Can the Clippers Get Dwight Howard And Chris Paul?
Recently, I have been wondering how the Clippers are going to improve their roster to appease Chris Paul. I think if they got Dwight Howard to join with him and Blake, then the Clippers big 3 would be on par with the Miami Heat. Yet is this possible? Eddie Sefko brought up that the Clippers are trying to do it, but how would they? Lets look at the salaries.
Right now the Clippers salary for 2013/2014:
Blake Griffin: $16,402,500
DeAndre Jordan: $10,986,550
Caron Butler: $8,000,000
Jamal Crawford: $5,225,000
Eric Bledsoe: $2,626,473
Grant Hill: $2,045,065
Willie Green: $1,399,507(Team Option)
So the total salary is: $46,685,095
The salary cap for the 2013/2014 season is $58,044,000 so that means the Clippers will have $11,358,905 in Salary Cap.
How much salary cap will the Clippers need to be able to sign both Dwight and CP3?
According to HoopsRumors, the max Dwight can make is 20,513,178 and Chris Paul can make 18,668,431. I am not exactly sure how the bird exception would work with CP3 and the Clippers, so I tried to look up how much the Clippers would need to sign both. After a long search I could not find anyone who has released an exact amount they would need so I am going to have to guess. According to SBNation, the Clippers would probably have to get rid of at least DeAndre and Caron Butler to have a chance at both. So how will they do this?
Grant Hill plans on retiring so that should free up that 2,045,065 million they owe him next year and reduce the total salary from $46,685,095 to $44,640,030
Now this is the big step is trades. The Clippers would have to get rid of DeAndre Jordan and Caron Butler. Caron Butler will be an expiring deal so I don’t think he will be that hard to move. DeAndre might be a little bit more difficult to move since he did not improve that much this past season and will have two years and around 22 million left on his deal, but he is still a very exciting player that can get people in their seats, plus two years is not that long of a deal. The Clippers are going to have to target teams that will have a lot of salary cap, and the teams that have large cap room in the 2013/2014 season are:
1. Philadelphia 46,193,356
2. San Antonio 41,831,628
3. Dallas 48,489,849
4. Minnesota 47,136,582
5. Cleveland 32,594,120
6. Detroit 35,172,720
7. Atlanta 18,483,800
8. Indiana 48,998,027
9. Utah 25,696,809
10. New Orleans 34,957,332
11. Milwaukee 40,581,659
12. Charlotte 40,420,327
13. Sacramento 40,707,644
14. Houston 38,063,852
The teams most likely to take on Caron and/or DeAndre are ones who would have a large interest in Eric Bledsoe too.
I think we can eliminate all the teams on that list who already have a clear PG for the future.
That cuts out Philadelphia, San Antonio, Minnesota, Cleveland, and Detroit.
5. New Orleans
Now I think the teams that would have the greatest interest are rebuilding teams, so lets get rid of Dallas (who seems to be trying to make one more run with Dirk), Indiana (who had an amazing season this year), and Houston (On the rise team and I just don’t see them making this trade).
Who is left now?
3. New Orleans
So if the Clippers unload Bledose, DeAndre, and Caron in some combination to these teams (which I do think is very possible) then I they will be able to sign Dwight Howard and CP3.
Would Dwight take the one less year though?
I doubt he would love the idea of leaving 30 million on the table with the Lakers, but I think Dwight would fit into the culture of the Clippers more than the Lakers. They seem to be an easier going and fun team plus he would have a better chance to win a championship along side CP3 and Blake Griffin.
Along with that would the Clippers even want to make this move?
When I started writing this story I thought it would be a great move for the Clippers, but the more I think about it the less I like it for them. First of all, how do we value Dwight Howard after that season with the Lakers? I personally would be very scared to sign Dwight to that much money after what he did last season. Also, is Dwight Howard a good fit with Chris Paul and Blake Griffin? I personally think CP3 works better with at least one post player who can stretch the floor and open up the paint (like David West back when he was on New Orleans). Lastly, the free throw shooting of DeAndre Jordan was one of his major drawbacks, and Dwight Howard does not seem to be much of an improvement in that aspect of his game.
I believe if the Clippers really want to they could free up the cap room to sign CP3 and Dwight, but the major things holding this back are if Dwight would accept the one less year and around 30 million dollars less, and if the Clippers (and CP3 since he can basically pick what he wants the Clippers to do this offseason) are willing to invest that much in Dwight. Clearly the Clippers need to make a move this offseason and probably some big ones, so do you guys think this would be a good move for them? Please leave your thoughts and maybe some other ideas for moves the Clippers could make this offseason in the comments and lets discuss!