NBA Trade Rumors – Recent reports suggest that Dwight Howard wants to play with Chris Paul, but if the big man was to leave the Los Angeles Lakers, the team would not help his wish come true through a sign-and-trade.
The only team that has enough cap space to take on both Paul and Howard this summer is the Atlanta Hawks. However, neither of the two players are particularly interested in moving to Atlanta, and thus other options have been suggested.
One potential move that the Los Angeles Clippers were at least thinking of making was trading Blake Griffin for Dwight Howard, but the team’s front office quickly established that Griffin was untouchable. However, if Paul really only wants to play with Howard, the Clippers could only potentially make it happen by making a package of Griffin and Eric Bledsoe and sending the two players to the Lakers, who would sign-and-trade Howard.
Another potential option would be the Houston Rockets, who would also need to facilitate a sign-and-trade with the Lakers to have enough space for the two superstars. But according to Lakers Nation, the Lakers will not help any teams and do not intend to sign-and-trade Howard:
So what if Dwight Howard leaves? Here’s one thing you won’t see: the Lakers helping him find his dream team, or trying to salvage something for him, with a sign-and-trade.
Barring a bonanza they don’t expect to be offered, insiders say the Lakers’ fallback position would be to bring back this team and bank the savings—almost $50 million in salary and luxury tax.
If Lakers were to make a sign-and-trade and get a similar amount of salary in return, the team would still be stuck in a tricky postion and unable to make moves next summer. Lakers still want to keep Howard, but will not jeopardize their future flexibility, especially considering the free agency class of 2014 (LeBron James and Carmelo Anthony both have player options that summer).
While Griffin and Bledsoe would seem like a great package for the Lakers, the team is only interested in either re-signing Howard or cutting the losses.