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Report: Clippers will go hard after Dwight Howard

Nov 29, 2011, 4:17 PM EDT

Blake Griffin, Dwight Howard

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.

Now there is the note from Chris Broussard at ESPN that the Clippers really want Dwight Howard.

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.

  1. 00maltliquor - Nov 29, 2011 at 4:31 PM

    Howard and Griffin would be sickning! The NBA would have so many new rule changes if those 2 paired up! Too bad many good players will eyeball the Clips, but none will commit.

    Reason: Donald Sterling

    • darealrandolph - Nov 29, 2011 at 4:42 PM

      who cares b4 micheal jordan got drafted to Chicago Bulls who were the bulls ? nobady wen jordan became a bulls became a destination for players to come another ex.is New Orleans Saints was crap for a long time then a man Drew Brees and Sean Payton came …..they became NFL Champs
      as long as you get stars your perception of your organize change

      look at my knicks we been horrible for 10 yrs……… now we have melo,amare and were going to get cp3

      • 00maltliquor - Nov 30, 2011 at 4:42 AM

        @darealrandolph
        problem is is that none of those franchises owners are racist bigots who bring women in the locker room when players are showering and make statements like ” look at those beautiful black bodies..” and a numerous amount of other horrible things/statements that I will not get into. For all that it’s worth, the freaking Timberwolves can bring in major talent via free agent signings and become a dominent powerhouse for years to come all because of a certian, one Kevin Love. I am not disputing historically bad teams can turn it around.

        Donald Sterling however, is a toootally different animal….

  2. darealrandolph - Nov 29, 2011 at 4:33 PM

    Blake Griffin and d12
    is like Hakeem Olajuwon and Ralph Sampson or Tim Duncan and David Robinson
    LA.Clippers will be dangerous

  3. 00maltliquor - Nov 29, 2011 at 4:37 PM

    All these delicious rumors and possibilities… THE NBA IS BACK BABYYYY!!!!
    Now we’re talking basketball and not Joe Johnson’s truck, Kim Kardashian, over-seas signings and players can start focusing on the season and not get locked up, arrested, pulled over, and ticketed for dumb sh!t. (well, not as much and as frequently…I hope)

  4. darealrandolph - Nov 29, 2011 at 4:46 PM

    deron williams may also end up playing for the LA.Clippers
    he and griffin share the same agent

  5. darealrandolph - Nov 29, 2011 at 4:48 PM

    dwill,d12,griffin: clippers
    cp3,melo,amare: Knicks
    lebron,wade,bosh:heat
    kobe,pau,bynum:lakers

  6. jjared1101 - Nov 29, 2011 at 5:17 PM

    As cool as it sounds to have talents like Griffin and Howard on the same team, they really don’t compliment eachother really well. Griffin and Howard both are bangers who don’t have much of a developed outside shot. Howard would be better suited for someone like Nowitzki, West, Bosh..ect. People who can shoot the 12-18ft shot. Great players still need to mesh well together.

    Once Dallas made Wade and LeBron outside shooters in the Finals, they weren’t as effective all of a sudden because that was not their game (lane penetration dish/go to the hoop).

    • 00maltliquor - Nov 30, 2011 at 4:51 AM

      Trust. Griffin WILL have a nice 15 foot jump shot.
      How many games have you seen? He has decent mechanics and is a notoriously hard worker. It will come. And when is it bad to have 2 DOMINENT rebounders? It’s not the same as 2 dominent wing players like Wade and James. See Gasol and Bynum.

      • Josh Perez - Nov 30, 2011 at 9:38 AM

        I have to agree with you. I look at MGasol and ZRandolf, they have a similar skillset -decent mid range shooting, rebounding, perimeter defense- and they were arguably the most intimidating front line last season. They basically bullied everyone in rebounding and points know the paint. Considering how much wiser D12 gas become and the fact he is a defense first player with Griffin who don’t really need many touches to get his game going, the Clips could be devastating. I would love to see a team like OKC, Grizzlies,Clippers to rise and deny all these primadonnas the spot they’re used to.

      • jjared1101 - Nov 30, 2011 at 10:38 AM

        “How many games have you seen? ”

        Hey man, no need to go on the defensive. Simply put, if you have an inside game, it’s nice to have another big man that can draw his man out of the lane with the threat of an outside shot. Griffin has only played one year, so he can certainly develope an outside shot. But, that’s not his game, and a defender is going to give Blake a 15 foot jump shot over an inside move everytime. It’s not rocket science. Gasol and Bynum are not the same as Dwight and Griffin. Gasol can hit the outside shot…it helps to give Bynum single coverage in the post.

        Again, i’m not saying this can’t work. I’m just saying that there are other options out there that would compliment his skill set more. Wade and LeBron got to the finals on similar skill sets, but if one of them was a much better spot up shooter, then i dare say they would have had a better shot against Dallas. Obviously Wade/LeBron worked, but you also saw its limitations.

        For the post below me, Marc Gasol and especially Z-bo, both have post AND outside shots. So again, this doesn’t really apply to a Dwight/Griffin comparison. Also, Z-bo is unstoppable on offense, but he’s not exactly a defensive stopper, which is why Gasol was so important to that combo.

    • thesubversivebirds - Dec 1, 2011 at 12:36 AM

      I have this concern too, but not because Griffin can’t shoot.

      Only people that only watched Griffin HL really think that he can’t shoot, that’s a fact. People that watched actual games know better. That game that he made 47pts, only ONE dunk, he made some bank shots, jump shots and even FT. HE even has some buzzle beater 3 pts and he had a practically game winning 3pt too. His shooting is not awesome, but I’m certain that this season he will be good at least. Why he don’t shoot so much? If you have better and more efficient weapons why would you use shooting? But if you let him open, he shoots. Actually seeing him shooting those 3pt I realized that when he needs to, he shoots without hesitation and he is a rookie only. But yeah, that’s not his main game.

      That said, what concerns me is that there are good part of their games that are around the rim, they would overlay themselves. And it would not be smart to force Griffin away from the basket when that’s clearly one of his major weapons. Griffin’s spin moves around the basket and his post moves are more creative than Howard’s that barely learned post moves – why didn’t he do that soon after the 2009 Finals?! He would be a monster by now.

      And at Gordon’s cost it wouldn’t worth it. Gordon is much more important than most people realize, he is very underrated. He is the scorer of the Clippers, he was a TOP5 scorer in the league until he got injured – twice! Actually he aggravated his wrist injury. Foye can’t replace him, what would the Clippers do? Gordon shoots from everywhere, he can create his own shot, he can slash. Without him and with Howard and Griffin competing under the basket, I’m not really sure about this one.

      A good PG would be welcomed but what the Clippers need the most right now is a veteran SF that can defend. IF healthy – with that SF -, the Clippers would have a nice roster and I think that they would be able to get something near 40 wins in this crippled season – I actually recon more than 40 wins, IF healthy.

      They had a very slow and cold start last season but they manage to beat Lakers, Hornets, Nuggets, Celtics, Heat, Bulls, OKC (2x), Spurs, etc. In December they were 7-3 including victories against Lakers and Heat. Until Gordon got injured. It took a while until they could adjust themselves to his absence even more because opponents were constantly DT and sometimes even Triple-teaming Griffin, since he became practically the only scoring force. Besides Gordon, Kaman and Cook weren’t healthy most of the times too. The Clippers record numbers last season is quite deceiving, even more when people just look at it and say that Griffin didn’t add much since their record didn’t improve much over the season before. I know that every team has injuries, but at least you can see that this team has quality to be there in the playoffs. Even with Gordon’s injury – the primary scorer – if wasn’t for the cold start, they would at least have a positive season.

      More than Griffin’s HL and dunks, I like his work ethic, his effort, his intensity and will to dive for every loose ball. He is mature and hardworker enough to go very far, he is committed to get better and that’s really exciting to see in a young rookie. You don’t see him fooling around, playing practical jokes and pretending to be taking pictures when he is on the court, when he is there, he is in game mode. This combo of intangibles makes what I call “heart of a champ” and that’s something that I see in very few players, that’s not something that can be trained or something that you can teach someone, or you have it and you achieve your potential or you don’t and you don’t live up to the hype.

      • thesubversivebirds - Dec 1, 2011 at 2:21 AM

        http://espn.go.com/los-angeles/nba/story/_/id/7300356/los-angeles-clippers-begin-talks-eric-gordon-deandre-jordan

        This article talks about extension to Gordon and Jordan

        And the Clippers organization willing to pursue the best SF available in the market.

        This article basically back it up what I wrote before. And more than that, it shows some commitment with the group which is important to keep Griffin. If he feels that there are no commitment by the organization he’ll go somewhere else. I think he kind of like there, but win championship are certainly more important.

        And there are also rumors that the Clippers are one of the teams that CP3 is considering together with NY and Atlanta. I think that NY is #1 for him. Anyway, I think that a good PG is much more interesting than a C for the Clippers, even more with a high flying guy like Griffin, although Mo Williams is not that bad.

        Anyway, first things first, get the SF.

  7. stadix093 - Nov 29, 2011 at 5:55 PM

    As a Laker fan with Clipper season tickets, I can say I love trade rumors. Also life is good.

  8. mondzy805 - Nov 29, 2011 at 6:22 PM

    Blake, changed the whole LA basketball scene. Kobe is getting Old and LA is a Star driven town. Bang wagon fans. If the Clippers pull this off, the Sky is the limit. As a Clippers fans, I dont have Faith in Donald Sterling, but I do in Blake.

  9. therealhtj - Nov 29, 2011 at 7:05 PM

    No superstar with a choice will ever play for a Donald Sterling-owned Clippers. In fact Griffin may be the first of his kind to sign a 1 year QO and get out of that sinking ship after 5 years instead of 7.

  10. poorlittlepinkus - Nov 29, 2011 at 7:55 PM

    Let him go . The magic don’t need him with the talents of Hedo and Agent Zero.

    God, the future is bleak for Orlando!

  11. goforthanddie - Nov 29, 2011 at 8:13 PM

    Don’t think Blake is enough to overcome Sterling.

  12. jimsjam33 - Nov 30, 2011 at 12:23 AM

    The news on NBA TV is that the Magic want Griffin and Kaman for Dwight Howard . Do you think the Clippers and Magic would trade if both super stars weren’t involved ? No way . Howard would be the franchise and then the Clippers would need a small and power forward . DeAndre Jordan a back-up forever ? I don’t think so .

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