Chris Paul tells Dwight Howard “just keep playing hard”

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Chris Paul and Dwight Howard were going to be the twin Carmelo Anthonys for this season — guys in the last year of their contract holding that over their teams’ heads to get a trade to a destination of their choosing.

Except the Hornets traded Paul to the Clippers and turned Los Angeles into a contender. That leaves Howard out there by himself, going along while the Magic look like a team not interested in making a move (certainly not before the All-Star Game).

So what advice did Paul have for Howard? From the Orlando Sentinel:

“Just keep playing hard and doing what he’s doing,” Paul said after his new team, the Los Angeles Clippers, prepared to play Howard’s Magic on Monday.

“It’s a tough situation that he’s in, but he can only control what he can. So the best thing that he can do is just keep going out there and playing as hard as he can.”

It’s a tough situation of his own creation (with some help from Otis Smith).

It’s only going to get weirder and worse between now and the trade deadline. We’ll see how it impacts the Magic on the court, which circles back to whether it wants to stay — it’s a vicious cycle.