The L.A. Clippers announced Wednesday the team has acquired guard Patrick Beverley, forward Sam Dekker, center Montrez/ Harrell, guard Darrun Hilliard, guard DeAndre Liggins, guard Lou Williams, forward Kyle Wiltjer and a 2018 First Round Pick from the Houston Rockets in exchange for star guard Chris Paul.
There was speculation about Paul being unhappy, so the trade was not surprising, insiders say. According to sources, Paul was not pleased with the Clippers’ refusal to acquire Carmelo Anthony and it seems his relationship with fellow player Blake Griffin had run its course. Paul’s relationship with coach Doc Rivers has also suffered.
Money was another point of contention, according to a team executive. The Clippers refused to sign Paul for more than five years—capped at $205 million—because they didn’t want to pay $46 million for his final year, when he will be 38.
With Paul now headed for Houston, the Clippers are free to offer Griffin more money—possibly a five-year, $175-million extension when the free-agent signing period begins Friday night.
Paul started with the Clippers in 2011, after a proposed trade from the Hornets to the Lakers fell apart.
On social media, Paul thanked the Clippers organization and the team’s fans: “Unbelievable amount of emotions right now — I don’t even know what to say. Lots of love and tears. I’m so blessed and thankful for the ability to play this game, this is the part that no one can prepare you for.”
During his six seasons with the organization, Paul averaged 18.8 points, 9.8 assists, 4.2 rebounds and 2.2 steals while committing only 2.3 turnovers per game. He was named to three All-NBA first teams, two All-NBA second teams and six All-Defensive first teams. He’s the franchise’s all-time leader in assists, second in steals, fourth in free-throw percentage and sixth in points
Beverley, 28, was named to the NBA All-Defensive First Team in 2017, the NBA All-Defensive Second Team in 2014 and recently received the 2017 NBA Hustle Award. Dekker, 23, appeared in 80 games over his first two NBA seasons with the Rockets, averaging 6.5 points, 3.6 rebounds and 1.0 assists, while shooting 47.3% from the field.
Harrell, 23, holds career averages of 6.9 points and 2.9 rebounds, while shooting 65.1% from the field in 97 appearances over two seasons with the Rockets.
The 2015 KIA NBA Sixth Man of the Year, Williams, 30, averaged a career-high 17.5 points in only 24.6 minutes per game last season with Houston and Los Angeles.Originally, the 45th overall pick by Philadelphia in the 2005 NBA Draft out of South Gwinnett High School near Atlanta, Williams was a 2005 McDonald’s All-American and was named the 2005 Naismith Prep Player of the Year.
Hilliard, 24, holds career averages of 3.6 points and 1.0 rebounds in 77 appearances over two seasons with the Detroit Pistons. The Bethlehem, Pennsylvania native was selected with the 38th overall pick in the 2015 NBA Draft by Detroit.
Liggins, 29, holds career averages of 2.1 points and 1.5 rebounds in 119 appearances over four seasons with Orlando, Oklahoma City, Miami, Cleveland and Dallas.
Wiltjer, 24, averaged 0.9 points and 0.7 rebounds in 14 games last season as a rookie in Houston.