Lakers Rumors: Comparing Dwight Howard Sign-and-Trade to Clippers and Rockets

If Dwight Howard is determined to leave the Los Angeles Lakers, they must succumb to sign-and-trade rumors to avoid being left empty-handed.

ESPN’s Chris Broussard reported on Friday that Howard and Chris Paul want to be teammates. Both are unrestricted free agents this summer. They could connect on the Atlanta Hawks, who have the salary cap space to sign both to max contracts.

According to Broussard, though, D12 and CP3 would rather live in Los Angeles, making a sign-and-trade between the Lakers and Clippers the most likely scenario which leads to them playing together.

However, Lakers Nation’s Mark Heisler reported that Mitch Kupchak and company would rather let Howard walk and free up cap space for a 2014 free-agent class that includes LeBron James and Carmelo Anthony. The report also mentioned, though, that if the Houston Rockets offered James Harden, L.A. could make an exception.

Kobe Bryant turns 35 years old in August and is in the final year of his contract. He’s aiming to win seven titles, according to ESPN’s Ramona Shelburne. If the Lakers pass on a sign-and-trade to free up cap space, Bryant would be furious that his dream of doing so in purple and gold would be all but doused.

If Los Angeles’ front office were to take Bryant into consideration, it would accept the best offer on the table for Howard.  

Broussard reported that the Clippers considered trading Blake Griffin for Howard when he was on the Orlando Magic and threw out Eric Bledsoe’s name as another potential trade piece. Heisler named Jeremy Lin and Omer Asik as options alongside Harden, while Yahoo! Sports’ Adrian Wojnarowski reported in May that Thomas Robinson was on the block.

Location shouldn’t influence where the Lakers were to trade Howard. They’d be forced to face off against him four times in the regular season per ...

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