After Chris Paul Trade, Houston Rockets Eye Paul George to Form Superteam, Defeat the Warriors

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Houston Rockets guard James Harden now has guard Chris Paul, formerly of the Los Angeles Clippers, on his team. Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

The Houston Rockets shook the basketball world Wednesday by trading for Los Angeles Clippers point guard Chris Paul.

The move, first reported by The Vertical, makes it appear the Rockets are gearing up to take on the defending champion Golden State Warriors immediately. Meanwhile, the Clippers may be positioning themselves for a big rebuild a little down the line, as star forward Blake Griffin is also a free agent this offseason.

Even featuring James Harden and Chris Paul, it may be difficult for the Rockets to knock off the Warriors, a talent-stocked franchise in the midst of what could become one of the best runs in NBA history. With the Warriors appearing so dominant and the Cleveland Cavaliers controlling the Eastern Conference, the NBA has seemingly entered a superteam period. The teams are inspiring other franchises either to make aggressive moves to win now or to stockpile draft picks and young talent to position themselves to win when (if?) the Warriors' core breaks apart and Lebron James's production starts to slip. For example, the Philadelphia 76ers have lost for years amid their rebuilding process, but the team is now seen as one of the best-positioned up-and-coming franchises, with a plethora of young talent.

The Rockets and Clippers, who finished third and fourth in the Western Conference during the regular season, are taking different paths this offseason. By trading for Paul, one of the premier point guards in the league, the Rockets are clearly trying to win now.

Guard James Harden, the MVP runner-up to Russell Westbrook, pushed for the Rockets to acquire Paul. Teaming the two high-scoring guards in Coach Mike D'Antoni's high-flying offense will certainly make for fun viewing.

But is Paul enough to make the Rockets truly competitive with the Warriors, who are certainly bringing back stars Kevin Durant and Steph Curry? The Rockets may need one more piece to rise to a level where they can seriously compete with the Warriors.

ESPN's Jeff Goodman reported Wednesday that Rockets General Manager Daryl Morey is "not done yet" and is plotting to add another star to the lineup. With this offseason shaping up to be one of the more dramatic in recent memory, the Rockets may have some options.

They're currently focused on Indiana forward Paul George, ESPN's Ramona Shelburne reported. George reportedly told the Pacers he was planning to leave the team and signing with the Los Angeles Lakers after the season, which has led the Pacers to try to see what assets they could get back before he becomes a free agent. While George has been tied to the Rockets, he has also been linked to the Celtics, Wizards and, obviously, the Lakers.

Rumors have also been swirling around New York Knicks forward Carmelo Anthony, especially as he feuded with the now-former Knicks team president Phil Jackson. ESPN's Stephen A. Smith said the Rockets would be front-runners if the forward were bought out of his contract, but the team has reportedly decided not to buy out Anthony, who preferred to stay in New York.

Other top free agents include Utah Jazz forward Gordon Hayward, Atlanta Hawks forward Paul Millsap and Griffin.

In return for Paul, the Clippers received guard Patrick Beverley, forward Sam Dekker, guard Lou Williams and a 2018 first-round pick. With the trade, the Clippers are likely to lose Griffin and guard J. J. Reddick in free agency. But they are opening up cap space that could be available for (drumroll please) LeBron James when he potentially becomes a free agent next summer. LeBron to L.A. rumors have been swirling, and this trade could be the first step by the Clippers in setting up a superteam of their own.

After Chris Paul Trade, Houston Rockets Eye Paul George to Form Superteam, Defeat the Warriors | Sports