The Rockets Need Chris Paul; The Wizards Need to Trade Bradley Beal; Yes, Kevin Durant Can Carry a Team

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Last night, the Washington Wizards defeated the Houston Rockets in a 135-131 shootout. This game also saw four different players surpass 30 points with James Harden scoring a cool 54 points. However, the overall outcome of this game wasn’t as important to me as the storylines revealed within the game:

Chris Paul is essential for the Rockets success.

Now is the time for the Wizards to take advantage of Bradley Beal’s value.


Let’s start with Chris Paul. Since Chris Paul went down with a leg injury, the Rockets are 0-2 with losses to a tanking Cavaliers team and an 8-12 Wizards team that is in the midst of an internal implosion. And in those two games, Harden has combined for 94 points so the losses couldn’t possibly be contributed to his play. In addition, Eric Gordon has combined for 64 points in the two-game stretch. Honestly, the true problem lies within the Rockets lack of depth. However, with very little assets to give up other than maybe some late round picks, it will be very hard for them to address the depth issue. This makes it extremely important for every contributor to be on the court for Houston. So if Chris Paul or James Harden get injured for an extended period of time, it will be detrimental to Houston’s record.

As for the Washington Wizards and Bradley Beal, reports came out early Monday afternoon that Beal wants out of Washington. And that’s perfect for the Wizards. It’s been very clear that the Wizards do not like each other and it is time to start a full-on re-build. However, with John Wall signed through 2023 and making over $40 million per year starting next year, there is a very slim chance that the Wizards will get any solid trade offers for Wall without having to take on a massive contract. However, Bradly Beal is a much different story. Beal is coming off an all-star season and is already one of the best three-point shooters and perimeter defenders in the league (he’s also a solid ball-handler). Beal is also signed through 2021 and will be making anywhere from 22-28 million throughout the contract. Whether it’s the Lakers, Pelicans, Pistons, etc., many teams would love to have a player like Beal who could turn playoff contenders into championship contenders.

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Warriors vs. Magic

Ever since Stephen Curry went down with a groin injury a few weeks ago, the Warriors have struggled to win games due to a poorly timed cold streak for Kevin Durant. This eventually resulted in four straight Warriors losses. However, it is worthy to note that Draymond Green was also out with a hand injury during this stretch. The Kevin Durant hate was at its peak during this stretch. But since then, Durant accompanied by Klay Thompson have led the Warriors to three straight wins including back-to-back 40+ point games for Durant against the Kings and Magic. His latest was versus the Magic last night in which he scored 49 points including a game-clinching pull-up three with 20 seconds left. And I understand that everyone still hates Durant over a decision he made over two years ago, but he’s still a top three player in the world and can take over a game at any time.

Scores

Timberwolves- 102, Cavaliers- 95

Bucks- 107, Hornets- 110

Rockets- 131, Wizards- 135

Spurs- 108, Bulls- 107

Celtics- 124, Pelicans- 107

Pacers- 121, Jazz- 88

Magic- 110, Warriors- 116

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