  In addition, Paul has been named NBA All-Defensive First Team seven times and Second Team twice and helped Team USA capture a gold medal in both the 2008 and 2012 Olympics.

For his career, Paul has started all 834 of his games played, while averaging 18.7 points, 9.9 assists, 4.4 rebounds and 2.29 steals while shooting 47.3% from the floor, 37.0% from 3-point range, and 86.6% from the line with an assist-to-turnover ratio of 4.08.  He is the only player in NBA history with career averages of at least 19.0 points, 9.0 assists, 4.0 rebounds and 2.00 steals.  There are only three other players in NBA history with career averages of at least 19.0 points, 9.0 assists and 4.0 rebounds (Oscar Robertson, Magic Johnson, and John Wall).

Paul has averaged a point/assist double-double in six of his 12 seasons, including three of the past four.  That is already the fourth-highest total in NBA history, trailing only John Stockton (12), Magic Johnson (9), and Steve Nash (7).  Four of Nash’s seven seasons averaging a double-double came while playing for current Rockets head coach Mike D’Antoni in Phoenix.  Nash was also named NBA MVP twice during his four seasons with D’Antoni.

Among players who were active last season, Paul has the most career assists (8,251) and steals (1,912) and ranks 10th in NBA history in assists and 15th in steals.  He joins Jason Kidd, Gary Payton and Stockton as the only players with at least 8,000 assists and 1,900 steals.

Paul has hit at least 120 3-pointers in each of the past three seasons after not having more than 92 in a season prior for his career.  He also shot 39.3% from behind-the-arc over the past three seasons after shooting 35.7% his first nine seasons.  Paul averaged a career-high 2.0 3FGM on a career-best 41.1% shooting in 2016-17.

Earlier Wednesday, the Rockets completed five separate trades with Atlanta, Dallas, Detroit, Philadelphia, and Portland:

• Houston acquired forward Ryan Kelly from Atlanta in exchange for cash considerations.• Houston acquired guard DeAndre Liggins from Dallas in exchange for cash considerations.• Houston acquired guard Darrun Hilliard from Detroit in exchange for cash considerations.• Houston acquired forward Shawn Long from Philadelphia in exchange for a future second round pick and cash considerations• Houston acquired guard Tim Quarterman from Portland in exchange for cash considerations.