This is what a star like Blake Griffin can do for a franchise.
A year ago, the Los Angeles Clippers were not on anybody’s radar as a free agent until they got desperate. Now, in one day they have popped up as a potential landing spot for the two biggest free agents on the market. We told you already about Chris Paul.
Now there is the note from Chris Broussard at ESPN that the Clippers really want Dwight Howard.
But while the Clippers like Paul, sources say they like Dwight Howard even more. The Clippers have made it clear to executives throughout the league that they will do whatever it takes — outside of trading Griffin — to get Howard, who will become a free agent at the same time as Paul, either this season or next summer. So they will not move the players they’ll try to use to get Howard to New Orleans for Paul.
The Clippers would have to give up a lot to make that deal work. Chris Kaman would be the base because of his $12.2 million salary, but Orlando is going to want pieces for the future out of this. I’d demand Eric Gordon, Al-Farouq Aminu and a first round pick.
Clippers fans may think that’s a lot, but realize that the team across the hall will offer up Andrew Bynum and parts, and there are 27 other teams including Boston that will put together trade packages, so you’re going to have to come big to win this. Dwight Howard and Blake Griffin would make the most formidable front line in the NBA.
Of course, the other question one always has to ask is this — will Dwight Howard take the risk of going to a team owned by Donald Sterling. The Clippers are hot now, but they have been at the bottom for a long time for a reason.
All of this is dependent on the Magic deciding they have to trade Howard, and we may never get there. Still, you can start moving the Clippers into the echelon of teams free agents will consider now. Thank Blake Griffin for that.
The Nets have been without a general manager since January 10, when Billy King stepped down coinciding with the firing of head coach Lionel Hollins. Since then, a few names have come up in rumors about their search, including Danny Ferry, who appears to be out of the running. But there may be a new GM in place soon.
Via Tim Bontemps of the Washington Post:
Not that the Nets will be able to do much at the deadline, since they don’t really have a lot to trade that will be of interest to other teams, and at 13-38 they’re already essentially out of playoff contention. But having a GM in place will allow them to get a head start on planning for the offseason, which will include free agency, hiring a new coach, scouting for the draft … actually, forget that last part.
The Spurs beat the Mavericks by 26 points on Friday night, a game all of the Dallas players would love to forget. But there was a funny moment for rookie big man Salah Mejri: after a dunk, he appeared to yell something at the San Antonio bench. Gregg Popovich and Tim Duncan were completely nonplussed.
For what it’s worth, Mejri later tweeted that he wasn’t intending to be disrespectful.
Hassan Whiteside recorded a triple-double last night against the Hornets, and his tenth block was particularly impressive. He didn’t so much block Marvin Williams‘ layup attempt as pluck it out of the air with one hand. It almost looks like it should count as a block, rebound and steal at the same time.
The NBA world has taken notice of the water crisis in Flint, Michigan. In Thursday night’s home game against the Knicks on TNT, Pistons players wore warmup shirts that read “FLINT NOW,” and the organization announced a $500,000 donation towards providing clean water for residents of the town.
Former Pistons great and general basketball legend Rasheed Wallace went even further, according to a tweet from his alma mater, the University of North Carolina:
Sheed obviously has a connection to Michigan, having played in Detroit for six years (including on the 2004 title team) and serving as an assistant coach for the Pistons during the 2013-14 season. This was an incredible gesture by him for the residents of a town that has been without drinkable water for a long time.