Nov 29, 2011, 4:17 PM EDT
This is what a star like Blake Griffin can do for a franchise.
A year ago, the Los Angeles Clippers were not on anybody’s radar as a free agent until they got desperate. Now, in one day they have popped up as a potential landing spot for the two biggest free agents on the market. We told you already about Chris Paul.
But while the Clippers like Paul, sources say they like Dwight Howard even more. The Clippers have made it clear to executives throughout the league that they will do whatever it takes — outside of trading Griffin — to get Howard, who will become a free agent at the same time as Paul, either this season or next summer. So they will not move the players they’ll try to use to get Howard to New Orleans for Paul.
The Clippers would have to give up a lot to make that deal work. Chris Kaman would be the base because of his $12.2 million salary, but Orlando is going to want pieces for the future out of this. I’d demand Eric Gordon, Al-Farouq Aminu and a first round pick.
Clippers fans may think that’s a lot, but realize that the team across the hall will offer up Andrew Bynum and parts, and there are 27 other teams including Boston that will put together trade packages, so you’re going to have to come big to win this. Dwight Howard and Blake Griffin would make the most formidable front line in the NBA.
Of course, the other question one always has to ask is this — will Dwight Howard take the risk of going to a team owned by Donald Sterling. The Clippers are hot now, but they have been at the bottom for a long time for a reason.
All of this is dependent on the Magic deciding they have to trade Howard, and we may never get there. Still, you can start moving the Clippers into the echelon of teams free agents will consider now. Thank Blake Griffin for that.
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