There hasn’t been a single word from either the Los Angeles Lakers or the Los Angeles Clippers about a potential trade, involving Dwight Howard going one way in exchange for Blake Griffin and Eric Bledsoe, but external powers have a way of actually turning fantasy to reality, even in the world of high powered NBA executives.
This all stems from ESPN and other media outlets reporting that Chris Paul and Dwight Howard have been in contact for quite some time, possibly planning on playing together next season. Just like the Bosh-Wade-James affair from 2010 ended up being the Miami Heat, who regardless of what you think of them personally, have proven to be an instant-made major force both on the court (reaching three consecutive NBA finals) and off of it, pushing teams to try and create “super-teams” by putting some stars together and hoping for the best.
The friendship between Howard and Paul has been known for a long time. There isn’t anything new about the two, both living in Los Angeles at the moment, being friends. But the specific situation created with the Lakers’ failure last season, while both Chris Paul and Dwight Howard become free agents at the exact same time, leads to interesting speculations.
That’s how the business of rumors works – you identify the personnel, the teams and specific needs, and try to tailor it into a cohesive story. Many times, they take on a life of their own, and if it wasn’t NBA finals season right now, it would be getting a lot more coverage and putting a lot more pressure on both the Lakers and the Clippers to make themselves heard about the matter.
But despite being another example of player-power and the attempt to create a super-team at the expense of a more traditional way of constructing a roster, it’s pretty hard to see it happening at the moment, for a number of reasons.
The Los Angeles Lakers don’t want to see Howard go somewhere else. Kobe Bryant predicted that both Howard and Paul will remain with their current teams when it’s all said and done, and seeing the Lakers sign & trade Howard, something they don’t want to do, isn’t going to go down well with the most important person on the franchise.
More than that, the Lakers are in cap space hell, and if they are going to lose Howard, they rather see him walk, than take on two or one big contracts they’ll be tied up to for a very long time. All this can change, obviously, but the most likely two scenarios on the table right now are Dwight Howard staying in LA or going to the Houston Rockets.
And then there’s the Clippers side of the story, where Blake Griffin is pretty close to untouchable. The Clippers became a playoff team when Chris Paul arrived, but the franchise owes its media revival and general interest to Griffin and his high-flying antics after sitting out an entire season right after being drafted. Eric Bledsoe? He’s a valuable trade chip, everyone knows that, but despite Chris Paul possibly pushing for the team to try and get Howard, it’s not likely to happen anytime soon.