Is Dwight Howard next ???
On a day when the sports world seems to be going wild, a deal sending Chris Paul to the Lakers in a three-way deal involving Pao Gasol and Lamar Odom is reported signed and sealed. The blockbuster deal involves the Houston Rockets and would have Paul going to the Lakers, the Rockets receiving Pao Gasol, and the Hornets getting Lamar Odom, Kevin Martin, Luis Scola, and yet to be determined draft picks.
The deal would be huge for Paul and the Lakers who instantly address their biggest need …. a point guard. With it painfully obvious that Derek Fisher and Steve Blake not being able to take the Lakers to the promised land, the Lakers get the top point in the game and the player (along with Howard) who would have been the crown jewel in next year’s free agent class.
Paul, who desperately wanted to be traded to the Knicks, gets sent to a big market city with an elite teammate in Kobe Bryant and a strong possibility that D12 might also be on the way. At the very least, Paul still has a quality big man in the developing Andrew Bynum and whatever other pieces the Lakeshow can add to the puzzle. A long term max deal with Paul is almost certainly in place as it is doubtful that LA would pull the trigger with Paul as an unrestricted free agent at the end of the season.
The question now is whether the Lakers still have enough to swing a deal to get Dwight Howard away from the Magic. This would also most likely have to be a three-way deal as the Lakers don’t have enough left to satisfy what Orlando would want. Possibly it would include eating the Gilbert Arenas contract who is still owed $60 million. LA could use their amnesty on Arenas, pay him, and leave Orlando with their amnesty action intact and a much better cap situation. History says the Lakers get Howard who would follow the legacy of Laker big men Wilt, Kareem, Shaq, and even Pao.
In other Laker news, it looks like Shannon Brown will be taking his talents to the Phoenix Suns on a one-year $3.5 million dollar deal. The Suns were in need of a quality backup to Steve Nash with Aaron Brooks marooned in China for the near future. Laker second-round pick Andrew Goudelock out of College of Charleston will now become the guard at both the point and shooting positions.
In other free agent signings around the league, Shane Battier made it official and signed with Miami Heat. South Beach also took a shot with big man bust Eddie Currey who took down monster jack while playing just ten games in three years for the Knicks. Tayshaun Prince re-uped with the Pistons for four more years in a surprise. Caron Butler signed a three-year $24 million dollar deal with the Clippers. Mike Dunleavy inked a two-year deal in with the Bucks. The Knicks appear to have the edge in getting Tyson Chandler.