(The Sports Xchange) – The Los Angeles Clippers reached an agreement on a blockbuster trade to send All-Star point guard Chris Paul to the Houston Rockets, according to multiple reports Wednesday.
Paul, 32, agreed to opt in to the final year of his $24.2 million contract, clearing the way for the Clippers to execute a sign-and-trade deal with the Rockets and bring back assets for the star player, league sources told The Vertical.
The Rockets will send forward Sam Dekker and guards Patrick Beverley and Lou Williams, plus a top-three protected 2018 first-round pick to the Clippers in exchange for Paul, sources told ESPN.
Paul had until Wednesday to opt out of the final year of his contract and become an unrestricted free agent. The Clippers risked losing Paul for nothing in free agency.
Paul could have signed a new deal with the Clippers that started at $34 million a year had he opted out of his contract. He will now be eligible to sign a five-year, $205 million maximum extension with the Rockets since he is being acquired in a trade.
Paul wanted to play alongside Rockets All-Star guard James Harden, according to The Vertical. Paul and Harden reportedly discussed the possibility of a partnership at length and believe they can find a way to thrive together.
Paul, who was acquired by the Clippers in a 2011 trade with New Orleans, is a nine-time All-Star, nine-time All-NBA player and a nine-time All-Defensive team member. He played six seasons with Los Angeles after six seasons in New Orleans.
For his career, Paul owns averages of 18.7 points, 9.9 assists and 2.3 steals in 834 NBA games.