After the conclusion of the 2016-17 NBA season, there were expectations Chris Paul would exercise his player option and re-sign with the Los Angeles Clippers. Instead, he shocked the basketball world as he opted in and was traded to the Houston Rockets.

With James Harden and strong role players in place, Paul ultimately felt the Rockets gave him the best chance to advance past the NBA playoffs semifinals for the first time in his career. However, according to Harden, Paul's reaction was not what he was expecting according to Sam Amick of USA Today:

“I just knew that in the summertime obviously (Paul) was a free agent, and I wanted to see where his head was,” Harden said of Paul, who will now be a free agent next summer. “He didn’t seem happy, so after that we just took it from there.

Harden also believes the Rockets are closing in on the defending champion Golden State Warriors:

“Obviously Golden State has been in the Finals and won two out of three, so that’s what everybody is trying to build up against. But we’re right there. We’re right there. Obviously, we have a lot of work to do, but it definitely puts us in a better chance.”

With essentially two point guards in Harden and Paul, it will be interesting to see how they coexist. While general manager Daryl Morey expects Paul to lower Harden's workload this upcoming season, they will have to learn how to play off the ball.

Unlike recent trades in league history, the Rockets only gave up numerous role players. Now, it appears they are trying to acquire Carmelo Anthony to form a Big Three that they feel can compete with the Warriors, who have come out of the Western Conference three consecutive seasons.