In 2015, the Los Angeles Clippers had a 3-1 lead in the Western conference semifinals against the Houston Rockets. The Clippers were on their way to advancing to their first ever Conference finals, but they ended up blowing that 3-1 lead and losing to the Rockets in Game 7. Two years later, they lost another battle against the Rockets as Chris Paul decided to leave Los Angeles and join the Houston Rockets. Paul informed the Clippers front office that he will opt out of his final year of the contract, and so they decided to trade him before free agency starts. He will now join forces with James Harden, as they try to dethrone the Golden State Warriors in the Western conference.

After Jimmy Butler was traded to the Timberwolves last week, Paul's departure is the second big move this offseason in the NBA. While this trade wasn't totally unexpected, it did catch by surprise many players around the league, including LeBron James and J.R. Smith.

LeBron and J.R. react

LeBron James never shied away from expressing his opinion on social media, even on things that aren't related to basketball. This time, he went on Twitter and commented on Chris Paul's departure from the Clippers to the Rockets. Obviously, Paul and James are close friends and LeBron's reaction is not surprising. Many were hoping the two of them would play on the same team at some point of their careers, but apparently that's not going to happen.

James wished the best of luck to his friend in Rockets uniform as he posted this on his Twitter account:

Also, one other Cavaliers' player reacted to this big trade.

J.R. Smith, known for his outspoken and somewhat sill" personality, was apparently caught by surprise when this trade happened. After hearing that Chris Paul is headed to the Houston Rockets, Smith said: "This league is crazy." He also said that he thinks one of the reasons why Chris decided to play with James Harden is because of the Golden State Warriors and their dominance over the past few years.

The Rockets looking like a contender

In order to get Chris Paul, the Rockets had to let go Patrick Beverley, Lou Williams, Sam Dekker and Montrezl Harrell. Those were some of the key role-players for the Rockets last season, but the addition of Chris Paul is more than worth it. Although Harden and Paul are both ball dominant players, it shouldn't take long before the two of them learn how to play with one another. Paul is considered as one of the best point guards in the league, if not the best, and he and Harden should be a fun duo to watch next season.

There are rumors around the league that the Rockets are also trying to sign Paul George or Carmelo Anthony this summer and if that happens - watch out NBA, the Rockets are coming.

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