Tag: Dwight Howard

Houston Rockets v Los Angeles Clippers - Game Four

Report: Dallas most likely team to lure DeAndre Jordan from Clippers, Chandler Parsons already recruiting


Two summers ago Chandler Parsons helped recruit Dwight Howard to Houston. Then last summer Parsons bolted the Rockets and signed with the rival Mavericks over in Dallas.

Even there he doesn’t stop. Chandler is back to recruiting big men.

He met last week with DeAndre Jordan at his Texas home and flew back to Los Angeles with him. Dallas is looking like the biggest threat to lure Jordan away from the Clippers, as reported by Tim MacMahon at ESPN.

Sources told ESPN.com that the Mavericks are the team feared most by the Clippers even though Jordan is expected to meet with at least two more teams: the New York Knicks and Los Angeles Lakers.

Mavericks small forward Chandler Parsons, who regards himself to be Dallas’ lead recruiter on free agent matters, visited Jordan in Houston last weekend and traveled to Los Angeles immediately after Thursday’s draft to spend more time with the big man.

Jordan’s decision likely comes down to staying with the Clippers or heading to Dallas. He wants to be more at the forefront of a team, and that’s not happening with the Lakers (that’s Kobe Bryant’s team, and then it will be probably D’Angelo Russell’s). The Knicks are a long shot.

Clippers fans should be nervous — if Jordan bolts Los Angeles has no way to replace him with near the same quality (even without Jordan’s contract LA would be close to the cap and have only the mid-level exception to use; which last year got them Spencer Hawes). Jordan reportedly has felt like the third wheel at times — the Clippers are Chris Paul and Blake Griffin’s team. Jordan gets Defensive Player of the Year votes, Doc Rivers pumps Jordan up like no other (he restored the confidence Vinny Del Negro had shattered), but Jordan is not the focal point of the Clippers. Not even close, and that plus CP3’s unrelenting competitiveness can wear on some guys.

Still, the Clippers have three big things going for them. First, Jordan likes being in Los Angeles and Hollywood, he likes all the perks that can be associated with living in the nation’s second . Second, frustrated with him or not, no point guard is going to make Jordan look as good, no point guard trust him like Paul. Finally, and most importantly, the Clippers can offer one more guaranteed year (five years vs. four) and about $30 million more in guaranteed money than anyone else.

The money — and the fact the Clippers are contenders — should have Jordan leaning Los Angeles. But after years of feeling like the third guy at best on the team, the fact other teams are going to pump up his ego — as Parsons is already doing — will play well with a guy wanting that recognition.

Report: Lakers would still trade D’Angelo Russell for DeMarcus Cousins straight up. Kings wouldn’t.

2015 NBA Draft

DeMarcus Cousins’ agent Dan Fegan tried. He was the guy who guided Dwight Howard’s exit from Orlando, and now he was attempting to get his other top center out of Sacramento and to the Los Angeles Lakers. He got permission from the Kings’ owner to explore a deal, but he couldn’t find one that Kings GM and the owner would sign off on. Now more and more it looks like George Karl and Cousins may just have to try and get along.

But if something changes, the Lakers would gladly give up their recent No. 2 pick D’Angelo Russell for Cousins, reports Mark Heisler at the Daily News.

Of course, it’s not the Lakers side of that equation that was ever in question.

You shortcut (the rebuilding process) at your peril, even if the Lakers were willing to trade their No. 2 pick for Sacramento’s even-higher-maintenance-than-Dwight-Howard DeMarcus Cousins … and would send Russell up there tomorrow if that would do it, a league source told me.

Not that it’s likely to happen, either. With owner Vivek Ranadive intent on not trading Cousins, much less to the hated Lakers, the Kings asked for the moon — the No. 2 pick, Jordan Clarkson, Julius Randle, more picks.

That was the asking price I heard as well, and that maybe you could talk the Kings back to “just” Randle, Clarkson and now Russell but that was the floor.

That’s not a deal the Lakers should do.

Those three young players form a solid core, the kind free agents will take a long look at because there is potential. The Lakers will be swinging for the fences, and they will connect at some point. That doesn’t mean LaMarcus Aldridge comes this summer (smart money there is still on the Texas teams), nor Kevin Love (don’t expect him to bolt Cleveland, at least this summer). But it means that over the next few years the Lakers are likely to land one or two big names, which paired with that core vault them back up near the top of the West.

In the short term, you sell the Kobe Bryant farewell tour (even if he will not call it that).

Cousins is a cornerstone player, but you can’t give up everything to get him.

Daryl Morey says Rockets more likely to re-sign their own free agents than land a big name

D.J. Augustin, Patrick Beverley

In the last two offseasons, the Rockets have been major players in free agency. All indications from Daryl Morey are that that’s not going to be the case this year. In 2013, Houston landed the biggest free agent of the summer in Dwight Howard. Last year, they made a pitch to Carmelo Anthony and came close to luring Chris Bosh away from Miami, before the Heat came through with a max contract offer. Now, even with such names as Kevin Love and LaMarcus Aldridge on the market, Morey seems more focused on re-signing the Rockets’ own players who are due for new deals than adding another star.

From Jonathan Feigen of the Houston Chronicle:

The Rockets are “probably likely” to stick with their plan to remain above the salary cap and spend the free-agency period putting the band back together by signing many, if not all, of their five free agents.

Morey did say there are “possible opportunities we have to explore that are bigger. But I think they’re unlikely.”

Those unlikely “possible opportunities” are enough for the Rockets to do some big-game hunting when free-agent season opens Wednesday, but without the confidence of the past two summers.

This summer’s top free-agent targets – big men LaMarcus Aldridge and Kevin Love – are considered much greater long shots than the top players of the past two offseasons that had the Rockets in the middle of the annual free-agent frenzy.

The Rockets will have five players to make decisions on this summer: restricted free agents Patrick Beverley and K.J. McDaniels, and unrestricted free agents Josh Smith, Corey Brewer and Jason Terry. Beverley and Smith are the two most likely players to be priorities. Beverley missed the last two weeks of the regular season and the entire postseason with torn ligaments in his left wrist, but he should be healthy by training camp and he’s been a defensive pest for Houston the last three years. He should be due for a significant raise over the $915,000 he made this season — probably something north of $10 million annually.

Smith resurrected his career in Houston after a catastrophic year-plus in Detroit, learning to play to his strengths as a solid defender and around-the-basket finisher and complimenting Howard well in the frontcourt. Brewer found a perfect role as an energy guy off the bench in Houston after being traded from Minnesota in December. Terry was surprisingly solid in the backup point guard role, stepping in as a starter after Beverley went down. McDaniels didn’t play much after being traded to Houston from Philadelphia at the deadline, but he’s still a promising young talent.

Unless something unforeseen happens, Morey’s plan seems to be to keep this group together and add new draftees Sam Dekker and Montrezl Harrell. And why not? The Rockets made the Western Conference Finals despite injuries to Beverley and Donatas Motiejunas. If the opportunity is there to get a star like Love or Aldridge, Morey will obviously go for it, but it’s understandable that he sees potential for this core to make yet another leap after a successful season and playoff run.