Dwight Howard and Chris Paul are the two biggest free agents in this offseason’ free agency market, without question. It has been expected that Chris Paul will re-sign with the Los Angeles Clippers, especially with the departure of Vinny Del Negro.
Meanwhile, Dwight Howard’s future is less clear as he seems to be intrigued by other teams, mainly the Houston Rockets, despite the fact that the Lakers can offer him the most lucrative contract.
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The rumor mill has been turning faster every day regarding Dwight’s future as the start of free agency (July 1) approaches. Now, it has been reported that Dwight Howard and Chris Paul have been in consistent communication with each other this offseason (via text messaging) about the possibility of joining forces and signing with the same team come July 10th (when teams can officially sign free agents).
According to ESPN’s Chris Broussard:
“They would love to play together if somebody can make it happen,” one of the sources said.
The Atlanta Hawks could make it happen. Atlanta, which is Howard’s hometown, has the cap room to sign both players to maximum-salaried contracts.
Howard is not particularly fond of the idea of returning to Atlanta, but he would do so to team up with Paul, the sources said.
But Paul, despite recently being upset with the Clippers over the perception that he got coach Vinny Del Negro fired, is unlikely to leave Los Angeles, one source said. He has gotten over his anger with the club and likes living in Los Angeles.
“It would be very tough for him to go to Atlanta,” the source said. “He loved Atlanta when they should have drafted him in ’05 but not so much since then. But hey, everybody is an option at this point.”
The sources in this report also added that the Clippers would be the preferred destination to sign both Paul and Howard, but that would require the Lakers to do a sign-and-trade of Howard with the Clippers. This seems highly unlikely since re-signing Howard is the number one priority for the Lakers this offseason. Additionally, I would assume that the Lakers would not be interested in helping their arena neighbors in landing the two top free agents.
This is just the latest report to come out regarding Dwight Howard’s future. I fully anticipate reports and rumors to only increase in frequency as free agency quickly approaches.
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