Chris Paul and Dwight Howard: Dynamic Duo?
We have officially entered a new era of super-teams in the NBA. We’ve got a couple of tried and true Big Three-centered teams going head-to-head right now in the NBA Finals. Of course, the San Antonio Spurs were a more organic Big 3 which coalesced on its own. The Miami Heat benefited from a planned combining of three teammates talented enough to carry a team by themselves. Miami was largely modeled on the success of the Boston Celtics, but now it seems that every team is rushing to put three marquee players on its roster.
Now, sources tell us that Chris Paul and Dwight Howard are looking to join forces as teammates (apparently they don’t care so much about having a third wheel).
This started as a rumor that they’d both end up in Atlanta, where Dwight Howard is from (although he’s never really expressed an interest in playing there). That one didn’t pass the smell test because the Hawks would need a swingman on the court to make it all work and right now, they just don’t have the personnel for it.
Now, we’re hearing that they might play together in Houston. Of course, the question there is if the Rockets can keep James Harden (and keep all three guys paid and happy). If they can, this would be quite a team and would, of course, feature the now requisite three stars.
Because we’re talking about Chris Paul here, the Los Angeles Clippers are also in the mix, though it would take a sign-and-trade by the Lakers in order for the resurgent Clippers to get Howard. This would also mean that the Lakers and Clippers would switch around a few key elements (like Howard going to the Clippers for Blake Griffin and Drew Bledsoe) and it’d probably be a bit confusing to watch for awhile, especially when they go head-to-head.
Out of all of those scenarios, the potential Houston squad is the best as far as potential championships. Houston’s got the missing link, and if these guys can gel together, they could instantly go to the top of the Western Conference next season.
If the Clippers keep CP3 and can get D12, they would essentially be in the same place as last year: with a phenomenal point guard and athletic big man with plenty of development and improvement yet to undergo.
Seriously, how many layups did Dwight Howard miss last season? Neither Griffin nor Howard has much range or free throw accuracy to his game, either.
Finally, Howard has a lot to prove. He’s looked like a child in a man’s world since his controversial departure from Orlando, and has failed to consistently show up in LA. His window of opportunity is closing fast, and he’s not quite the sure shot he used to be with executives. He works well in pick-and-roll situations, which Paul will run plenty of. No question, his best bet is to go wherever CP3 goes to place himself in the best situation for legacy and championships.