LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com/AP) – Is the Los Angeles Clippers’ “Big Three” era officially done?
The team has agreed to trade point guard Chris Paul to the Houston Rockets in a move that will pair the All-Star playmaker with one of the league’s premier players, James Harden.
In exchange for Paul, 32, the Rockets will send the Clippers a package that includes guards Patrick Beverley and Lou Williams, forward Sam Dekker and a 2018 first-round pick, a person familiar with the deal told The Associated Press.
The person spoke Wednesday on the condition of anonymity because the teams haven’t finalized the trade with free agency coming up on Saturday.
Wednesday was the deadline for Paul to opt out of the final year of his $24 million contract. Paul opted in for the last year of his contract so the Clippers could work on a deal.
Paul released a statement via social media, saying, ” “To the Los Angeles community and to Clipper Nation I say thank you!!! For the past six years you have all welcomed not only me but my family. We love all of you.”
The moves comes days after forward Blake Griffin announced he would opt out of the final year of his contract, signaling a potential breakup of the Clippers core that led the team to the postseason in all of Paul’s six seasons.
Yet in that time span, the Clippers never made it out of the second round of the postseason and lost in the first round each of the last two years.
The deal was first reported by The Vertical.
(© Copyright 2017 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)