Will Dwight Howard and Chris Paul Be the New Faces of New York Basketball?

Joye Pruitt@joyethewarSenior Analyst IJuly 2, 2012

ORLANDO, FL - MARCH 13:  Dwight Howard #12 of the Orlando Magic smiles during the game against the Miami Heat at Amway Center on March 13, 2012 in Orlando, Florida.  NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Sam Greenwood/Getty Images)
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There are huge differences in how each superstar has played the hand they have been dealt over the last couple of seasons.

Dwight Howard became the villain of a franchise, then of a city, then of the league through his melee of transgressions against the Orlando Magic.

Chris Paul went quietly to the Los Angeles Clippers after being denied a trade to the Los Angeles Lakers, well if you call less than 10 characters on Twitter and considering legal action against the league quietly. At the end of the day, however, both men could turn into the fresh faces of the mecca of basketball—New York.

With the Brooklyn Nets being on Howard’s wish list and the Knicks being on Paul’s list of destinations, which was made obvious by Paul’s rejection of the Clippers’ $60 million extension, New York basketball may get a huge overhaul. Howard’s labeling may come sooner than later with a possible trade looming in the near future.

Yet, Paul’s arrival to the Big Apple would have to wait until next summer since he still has another year with the Los Angeles Clippers.

Now it could all be a business ploy to get more money. Waiting another year to ink a deal with the club he can get a five-year, $105 million contract, which as Sports Illustrated pointed out is one of the financial positives the players receive from the new CBA.

Paul has been in the league long enough to know how to get what he wants and how to look towards patience to achieve those goals, financially as well as athletically. Yet, why wouldn’t Paul’s eyes still rest on the New York Knicks still?

While being traded to the Los Angeles Lakers would have indefinitely curved Paul’s desire to head to New York, he was shifted towards the Clippers by David Stern. Not to say that the Clippers do not have a viable future in the league, but there are a lot of question marks surrounding CP3 and Blake Griffin.

LOS ANGELES, CA - MAY 20:  Chris Paul #3 of the Los Angeles Clippers reacts in the third quarter while taking on the San Antonio Spurs in Game Four of the Western Conference Semifinals in the 2012 NBA Playoffs on May 20, 2011 at Staples Center in Los Ange
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There is the coaching situation that perplexed every fan with an ounce of common sense, which is becoming less and less common as the world turns.

Vinny Del Negro may be a decent coach. Still he seemed incredibly over his head throughout the 2011-12 season, with a minor exception in the 2012 NBA Playoffs, where he still echoed the appearance of a coach just along for the ride.

Mike Woodson may not be a Phil Jackson or a Pat Riley, but he sure as hell figured out a way to draw defense out of such an offensively directed player like Carmelo Anthony, all with an interim tag. Imagine what he could do with a duo like Carmelo Anthony and Chris Paul.

Dreams and nightmares would be brought to life.

It would be an incredible marketing formula for Paul being a cornerstone of a major New York franchise, because while Anthony would be the scoring machine he was built to be, the Knicks would go as far as Paul took the team. He would be the king of New York. Unless….

Dwight Howard could honestly be as much of a pain in the butt to Chris Paul’s King of New York status as he was to the Orlando Magic front office.

Now that he has exposed the fact that Orlando’s front office blackmailed him into signing an opt-in clause to keep him from exercising his Early Termination Option, and then subsequently backtracked, maybe the Magic will take heed and ship him out of town.

If they knew what was good for the city and the organization, he would have been gone a season ago, but that is neither here nor there. The season’s gone down the drain and without Howard, life seemed not so bad in the 2012 NBA Playoffs.

NEW YORK, NY - MARCH 28: Dwight Howard #12 of the Orlando Magic looks on against the New York Knicks at Madison Square Garden on March 28, 2012 in New York City. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this P
Chris Trotman/Getty Images

As long as the new Orlando GM can see past what Howard could have been for the franchise and see how poisonous he’s become to their progression, Howard will be in Brooklyn sooner than later.

Then the Nets become the not so little brother anymore. Just look at the Los Angeles Lakers and the Los Angeles Clippers. The Knicks do not exude nearly as much of a dynasty aura as the Lakers do and the Nets would have a player much like Blake Griffin with more experience and more clout.

You would have two teams battling over rights to the state and Howard would give fans a huge reason to force the Brooklyn Nets into that No.1 spot. He would instantaneously be the biggest star in New York for a couple of reasons.


The way Howard left Orlando

The way Howard has manufactured an exit from Orlando has earned him a world class ticket on everyone’s “I Hate Him” list. You may have loved him before, but that wide smile and broad shoulders may not ring with the same humility it once did.

Say hi to the bad guy.

Howard will be propelled into spotlight of championship aspirations because he will no longer have the excuse that the men around him had no heart, that they were holding him back. He could possibly be surrounded by players like Gerald Wallace and Deron Williams, if he plans to re-sign with the Nets.

LeBron James became a star, for all the wrong reasons when he took his talents to South Beach. Dwight Howard is follow in those footsteps, a little more sloppily, but becoming the pariah all the same. Everybody loves to pay attention to the villain.


The potential he brings

Howard has the potential to be one of the greatest centers to have ever played the game. What’s missing from him on the court are fundamentals and true form. Just like with Blake Griffin.

Before you there is a player, drenched with some of the most awe-striking athleticism and power any individual specimen can have. The Brooklyn Nets would have the best big man in the league.

He would be the most influential player in New York, with the inclusion of Carmelo Anthony.

The king of New York has been crowned twice in the past two seasons, with Amare Stoudemire and Carmelo Anthony. Over the next two seasons, it seems as if the throne will be interchangeable.

Chris Paul and Dwight Howard heading to New York will do unimaginable things for the Eastern Conference’s heightening reign in the league, if they make it there.