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Dwight Howard reportedly adds the LA Clippers to his “wish list” – trade this season unlikely.

2012 January 16

Add Chris Paul’s Lob City Clip Show to the list of potential Dwight Howard trade scenarios. The Los Angeles Clippers. Donald Sterling’s Los Angeles Clippers. Chris Sheridan, of Sheridan Hoops, published the report this evening of Dwight’s new interest:

Dwight Howard now has a fourth team on his wish list: The Los Angeles Clippers.

SheridanHoops.com learned exclusively Monday that Howard recently expanded his list of preferred future destinations, adding the Clippers to a list that already included the Nets, the Mavericks and the Lakers.

“He’s been watching them a lot. He’s intrigued by the Clippers,” said the source, who is privy to the trade talks that have taken place between all of the aforementioned teams.

3 quick thoughts:

  1. I sat and listened to Dwight talk about his trade request for 4 straight days during training camp. The first 4 days that he publicly discussed anything related to the trade request. The overarching takeaway was not that Dwight wanted the limelight of NY or LA, it was that he was frustrated with the organizational structure of the Magic. Not just Stan, not just Otis Smith but the way that the organization is run from top to bottom. He talked about Mark Cuban several times pointing to the involvement he has and the way he supports his players. Donald Sterling is no Mark Cuban.
  2. If he really wanted to go to the Clippers, he would have to do so as a free agent. In case you missed it during the offseason, the Clippers traded all of their young talent away to get Chris Paul. And the likelihood of them doing a Blake Griffin for Dwight Howard trade is highly unlikely. They should make that trade, but they wont.
  3. It’s not impossible. The Clippers will be just over the base salary cap next year unless Mo Williams decides to not exercise his player option. If they could clear his salary, or another salary they could sign Dwight as a free agent.  The sign and trade also remains a possibility. I don’t think it’s a likely scenario (for basketball and personal reasons), but it’s not impossible.

The other bit of information that will intrigue Magic fans in Sheridan’s article is that the likelihood of Dwight being traded this season is very slim.

Sheridan added: That source also said it now appears more likely that Howard will play out the season with the Magic, who improved to 9-3 Monday afternoon by defeating the New York Knicks 102-93 while making 17 3-pointers and getting just 8 points and 10 rebounds from Howard.

Sheridan further added: Yet another option for Howard is remaining with the Magic for the 2012-13 season and collecting his $19.54 million salary, then making his big free agency move in the summer of 2013. But several sources cautioned that staying another year in Orlando is a long shot, given Howard’s hot-and-cold relationships with coach Stan Van Gundy and general manager Otis Smith.

This has been the game plan of Alex Martins all along. While the organization was split during training camp as to whether to trade Dwight now or hold on as long as they could, Martins provided the steady hand hoping that time could heal all wounds. Or more importantly, winning could heal all wounds.

With the Magic sitting at 9-3 on the season, the winning is doing its part. As much as it may seem important to win games in January, it’s the games in April and May that will make the most impact.

Summary: Don’t expect to see a Dwight trade this season (with the Lakers being the only real option) and while it may be feasible, don’t expect to see Dwight in a Clippers uniform in 2012 or 2013.

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