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Will the Chris Paul and James Harden Pairing Make the Rockets a True NBA Title Contender?

Submitted by on June 29, 2017 – 11:24 amNo Comment

Over the last few weeks, there were rumblings about the possibility of Chris Paul potentially leaving the Los Angeles Clippers to join the Houston Rockets in free agency. But there were also rumblings about CP3 potentially signing with the Spurs, too, and of course, many people thought he might stay with the Clippers and sign a max deal with them. So the rumors surrounding CP3 and the Rockets were just that: rumors. No one really thought too much of them.

That is, until those rumors turned into a reality on Wednesday when Yahoo! Sports reporter Adrian Wojnarowski revealed that CP3 had forced the Clippers’ hand and gotten them to agree to trade him to the Rockets in a sign-and-trade deal that will see Sam Dekker, Patrick Beverley, Lou Williams, DeAndre Liggins, Darrun Hilliard, Montrezl Harrell, Kyle Wiltjer, and a first-round draft pick sent back to Los Angeles. CP3 sent out a tweet about how he was going through an “unbelievable amount of emotions” in light of the trade.

If CP3 was going through a ton of emotions, can you imagine how the rest of us felt? By taking his talents to the Rockets, CP3 didn’t just give himself a fresh start with a new team. He also put himself in position to win an NBA title at some point in the near future, if all goes well.

Last season, the Rockets surprised a lot of people by finishing with the No. 3 seed in the Western Conference Playoffs. They weren’t able to advance beyond the second round in the postseason, but at the very least, they proved that they already had a strong team in place that could contend for a title with one or two more key pieces. James Harden was an MVP candidate, and with a little more help, he may have been able to get the Rockets to the Western Conference Finals, if not further.

The addition of CP3 makes that even more likely. There are some skeptics who are already wondering whether or not CP3 and Harden will be able to coexist in the same backcourt. They’re both great players, but they also both need the ball in their hands to make plays. So there are questions over how that will work once they start playing together.

There’s no denying that the Rockets are one step closer to an NBA title, though, and they can increase their chances this summer by going after another superstar. There are some NBA analysts who believe they could try and work out a trade for Paul George in the coming months, and there are others who want the team to take a stab at luring Carmelo Anthony away from the Knicks. But regardless of whether or not they are able to add to the roster they already have, this Rockets team is already better than the Rockets team that finished with 55 wins last season. Now, it just all depends on what else they can do to make themselves even better before next season rolls around.

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