A day prior to the start of free agency, the Houston Rockets made the first big splash move with the acquisition of All-Star point guard Chris Paul from the L.A. Clippers.
This has paired together two of the league’s top guards, who have both built strong reputations for being dominant ball-handling guards that have operated primarily in that manner over the last several years of each of their respective careers. It’s something that will become a key component in seeing whether their shared backcourt can work in Houston this upcoming season and possibly beyond that.
According to Jackie MacMullan of ESPN, general manager Daryl Morey is well aware that this has the potential to leading to some tension between the two All-Star guards.
“If Chris has the ball in a key moment and we make the wrong decision, or James has the ball and it goes bad, that’s no big deal if it happens once. If it happens a few times, I can see tension developing. So let’s see how it goes.”
This may be dependent on their willingness to either share or agree upon which player will hold that responsibility to a slightly greater degree when they are both on the court. There will foreseeably be a few bumps along the way as the two learn to acquiesce to playing with each other, but it will require much patience from both.
The duo are each uniquely talented players with the ball in their hands as both playmakers and scorers, which makes their pairing that much more intriguing and potentially an extremely dynamic situation. If they can work out a way to make it work, it could be highly beneficial for the Rockets moving forward while making them a title contender in the stacked Western Conference.
Ultimately, all this will hinge the two holding much patience in the process while showing a willingness to make a personal sacrifice for the betterment of the team.