NBA Rumors Roundup: Chris Paul to Clippers, Latest on Dwight Howard & More

Ethan Norof@ethan_norofCorrespondent IDecember 12, 2011

NBA Rumors Roundup: Chris Paul to Clippers, Latest on Dwight Howard & More

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    The Chris Paul trade rumors to Los Angeles have been omnipresent, and a new scenario has him playing home games at Staples Center this season.

    In addition to the madness surrounding the Paul situation, the NBA has been swirling with rumors and transactions as we creep closer to the December 25 start date, and teams still have plenty of moves to make before that time.

    There are still some attractive free agents on the market and Dwight Howard remains on the trade block, so there are a ton of players who could still very well be changing zip codes before the opening tip.

O.J. Mayo

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    Memphis and Indiana have previously visited a trade that would've landed Mayo with the Pacers at last season's deadline, and now the two teams have rekindled the conversation once again.

    This time around, the clubs are working on a sign-and-trade that would send unrestricted free agent Josh McRoberts to Memphis (along with SG Brandon Rush) in exchange for Mayo, a move that would address needs for both the Grizzlies and Pacers.

    The Grizzlies would get a much needed big man in the reserve group while the Pacers would receive a player capable of creating his own shot.

Chauncey Billups

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    Billups got the short end of the stick from New York, and the veteran point guard was the victim of the amnesty clause in order for the Knicks to sign free-agent center Tyson Chandler.

    He was very upset about getting waived and cautioned teams from bidding for his services, as he wants the ability to choose his next destination at this stage in his career.

    There has been speculation that he could join a contender (Miami?) if he makes it through waivers, but the Hawks are said to have interest should he be seeking to join fellow veteran Tracy McGrady in Atlanta.

Gilbert Arenas

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    Arenas was waived via the amnesty clause like Billups, and that was hardly a surprise given his unbelievably bloated contract and how greatly it impacted Orlando's long-term salary cap flexibility.

    New Jersey point guard Deron Williams recently asked about Arenas joining the Nets, and now the team will make a push to sign him if able to pull off a trade for Dwight Howard.

    There shouldn't be a lot of competition to land his services, and there is speculation floating around that Arenas is hoping to land on the same team as Howard once the big man is ultimately dealt.

DeAndre Jordan

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    Jordan parlayed an increased role for the Clippers last season into an unbelievably lucrative offer sheet from Golden State, a team desperate to land an upgrade inside.

    He signed a four-year, $43 million deal with the Warriors, and the Clippers will now have three days to match, and the expectation is that the team will do exactly that.

    If Los Angeles does match and retain Jordan, he's ticketed for a seriously increased role as the unquestioned starter for the Clippers, as Chris Kaman (and his expiring contract) will be on the way out via trade.

Reggie Evans

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    Evans should appeal to a number of contending clubs looking to add a source of rebounds and energy to the second unit, and the veteran free agent shouldn't take long to make his decision.

    Boston, Portland, New Jersey and Toronto have all expressed some interest in Evans, and both contract value and playing time could serve as swaying factors in his upcoming decision.

    The Celtics and Trail Blazers present prime opportunities for Evans to realistically compete in the postseason, but he could also choose the Nets should the team be able to land Dwight Howard.

Marreese Speights

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    Speights fell out of favor with Doug Collins in Philadelphia last season, and he seems like a natural candidate to be dealt at some point this season.

    Should Denver be unable to re-sign Nene, the club could look to add Speights via trade in an effort to bolster a completely depleted deflated front line.

    The former first-round pick could certainly use a change of scenery in order to harbor his potential. It's far too early to give up on the skilled big man at this point in his career.

Jamal Crawford

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    New York was hopeful that the team might be able to add Crawford in an unconventional three-team sign-and-trade deal, but it doesn't sound like the chances of that happening are high.

    Although the Knicks would love to bring the volume scorer back into the fold, the trade appears unlikely to happen at this point and the club is no longer pursuing it as a realistic option.

    Crawford remains on the open market as an unrestricted free agent along with fellow shooting guards Nick Young and Arron Afflalo, although the latter are both restricted.

Kevin Martin

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    Martin was the at the epicenter of trade rumors last week in the voided Chris Paul trade which would have sent him to New Orleans.

    It's possible that the Rockets will still look to trade him this season, and if that's the case, the Timberwolves could be a player for his services as his former head coach, Rick Adelman, is now presiding on the Minnesota bench.

    There hasn't been anything to suggest that Houston GM Daryl Morey is exploring an alternative deal for Martin, but that could change as the Rockets look to shape the roster going forward.

J.J. Barea

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    Barea was reportedly "betrayed" by the Mavericks only offering him a one-year contract following the team's championship run, but Dallas is clearly preserving cap space for the 2012 offseason.

    As a result, it looks like Barea will move on, and he's now on the verge of signing a four-year contract with the Minnesota Timberwolves for $19 million to join Ricky Rubio in the same backcourt.

    GM David Kahn strikes again with yet another point guard.

    Once again, the T-Wolves will likely overpay for a mediocre player who doesn't bring the team any closer to contending while simultaneously failing to address any real need on the roster.


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    Some view Nene as the top free agent available, but he's going to have to wait for some other cards to fall into place before making his decision.

    The big man is down to three potential destinations: Denver, Houston or New Jersey, but that's what has been expected for quite some time now.

    Nene will get overpaid no matter where he lands next, and the idea that he's going to collect a salary well north or $10-12 million per season is fairly astonishing.

Marc Gasol

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    Houston was preparing a four-year, $55 million offer sheet for Gasol to sign after losing out on his older brother, but that was a desperation play in an effort for the Rockets to land a big man.

    The Grizzlies have been consistent in the stance that the club would match any offer on Gasol, and Memphis appears ready to do exactly that and bring the coveted center back to Memphis.

    Gasol is not going to be receiving anywhere near the maximum salary, and that contract looks like an absolute bargain in a market where both Tyson Chandler and DeAndre Jordan will be wildly overpaid.

Dwight Howard

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    There have been rumors swirling around Howard since he officially requested a trade out of Orlando.

    While the Nets and Lakers appearing to be the front-runners for his services, Los Angeles is unwilling to trade both Andrew Bynum and Pau Gasol for Howard, as it would be a move that would cripple the team's depth in the front court.

    After trading Lamar Odom to Dallas, the Lakers don't have a player behind their two starting big men to step into the picture.

Chris Paul

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    Chris Paul might get his wish and be traded to Los Angeles after all, only not with with the team that has Kobe Bryant on the roster.

    The Clippers and Hornets are reportedly closing in on a trade that would re-stack the deck for New Orleans in an unbelievably favorable manner after Commissioner David Stern vetoed the deal that would've sent Paul to the Lakers.

    ESPN details the deal as Eric Gordon, Chris Kaman, Al-Farouq Aminu and Minnesota's unprotected first-round pick in 2012 in exchange for Paul, but the Los Angeles Times reports that it may be Eric Bledsoe instead of Gordon.

    UPDATE: Yahoo! Sports is reporting that Gordon is not a part of the revised deal.

    Additionally, Paul will exercise the 2012-13 option on his contract, meaning that he'll be with the Clippers for at least two seasons if the deal goes through.

    David Stern is pushing for the Hornets to land both Bledsoe and Gordon, and the idea that the commissioner is facilitating such an unbelievable haul for the Hornets is truly nothing short of incredible.