According to Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical, Chris Paul, nine-time NBA All-Star, has been traded from the Los Angeles Clippers to the Houston Rockets, joining forces with MVP candidate James Harden.

We all know what this means for the Rockets; it makes them favorites to reach the Western Conference Finals, alongside the Golden State Warriors, somewhere Paul has never reached in his illustrious career. But what does it mean for the Clippers, who are now without their best player?

In return, the Rockets are sending Patrick Beverly, Sam Dekker, Lou Williams, and a 2018 first round draft pick, to the Clippers. In all honestly, it’s not that bad of a deal for L.A., especially since they were going to get nothing in return if Paul simply signed with Houston when free agency opens on July 1.

Going forward, the Clippers have Beverly, Williams, and DeAndre Jordan, but are without a big name in the middle of their lineup. The next step for Doc Rivers and Jerry West is to go out and sign an All-Star free agent. If they can re-sign Blake Griffin, which is the obvious choice, they’ll likely be a top-5 team in the Western Conference.

However, if Griffin also decides to take off, for maybe the Boston Celtics or Oklahoma City Thunder, then the Clippers will once again be lost. All in all, Los Angeles did a good job of getting something in return for Paul, but there is another step that must be completed in order to compete with the Warriors, Rockets, and San Antonio Spurs.

West, who was recently brought on, in part to attract free agents, will have his eyes set on Carmelo Anthony, Paul George, Griffin, Gordon Hayward, Serge Ibaka, Paul Millsap, and others, one of whom he must be signed if the Clippers want to stay relevant.

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