NBA Rumors: Chris Paul and Dwight Howard Want to be Teammates (Spoiler Alert: Not Going To Happen)
Admittedly, there are things here that could be thrown back in my face, but I feel strongly about this so I wanted to fire off an article about the (completely false) notion that Chris Paul and Dwight Howard will be NBA teammates.
To this day, I remain uber upset that the NBA made the unprecedented move of nixing a trade that would have seen CP3 team with Kobe Bryant (thus assuring KB of a sixth ring, at least in my opinion anyway). Paul still landed in L.A., and despite a recent tiff with management he is madly in love with the city, and will almost certainly re-up with the Los Angeles Clippers. I would be stunned to see Paul accept anything other than a max money deal, and the Clippers are the only team who can offer that (we will look at sign-and-trade scenarios in a moment).
As for D12, I wrote an article (HERE) about how this young man is on the verge of domination if he goes the same route as previous legendary big-men (if you believe Howard will be a legendary big-man, and I certainly do). For that reason I think the Los Angeles Lakers will be in full-court press (pun somewhat intended!) to re-up with the big fella. Same point needs to made here as with CP3 in that D12 will be looking for a max money contract.
Recently a rumor was started by Chris Broussard (ESPN) that Paul and Howard are texting each other to form a plan on how to team up going forward. There are several media peeps who we should give credence to, but Broussard is not on that list. The fact the rumor is from Mr. Inaccurate himself makes me wonder if Paul and Howard even know each other (I know they do, but you get my point about how unreliable Broussard is).
One of the teams mentioned is the Atlanta Hawks. That would require both players moving from their preferred west coast homes to the east coast, and the Hawks currently have only Al Horford, Lou Williams, and John Jenkins under contract this upcoming season. Is that a supporting cast that either player is looking to join? Uhmmm… no. Paul has had issues with head coaches in the past, and Howard’s issues with head coaches is practically legendary at this point. All due respect to Mike Budenholzer (who I think will be a good head coach), but are these players looking to move their families in order to play for a rookie head coach!? Again, uhmmm… no.
I suspect the Dallas Mavericks will become part of the rumor at some point, but the supporting cast in Big D looks iffy too. Dirk Nowitzki and Vince Carter combine to make $26 mill next season, and any (or all) of Shawn Marion, Chris Kaman, O.J. Mayo, Darren Collison, Rodrigue Beaubois and Elton Brand could be elsewhere next season. In order for Paul and Howard to get the max deals they will be seeking, the Mavs will need to offer a King’s ransom as return assets in a sign-and-trade. The Mavs cupboard for return assets that would interest either L.A. team is empty. Not happening folks.
The Houston Rockets have a great GM so their name will be in play too. The team has $30 million tied up in James Harden, Omer Asik and Jeremy Lin for next season. The rest of the guys under contract will make another $10 million, and the team may keep Francisco Garcia at $6+ million. Both Paul and Howard would have to take massive pay cuts to fit into this team’s salary cap. As for a sign-and-trade scenario, think about what the roster would look like after the Rockets paid the Lakers and Clippers their asking price for said sign-and-trade(s). Remember when Kobe insisted on being traded, then he saw what would be left on the Chicago Bulls roster if they traded for him and thus he decided the grass was greener in L.A.? Same scenario here for Paul and Howard.
Even if these two want to play together I just cannot see a scenario that gets it done. Step one would have to be both guys settling for (significantly) less than a max deal and I think that is a major deal-breaker right out of the gate. I feel strongly that both players will re-up with their current L.A. teams.
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