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Clippers to trade Chris Paul to the Rockets

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Los Angeles Clippers guard Chris Paul reacts after dunking the ball during the first half of an NBA basketball game against the Washington Wizards in Washington. The Houston Rockets have reached an agreement to

Before being traded to the Clippers in 2011, Paul spent six seasons with the New Orleans Hornets.

In return, the Clippers receive Patrick Beverley, Lou Williams, Sam Dekker and a protected first-round pick next year, according to the AP.

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.

Paul will join Harden on the Rockets, who made it to the Western Conference semifinals last season. Will the Rockets allow Paul, one of the best midrange shooters ever, to take long 2s even though it goes completely against the NBA's most analytically inclined offensive model? Paul, a nine-time All-Star, has averaged 18.7 points, 9.9 assists, 4.4 rebounds and 2.3 steals over his 12-year career, though he has been dogged with criticism in recent years for failing to help the Clippers get out of the second round of the playoffs.

Los Angeles Clippers Chris Paul laughs as he Blake Griffin and De Andre Jordan right talk during the team's NBA basketball media day in Playa Vista Calif. The Houston Rockets have reached an agreement to tra
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Goodman didn't report any names, but with Paul George on the trade block and linked to the Rockets earlier in the off-season, he appears to be a likely target.

The veteran point guard would've been one of the most sought-after free agents on the market.

The tipping point came when Doc Rivers nixed a trade that would have sent Carmelo Anthony and Sasha Vujacic to the Clippers in exchange for Jamal Crawford, Paul Pierce and Austin Rivers. As a matter of fact, Harden led the league in assists past year with 11.2 per game, while Paul was ranked fourth with a 9.2-assist average. J.J. Redick is reportedly out the door, and if the Clippers don't re-sign Blake Griffin, they will suddenly be very bad.

Wojnarowski reported that Paul and James Harden were "determined" to play together. With James Harden, Ryan Anderson and Eric Gordon all still a part of the team, and the addition of Chris Paul, their up-tempo offense just added one of the game's great point guards.

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