How Clippers Could Get Chris Paul AND Dwight Howard

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chris paul dwight howard

The following is a result of me being bored at 2:30 a.m. and playing around on ESPN’s Trade MachineBill Simmons may be the Picasso of the Trade Machine, but I am the Michaelangelo.  Before you light me up in the comment box below, let me just clarify: I am not saying this trade idea will happen, should happen, or ever could happen, but it at least got me thinking, “Hmmmm…”

In the new-found era of super-teams in the NBA, I cannot help but think that the next duo of players to follow the Miami Heat, LeBron/Wade/Bosh blueprint and join forces for one franchise will be Chris Paul and Dwight Howard who both could become free agents in the summer of 2012.  Here is a crazy, wild, insane, probably never going to happen brainstorm; what if the Los Angeles Clippers made a push to acquire CP3 and Howard, and team them up with Blake Griffin to form a megapower?

By: David Kay

With the Lakers being swept out of the second round of the NBA Playoffs, the time is now for the Clippers to try and capitalize on what some seem to believe is the end of the dynasty for the Lake Show.  What bigger splash could Los Angeles’ other NBA team make than swinging a blockbuster trade to land Paul and Howard.

Both players are in the final guaranteed year of their contracts and have player options for the 2012-2013 seasons.  Both of their respective teams also bowed out in the first round of the playoffs and might need to think about trading their superstars so they do not pull a Cavs or Raptors and lose them without getting anything in return.

The Clippers have a nice mix of intriguing young players, expiring contracts, and one huge draft trade chip that pulling this trade off would actually be possible.  Here it is:

CLIPPERS GET:
C-Dwight Howard
PG-Chris Paul
PG-Chris Duhon

MAGIC GET:
C-DeAndre Jordan
C-Chris Kaman
PG-Eric Bledsoe
Clippers 2012 first round pick (via MIN)

HORNETS GET:
SG-Eric Gordon
PG-Mo Williams
SF-Al-Farouq Aminu
Future Clippers first round pick

blake griffin clippersIf you are the Clippers, this trade is a no brainer as long as you get Paul and Howard to agree to sign long-term extensions.  They would have three young superstars to build their franchise around with Howard, Paul, and Griffin. It obviously leaves them thin at depth since Duhon, Randy Foye, Ryan Gomes, Willie Warren, and Brian Cook would be the remaining players under contract for the 2011-2012 season.

From there, you would likely need to take the Miami Heat approach and fill your roster with your mid-level exception, league minimum contracts, and two 2011 second round picks since the Clips would be right around or probably over what the new cap number ends up being.

As for the Magic, this trade could only be completed if Jordan agreed to a sign-and-trade since he is an unrestricted free agent.  For this deal to work it would need to be around the $8 million mark which is very reasonable for a young, improving, true center who is a poor man’s Dwight Howard due to his rebounding and shot blocking.  Kaman gives Orlando more depth up-front but also a trade chip since his contract expires after next season.  Bledsoe is a promising young point guard who backs up Nelson and is much cheaper and already arguably better player than Duhon.

The key for Orlando in this deal would be the 2012 first round which the Clippers acquired from Minnesota in that awful Kevin McHale trade that sent Sam Cassell to L.A. and Marko Jaric to the T-Wolves.  That pick would likely be a top-five selection in what has the potential to be a loaded 2012 draft class and could net the Magic the next face of their franchise.

eric gordon clippersFrom the Hornets’ point of view, Gordon is the key to the deal.  He gives New Orleans a much-needed up-grade at shooting guard and becomes the team’s go-to scorer.  Williams serves as a temporary replacement for Paul at the point since he could be a free agent after next summer.   Aminu is another young piece that would assist in their post-Paul re-building phase and add skill and athleticism to the wing.  A future first round pick also gives them an extra asset.

Right now, Clipper fans are probably erect at the thought of this happening while Magic and Hornet fans are might be cursing my name and calling me the dumbest person on earth.  Remember this Magic and Hornet fans; if your respective teams are unable to get long-term commitments from Paul and Howard, would you rather lose your star players and get nothing in return, or turn them into assets and at least have some help in the re-building phase?  It’s just a brainstorm so take it easy on me in the comments below.

NBA TEAM NEEDS PAGES:
CLEVELAND CAVALIERS
MINNESOTA TIMBERWOLVES
SACRAMENTO KINGS
TORONTO RAPTORS
WASHINGTON WIZARDS

CHECK OUT MY NBA FREE AGENT POINT GUARD RANKINGS

CHECK OUT MY NBA FREE AGENT SHOOTING GUARD RANKINGS

CHECK OUT MY NBA FREE AGENT SMALL FORWARD RANKINGS

CHECK OUT MY NBA FREE AGENT POWER FORWARD RANKINGS

CHECK OUT MY NBA FREE AGENT CENTER RANKINGS

CHECK OUT THE SPORTS BANK’S 2011 NBA MOCK DRAFT

David Kay is a senior feature NBA Draft, NBA, and college basketball writer for the Sports Bank.  He also heads up the NBA and college basketball material at Walter Football.com and is a former contributor at The Washington Times Communities.

You can follow him on Twitter at DavidKay_TSB.

New Jersey Nets Trying to Avoid Repeat of Last Off-Season

Like we are currently seeing in the nfl/”>NFL, the 2011 nba/”>NBA off-season is up in the air with a lockout looming.  Free agency could be delayed and completely restructured depending on the new agreement reached by the owners and players.  Still, The Sports Bank will break down all thirty NBA teams over the next six weeks to see what areas they need to address in the off-season.

The New Jersey Nets were hoping to be major players last season, but failed to make a splash in landing a big name free agent.  The team was able to trade for Deron Williams during the season but still have some serious work to do this off-season.

By: David Kay

New Jersey Nets (24-58 last season)

2010-2011 Season Summary:
A disappointing off-season in which the Nets were unable to land any of the marquee free agents with their plentiful cap space resulted in New Jersey struggling through their fourth straight losing season.  While their play on the court failed to draw headlines, a major transaction prior to the trade deadline stole the show.

New owner Mikhail Prokhorov made amends for the team’s air ball in the off-season by acquiring Deron Williams from the Jazz for Devin Harris, Derrick Favors, and first round picks in 2011 and 2012.  While Williams battled injury during his short time with New Jersey, his mere presence was the type of splash the franchise needed to make to try and set themselves for the future.

A key piece of that future is center Brook Lopez who continues to develop into an All-Star caliber player.  The third year player topped the 20 point per game plateau for the first time in his career though his rebounding numbers took a serious dip as he averaged less than six boards per game.  Still, Lopez proved that he is the center of the future and an integral piece of the Nets’ long-term puzzle.

His frontcourt mate, Kris Humphries put together a career-year as he emerged as the team’s starting power forward due to Troy Murphy’s injury issues and trade of Favors.  Outside of that, the overall production of the team was incredibly inconsistent.

New Jersey spent a chunk of their cap space last off-season on Anthony Morrow, Johan Petro, Travis Outlaw, and Jordan Farmar.  Morrow, Outlaw, and Farmar had their moments, but also brought into question whether the multi-year investment the Nets made to each player was a wise decision.  The Petro signing was an eye raiser when it originally went down and that feeling was further brought to light as the back-up center does not seem to be worth the three-year, $10 million contract he signed.

The Nets also seemingly gave up on 2009 first round pick Terrence Williams as he was dealt in a three-team trade that sent Sasha Vujacic and a 2012 first rounder to New Jersey.  Vujacic played well in the minutes he was given but is a free agent this summer and likely not a part of the team’s long-term plans.

2011-12 Projected Depth Chart:
C: Brook Lopez/Johan Petro
PF: ^Brandan Wright
SF: Travis Outlaw/Damion James
SG: Anthony Morrow/#Ben Uzoh
PG: Deron Williams/Jordan Farmar/Sundiata Gaines

Free Agents:
PF-Kris Humphries (UFA)
SG-Sasha Vujacic (UFA)
C-Dan Gadzuric (UFA)
PG-Sundiata Gaines (UFA)
SF-Stephen Graham (TO)
SG-Mario West (UFA)
^PF-Brandan Wright (RFA)
#PG-Ben Uzoh (RFA)

’11-’12 Team Salary: approximately $39.8 million

Off-Season Needs:
1. Lock Up D-Will
The Nets somewhat mortgaged their future on Williams which was a risky move since he can become a free agent next summer.  The franchise is trying to sell Williams on their future move to Brooklyn in hopes that he will sign an extension to stay with the Nets.  If New Jersey is unable to lock the former Illinois point guard up for the long-term, they jeopardize of him hitting the open market and possibly leaving next off-season.  When you consider what the Nets gave up to get Williams, they cannot afford to let that happen.  Plus, re-signing Williams will help draw better talent to the team.

2. Power Forward
The Nets entered the 2010-2011 season with a ton of depth at power forward as Murphy, Favors, and Humprhies gave head coach Avery Johnson plenty of options.  With Murphy and Favors getting traded and Humprhies an unrestricted free agent, that suddenly leaves New Jersey with a gaping hole at the four.  The team also rolled the dice on acquiring Brandan Wright who has been a major bust during his short tenure in the league, but he has a qualifying offer worth more than $4.5 million which means he too could be let loose.

Addressing this position is a must for the Nets who will have to decide if Humphries’ career season can be a sign of things in the future or whether it was just a one-hit wonder.  If his price tag is too expensive, finding fresh faces at the four will be a challenge since the free agent class of power forwards is weak this off-season and the Nets highest draft pick is the 27th overall selection in one of the worst drafts in league history.

3. Wings
The only wing players under contract for next season are Morrow, Outlaw, and Damion James.  Morrow battled through injury but was still productive at the two especially from downtown where he hit 42.3% of his triple tries.  He is a suitable option to start at the two but the Nets still need find a solid back-up.

An up-grade is needed at the three as well since Outlaw and James should not be starting for a team with playoff aspirations.  The Nets once again have a good amount of cap space this off-season but with a weak crop of free agents, they might be better off saving the money in hopes of swinging another key trade or spending it next summer when bigger names hit the market.  Regardless, they need to find someone to improve their small forward play.

OTHER NBA TEAM NEEDS PAGES:
CLEVELAND CAVALIERS
MINNESOTA TIMBERWOLVES
SACRAMENTO KINGS
TORONTO RAPTORS
WASHINGTON WIZARDS

CHECK OUT MY NBA FREE AGENT POINT GUARD RANKINGS

CHECK OUT MY NBA FREE AGENT SHOOTING GUARD RANKINGS

CHECK OUT MY NBA FREE AGENT SMALL FORWARD RANKINGS

CHECK OUT MY NBA FREE AGENT POWER FORWARD RANKINGS

CHECK OUT MY NBA FREE AGENT CENTER RANKINGS

CHECK OUT THE SPORTS BANK’S 2011 NBA MOCK DRAFT

David Kay is a senior feature NBA Draft, NBA, and college basketball writer for the Sports Bank.  He also heads up the NBA and college basketball material at Walter Football.com and is a former contributor at The Washington Times Communities.

You can follow him on Twitter at DavidKay_TSB.

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Comments

  1. MAUDELL GLENN says

    I LOVE THE THOUGHT OF THIS. BRILLIANT! I WAS SPITTING NAILS OVER THE THOUGHT THAT THE LAKERS WAS THE ONLY ANSWER TO HOWARD TRADE. PLEASE PASS ON THIS ARTICALE TO THE CLIPPERS ORG. SO THEY DONT LET A DREAM OF A LIFE TIME PASS. PS I AM A HEAT FAN.

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