It was rumored to be done via free agency on Tuesday, but the Los Angeles Clippers and Houston Rockets did not want to wait three more days. On Wednesday, the Clippers sent Chris Paul to the Houston Rockets in a major trade prior to the free agency period, which begins Saturday at 12:00 a.m. EST. Los Angeles received Lou Williams, Sam Dekker, Patrick Beverley, and a 2018 first-round draft pick. The pick is top-3 protected, as Darrun Hilliard (acquired from Pistons for cash), Montrezl Harrell, and Kyle Wiltjer were also added to the deal later on in the day. The Rockets also sent $661,000 to L.A. for the All-Star point guard. Paul was expected to opt out of his deal with Los Angeles and test free agency, along with Blake Griffin, which was announced last weekend. Instead, he will join MVP finalist James Harden, but it is not yet known if Houston will commit to a five-year, $201 million max deal. Sources were saying that Harden was trying to lure Paul to Houston, and they will now target Indiana Pacers star Paul George. The Clippers have been surrounded by stars like Paul, Griffin, and DeAndre Jordan, and coached by Doc Rivers, but have been unable to capitalize in the Western Conference in six years. That is what lead to the stars disbanding, but L.A. is now focusing on retaining Griffin, while J.J. Reddick is also a free agent. Meanwhile, the Rockets are doing what it seems to take to down the Golden State Warriors, and that's to go all in.
Knicks, Phil Jackson Part Ways
The painful tenure of Phil Jackson in the Big Apple has finally come to an end, as it was rumored to be nearing its finish early Wednesday morning. It was made official later on in the day that the Knicks had "mutually parted ways" with their team president. The main controversy surrounding the Hall of Fame head coach was centered around star Carmelo Anthony, who hasn't been happy in New York since Jackson arrived. The team decided they would not give the star a buyout of his contract, and owner James Dolan began to talk about what's best for the team. The decision was to move on without Jackson, who was grateful for his time with New York following the announcement. Since joining New York, the 71-year-old wanted Anthony to go elsewhere and was not afraid to let it be known, but Dolan does not want to give up on the sharp-shooter just yet. The star has two years remaining on his contract worth $54 million. Jackson signed a deal with New York in 2014 and had two years remaining on his five-year contract, but had no intentions on sticking around after his deal was up. Another problem came from the president's want to run the triangle offense, which the coaches and players wanted nothing to do with. The list goes on and on with unfortunate moments during his time with the Knicks, including getting booed on back-to-back draft nights for drafting unknown international players. He did land a good one in Kristpas Porzingis, who is currently unhappy from rumors that he would be dealt this off-season. It will be interesting to see the way the rest of the off-season goes for the Knicks, who will keep Steve Mills as their general manager.
Angels Walk-Off on Dodgers' Miscue
The Los Angeles Angels pulled off a win in odd fashion Wednesday night against the first-place Los Angeles Dodgers. After reaching on an error and advancing on a wild pitch, Ben Revere scored the winning run on a passed ball for a wacky 3-2 Angels victory. Cameron Maybin struck out swinging, but Yasmani Grandal could not hang on to the third strike. Grandal was the hero for a moment after tying the game with a home run in the top of the ninth, but his miscue loss the game for L.A. After chasing down the passed ball, his throw to first base sailed into right field, which is what allowed Revere to score from second base. The unusual defeat is the Dodgers' third in their past 20 games, as Pedro Baez suffered his first loss, despite doing his job. Cam Bedrosian earned the win, even after surrendering the game-tying home run, as the Angels improved to two games over .500. Andrelton Simmons had a two-run home run for the Halos, while Trayce Thompson hit his first big fly since July of 2016 for the Dodgers. These two teams will do battle one more time Thursday night at Angel Stadium.