Chris Paul and Dwight Howard are regarded as the top players set to hit the open market this summer, and one team may wind up inking both of them. According to ESPN’s Chris Broussard, the two superstars have been texting one another frequently and are hoping to “team up” for the 2013-14 campaign and beyond.
Sources: CP3 & D12 hope to team up next season. Have been texting back & forth to figure it out. Story up soon on http://t.co/IRyv1niwQm— Chris Broussard (@Chris_Broussard) June 14, 2013
Should they join forces, it would be the most impactful free agency coup since 2010, when LeBron James and Chris Bosh decided to take their talents to South Beach, forming a “Big Three” for the Miami Heat that is now competing in a third straight NBA Finals.
Paul and Howard both made their way to Los Angeles recently, with CP3 getting traded from the New Orleans Hornets to the Clippers in December of 2011 and Howard being shipped off by the Orlando Magic to the Lakers in the summer of 2012.
They have both encountered varying degrees of success with their current organizations, but neither advanced past the first round of the playoffs in 2013. By signing with the same team, they would be greatly improving their chances for success in the postseason.
One franchise that has openly discussed this possibility is the Atlanta Hawks, who were recently fined for “tampering” by sending out a letter to prospective season ticket buyers.
According to Chris Vivlamore of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, the message read:
The buzz around our offseason is more than heating up. With massive cap space, 4 draft picks, and free agency rapidly approaching, we sit in the best position in the NBA. Player interest is skyrocketing as the possibilities of landing Chris Paul & Dwight Howard become more and more of a reality.
While it was originally expected that Paul would re-sign with the Clips and Howard had no interest in playing for his hometown Hawks, the message above suggests things have changed.
If Broussard’s report is true, Atlanta is one of the few clubs that could reasonably clear the required space to sign both superstars.
There are a few other organizations with a small chance of signing both CP3 and D12, and you can expect that general managers around the league are doing their homework and attempting to find out if this report is true.
Should Howard and Paul team up, the two superstars could be the centerpieces of the NBA's next dynasty.