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Friday, June 14, 2013

Bad news for Mavericks? Dwight Howard and Chris Paul reportedly want to play together


During the lockout of 2011, they spoke often about going to Dallas together to play for the Mavericks.

Chris Paul (left) and Dwight Howard want to play together next year. The Dallas Mavericks are on the lookout for one free agent, but they may not get them both.

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Chris Paul (left) and Dwight Howard want to play together next year. The Dallas Mavericks are on the lookout for one free agent, but they may not get them both.

The Dallas Mavericks have the capability to sign one big-name free agent, but probably not two.

That makes a Friday report an ominous sign for Mavericks fans.

Chris Paul and Dwight Howard have been in consistent contact recently about the possibility of becoming teammates next season, ESPN reported.

Paul and Howard will be the biggest free agents on the market this summer, and their desire is to play together, the sources said.

Writes Chris Broussard:

    During the lockout of 2011, they spoke often about going to Dallas together to play for the Mavericks. But their subsequent trades, Howard's decision to opt into the final year of his contract in Orlando and Dallas' current payroll situation seemed to eliminate the possibility of them becoming teammates.

Whom can Mavs sign?

The Mavericks will have to be creative to open enough salary-cap space to offer either Paul or Howard a maximum contract, which will start at $20 million and change in the first season. But if one agrees to come, they’ll find a way.

And they will definitely make a charge at both. But the chances are better and getting Howard. Despite the drama that enveloped Howard in Orlando, which was small potatoes compared with the circus he endured (and helped create) with the Lakers this season, Howard remains the best rebounder in the league, a good defender, and a capable scorer, albeit a pitiful free throw shooter.

But adding Paul to that equation would be difficult under the salary cap.

Howard's camp has privately expressed interest in meeting with the Mavs. We haven't heard as much Mavericks love from Paul's camp.

Who's better?

Dallas Morning News columnist Tim Cowlishaw thinks Paul is the better option. Writes Cowlishaw

    Everyone should want Paul. He’s the best point guard in the NBA, and it’s not as close as it was a couple of years ago when Brooklyn’s Deron Williams seemed to be knocking on Paul’s door.

    Regardless, yes, the Mavericks want Paul.

    What can the Mavs offer? Oh, yes, no state income tax. Of course, the Houston Rockets, blessed with considerably better talent and plenty of cap room, can offer the same.

    What about the enigma of Howard? My first impulse would be to tell the Mavericks or any other team to stay away. Howard piles up impressive points and rebound totals almost purely on his physical presence. Nine years in the league, he still has no go-to shot, no discernible post moves.



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