Report: Howard, Paul want to team up
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But according to a report by ESPN’s Chris Broussard, the two free-agent superstars have been in “consistent contact” about the possibility of teaming up for the 2013-14 season.
“They would love to play together if somebody can make it happen,” a source close to the situation told Broussard.
A possible landing spot for the two is Howard’s hometown of Atlanta, though Broussard reports that Paul still has ill will toward the Hawks after they passed on him in the 2005 NBA draft.
“It would be very tough for him to go to Atlanta,” the source said. “He loved Atlanta when they should have drafted him in ’05, but not so much since then. But hey, everybody is an option at this point.”
Broussard also brings up the possibility of Howard staying put in LA but suiting up in the red, white and blue of Paul’s Clippers. Paul is said to have mended his relationship with the organization — he reportedly had been unhappy with the public’s perception of him following coach Vinny Del Negro‘s firing — and Broussard’s source claims that both see teaming up on the Clips to be the ideal situation.
Several factors could complicate the intra-city move, though. The Clippers don't have enough salary-cap space to sign Howard outright, the Lakers would be reluctant to execute a sign-and-trade with their rival, and the Clippers reportedly have labeled forward Blake Griffin as “untouchable.” Griffin likely would need to be involved in any potential deal to acquire Howard.
There’s also the fact that Howard seemed to wilt under the bright lights of LA. Although the Clippers receive significantly less attention in the national media, the big man may be better suited to a smaller market.