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Report: Chris Paul, Dwight Howard text about teaming up. This will not happen.

Jun 14, 2013, 12:43 PM EDT

Los Angeles Lakers v Los Angeles Clippers Getty Images

For the owners, pretty much half the reason for the lockout last year was to put in place an economic system that prevents stars from doing what the Miami Heat did with LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh. (Technically they still could have done that because they stripped the roster all the way down and those guys took less money, but you get the idea).

So when you hear things about superstars talking about teaming up right now, take it with a grain of salt. Actually, more like the entire Bonneville Salt Flats.

That’s my lead in to the latest rumor from Chris Broussard of ESPN.

Chris Paul and Dwight Howard have been in consistent contact recently about the possibility of becoming teammates next season, according to league sources. Paul and Howard will be the biggest free agents on the market this summer, and their desire is to play together, the sources said.

“They would love to play together if somebody can make it happen,” one of the sources said.

Not. Going. To. Happen.

I have no doubt that the two have texted about this. Dwight Howard and Chris Paul are friends, they get along, and no doubt the tandem would be a force.

But back to that whole lockout and logistics thing.

Broussard says Atlanta can do it.

The Atlanta Hawks could make it happen. Atlanta, which is Howard’s hometown, has the cap room to sign both players to maximum-salaried contracts.

Howard is not particularly fond of the idea of returning to Atlanta, but he would do so to team up with Paul, the sources said.

Actually, no Atlanta does not have the room to make it happen. Teams have a lot less money to spend than you think because of cap holds and other restrictions..

Atlanta could have up to $35 million in cap space, which is not enough to give max deals to both players, but maybe you could convince them both to take paycuts (ala Miami). But to get that $35 million they have to renounce/let sign elsewhere Josh Smith (he’s gone, but until he signs elsewhere there is a cap hold on the Hawks salary space). Then they have to renounce every other free agent on their roster — Kyle Korver, Devin Harris, Zaza Pachulia, Johan Petro, Ivan Johnson, Jeff Teague, Dahntay Jones, Hilton Armstrong, Erick Dampier, Etan Thomas, Randolph Morris and Anthony Tolliver. Then they have to waive DeShawn Stevenson, Shelvin Mack and Mike Scott. Or they could amnesty Al Horford.

You really think Danny Ferry is going to play that game?

Besides, Chris Paul isn’t leaving the Clippers. So for Howard to team up with CP3 all you have to do is convince Lakers management to do a sign-and-trade that sends Howard to the Clippers. Good luck with that. And by the way, the Lakers can’t do a sign-and-trade unless it is one that brings them down to a salary level below the tax apron (roughly $76 million) so a third team that wants to soak up a lot of salary and bad contracts has to be brought in.

So good luck with that.

If you’re thinking the Clippers would sign-and-trade CP3 to the Lakers, I think that’s not a tobacco pipe in your hands.

Chris Paul and Dwight Howard together is never going to happen. But they can text about it all they want. Free country and all that.

  1. illegalblues - Jun 14, 2013 at 12:46 PM

    there’s no way the lakers will get both dwight and steve nash this offseason. there’s no way miami will get both lebron and bosh this offseason.

    it can happen, probably won’t, but can.

    • deavn - Jun 14, 2013 at 2:46 PM

      Houston can do it….

      • illegalblues - Jun 14, 2013 at 2:53 PM

        so could atlanta under a lot of “what ifs”. they aren’t goign to amnesty harford, but it wouldn’t be hard to deal him for future assets (ie PICKS, cleveland or minnesota here)

      • asimonetti88 - Jun 14, 2013 at 4:18 PM

        Even if Houston turns down all their team options on Francisco Garcia, Carlos Delfino, Aaron Brooks, Chandler Parsons, Greg Smith, James Anderson, Patrick Beverly and Scott Machado, they’ll still have more on the books than Houston.

    • deavn - Jun 14, 2013 at 3:07 PM

      I’ve literally been telling people at my job after the regular season ended that Chris Paul and Dwight Howard might team up with James Harden in Houston. They have the cap space to do it. And they’ll still have enough money left to add some solid role players to the lineup. Who knows.

      • aboogy123456 - Jun 14, 2013 at 3:43 PM

        as a lakers fan I would hate to see that, but I think they would clearly be the favorites to win it all for the next few years if that happened.

  2. wammygiveaway - Jun 14, 2013 at 1:04 PM

    Combine this report with Doc Rivers and Kevin Garnett coming to the Clippers? Paul-Billups-Griffin-Garnett-Howard? Impossible.

    • zacksdad - Jun 14, 2013 at 1:36 PM

      Wow, typical Clipper fan. So they basically trade Garnett for who? And I do not think they have the cap room to sign CP3 and Howard, so they have to do a sign and trade to the Lakers for who. Neither team is taking your worthless center.

      • wammygiveaway - Jun 14, 2013 at 1:54 PM

        You’re misreading my comment. There’s a report of Doc Rivers, Kevin Garnett and/or Paul Pierce for Eric Bledsoe, DeAndre Jordan, draft picks, cash compensation from the Clippers, and an amnesty clause from the Celtics side. Then there is Chris Paul and Dwight Howard wanting to play together. I said “impossible” for two reasons:

        1. Lakers want Blake Griffin. Sterling will oppose all Griffin trades unless the player they get back is LeBron James or Kevin Durant. And the Clippers have refused to trade with the Lakers ever since they got involved in that Byron Scott-Norm Nixon trade during the Showtime era.

        2. In order for the Clippers to do any kind of trade, Eric Bledsoe is required. They only have one Bledsoe. A third team would need to be in the mix. Or worse, seeing as the Clippers front office is unpredictable, they could pull a Laker move and try to find a loophole in the CBA. After all, Sterling IS a former attorney.

  3. dannymac17 - Jun 14, 2013 at 1:05 PM

    i feel like i should always have to post that pic when Chris B involved

  4. dylude - Jun 14, 2013 at 1:12 PM

    Good argument but you completely gloss over the fact that it is plausible for them to take a significant pay cut to play together in ATL. If both sign 3 year/$50 million deals and the Hawks don’t have to renounce ANYBODY.

    The NBA isn’t a slave organization. Players always have a choice, all the CBA has done is incentivize those choices so saying something is an impossibility means you think the incentives are too great, but that would mean intimately knowing every NBA player and that’s absurd.

    Highly unlikely, not even close to impossible though.

    • addictedzone - Jun 14, 2013 at 8:07 PM

      Thank you. That’s exactly how Miami did it. A handful of their roster took less money than they were offered elsewhere. Greed can keep it from happening, but if players want it to happen it can.

  5. dylude - Jun 14, 2013 at 1:14 PM

    When I say not renounce anybody I mean let Smith walk and I think it’s obvious they would amnesty Horford if they could sign Dwight.

    Take those two off the books, they can squeeze CP3 & Dwight at around $30/year combined.

    Highly unlikely, not close to impossible.

    • ProBasketballPundit - Jun 14, 2013 at 1:39 PM

      Why is that obvious? Danny Ferry would never amnesty Horford. He’s a great player who’s underpaid by NBA standards. Actually, I think he’s better than Dwight Howard because he actually plays a team game and doesn’t completely annihilate every organization that he touches.

  6. wlubake - Jun 14, 2013 at 1:17 PM

    Lakers can’t receive a sign-and-trade, however I’ve read nothing in the CBA to prevent them from dealing one.

    So in theory, if Atlanta had enought players currently under contract to trade (or had cap room) they could do it. Sign Paul, Lakers trade a maxed Howard for Horford, Williams and Jenkins, it could happen.

    Also, if the cap number is high enough (just shy of $59M), even Dallas could pull it off, while keeping Dirk. However, the cap number isn’t expected to be high enough (and who expects the Lakers to deal with a Western Conference team?). The key is to sign Howard (the pricier of the two), sign-and-trade for Paul.

    “In the “lowest cap” case ($58,703,344 ), the Mavs would clear all but Dirk – $22,721,381; Marion, Crowder, James, rights holds on Wright and Akognon** – total $12,527,705; six cap holds for empty roster slots – $2,941,080; and $20,513,178 in cap room. Sign Howard using the cap room. Trade the non-Dirk players for Paul, with Wright getting sign-and-traded starting at $4,010,036 or more and Akognon at the minimum.” –

    This is highly unlikely, but possible. It is referred to in Dallas as the “Double Pipe-Dream Scenario”. If the cap is lower, though, the only way to get both is to get them to agree to sub-max deals like the guys did in Miami.

    • melkipershero - Jun 14, 2013 at 7:11 PM

      The Lakers cant receive a player back. Meaning they could sign and trade Howard for say 2 first round picks. However, sign and trade players can only receive a 4 year deal, the same as they can sign in outright free agency (with the same raises). The only way D12 is involved in a sign and trade is to go to a team without enough cap to sign him outright (like to play with CP3).

      • somekat - Jun 15, 2013 at 2:29 AM

        if they could sign him outright, why would they give the lakers anything for him?

      • melkipershero - Jun 15, 2013 at 12:14 PM

        To get his Bird Rights so they could exceed the cap to acquire him

  7. eureca323 - Jun 14, 2013 at 1:18 PM

    Honestly all the Hawks have to do is trade Lou Williams to a team with cap room or a trade exception large enough for his contract. If worse came to worse and you had to make it happen Then attach a 1st rounder along with Lou WIlliams. Then they have enough for 2 max contracts after renouncing all their FA’s.

    The Rockets could possibly do it, but it would require signing 1 then using some of their players to trade for the other in a sign a trade. Obviously much more difficult since it requires the help of a team losing one of those players.

    Yes its unlikely but not completely out of the question. Surprising things happen in the NBA sometimes.

    • tcclark - Jun 14, 2013 at 1:34 PM

      If Doug Collins were still in charge the Sixers would gladly take Lou back and they have the cap space to do so. I don’t know about the new regime though.

    • acharlot5 - Jun 14, 2013 at 1:41 PM

      yea cuz Lou Williams isnt coming off a torn acl.. all other 31 teams in the league are going to be running to the phones to trade for him

      • eureca323 - Jun 14, 2013 at 2:01 PM

        Its an expiring contract since the 3rd year in unguaranteed. Im not saying it would for sure happen, but its not as if its a big commitment to Lou. Also he had the injury in January. Its not an injury you can’t come back from. I think is possible be might be ready near opening night. Which is also why I brought up using a 1st rounder as extra incentive. A team could get Lou who is a good player in the league on a expiring contract and a 1st rounder for nothing in return? I think the Hawks would have a decent shot at making that happen.

  8. ProBasketballPundit - Jun 14, 2013 at 1:41 PM

    Broussard is so clearly an idiot. You couldn’t pay me to watch NBA Countdown when he was on the show.

  9. barnesaintnoble - Jun 14, 2013 at 1:43 PM

    The fact of the matter is, Howard and Paul can “talk” about it all they want. They aren’t as good as they think they are or what we were led to believe. It seems like if three players whose names we know and recognize get together they are immediately called “The Big Three”. Bosh in Miami? C’monnnn really? I guess the whole being good at playing basketball part went out the window.

  10. aboogy123456 - Jun 14, 2013 at 2:29 PM

    I hate reading this report knowing that if stern didn’t screw up history and nix that Paul trade, these guys would already be playing together, lakers would have saved a ton of money, kobe would probably not be injured, and lakers would have been the favorites to win the title the past two years.

    • dannymac17 - Jun 14, 2013 at 2:58 PM

      you are a crybaby and need to get over it.

    • 1heatedtoombrayduh - Jun 14, 2013 at 3:08 PM

      I have to admit, I am a basketball fan first and a heat fan second. I actually got excited when I heard that Paul was going to the Lakers, because I thought it would make great basketball. I will say that i was pissed when I heard that he vetoed the trade because if both parties agreed to it then he should never have gotten involved

      Secondly we now know he wanted to make the hornets more marketable to the potential buyers at that time.

      before this incident, i didnt even know he had the power to even do such a thing. and dont even get me started on how the hornets “won” the lottery

      • melkipershero - Jun 14, 2013 at 7:13 PM

        He was “owner” thats why he could veto the trade. Looks smart now. The Hornets were handed that pick without a doubt.

      • sunlightpianist - Jun 14, 2013 at 7:36 PM

        Stern can’t veto a trade on regular basis, if it is legal under the rules of the CBA. Stern was spokesman of the Hornets owners, because the NBA owned the Hornets at that time. So like any other owner the NBA could veto a trade his GM propose. All other team owners shared the owning of the Hornets, and you can be sure that a lot of them did not want to see Paul with the Lakers.

        Problem was, there was need for a veto to the Clippers trade too.

  11. rickyspanish - Jun 14, 2013 at 3:29 PM

    Why is Paul staying with the Clippers? Is that opinion or did Paul tell you he’s resigning?

    This why I love sports media, you gasbags make all these baseless statements with confidence when you really don’t have a clue. Sure, Paul might stay in LA and you can say you told us so, but the fact is you’re guessing. When the sports media starts making predictions instead of reporting news, it’s because they have run out of anything meaningful to talk about.

    • kinggw - Jun 14, 2013 at 4:39 PM

      It’s one of the worst kept secrets around that Paul isnt going anywhere. The team he supposedly wanted to go to before he was traded to the Clippers, the Knicks, have no way to get him. Atlanta and Houston are attractive options if Howard tags along, not only is that unlikely but Paul wants the max. Given his injury history, he’d be a fool not to take the 5 year max from the Clips. The Clippers can give him the most money, are angling to get him a popular players coach in Rivers, and with Odom, and a few others coming off the books, they may be able to add his buddy West. I guess we won’t know for sure until he resigns, but who can offer more than that?

  12. djred34 - Jun 14, 2013 at 3:44 PM

    Hawks need to cut everybody else and sign Josh Smith, Dwight Howard, and Chris Paul and use the draft picks!!

    • gregoryproach - Jun 14, 2013 at 4:31 PM

      That would make Teague and Harris available for the Pacers to sign. I like this idea!

  13. richiesaurus310 - Jun 14, 2013 at 6:45 PM

    If the Clippers can trade DeAndre Jordan to any team that needs a center and has cap space (76ers?), and trade Caron Butler’s expiring contract (Cavs?), then they too could sign Dwight to a max deal. Even the Lakers could sign and trade Dwight for DeAndre and Caron, although they won’t.

    If Dwight leaves what makes the Lakers different from the Cavs a couple years ago who signed and traded LeBron James to the Heat for five draft picks? No Dr. Jerry Buss, No Phil Jackson, no Kobe Bryant. The Clipper deal of DeAndre Jordan, Caron Butler’s expiring, and draft picks may be the start of a long re-build for the Lakers. Who are they gonna sign in 2014, DeMarcus Cousins? An old Dirk Nowitzki? Lebron or Melo aren’t coming.

  14. somekat - Jun 14, 2013 at 9:35 PM

    If the sixers didn’t give Kwame Brown and Spencer Hawes 2 year contracts, they’d be in a position to offer 2 max contracts (assuming they let Bynum walk).

    It won’t happen, I doubt they have interest in Philly, and I don’t know if Philly would even want to do it considering their only real asset plays the same position as CP3.

    The one thing I said when the sixers made the Iggy/Bynum/Howard trade was “worst case scenario for the sixers, they get cap space from iggy a year earlier”. Way to blow that one instantly Tony DiLeo (thank god they finally fired him) so that you could give 2 7 foot stiffs 2 year deals

  15. cornbreadbbqred - Jun 15, 2013 at 3:58 AM

    Oh, boy. Here we go! Remember the entire agonizing process of getting him to ink a one year deal with the Lakers? I say Howard has his agent on the campaign early to make the next process seem like some Disney adventure computer graphic cartoon, except that it’s real. Who the where the end process shall lead.

  16. watermelon1 - Jun 15, 2013 at 8:40 AM

    They can both go play overseas. BOOM, your theory that I can’t happen is finished.

    Stars going overseas would change the NBA’s stance that they control where players go/do so fast! Bet Dwight and CP3 would be back in the NBA on the same team by the all-star break!

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