by Zach Harper cbssportsline
The two main prizes of this summer are Los Angeles Clippers point guard Chris Paul and Los Angeles Lakers center Dwight Howard. Any team would be lucky to either retain their services or get them to sign with a new team. When these two are at their best, they're typically battling it out for the distinction of third-best player in the NBA if you are on board with LeBron James and Kevin Durant being the top two.
While some teams are hoping to acquire one of these players, it's possible Paul and Howard are looking to team up and become a package deal. Chris Broussard of ESPN.com is reporting that the point guard-center combination have been in consistent contact with each other recently and are thinking about becoming teammates.
Chris Paul and Dwight Howard have been in consistent contact recently about the possibility of becoming teammates next season, according to league sources.
Paul and Howard will be the biggest free agents on the market this summer, and their desire is to play together, the sources said.
"They would love to play together if somebody can make it happen," one of the sources said.
The Atlanta Hawks could make it happen. Atlanta, which is Howard's hometown, has the cap room to sign both players to maximum-salaried contracts.
Howard is not particularly fond of the idea of returning to Atlanta, but he would do so to team up with Paul, the sources said.
The idea of these two ending up on the same team together isn't anything new. Recently, we discussed if it was even possible for the Houston Rockets to try and acquire both players this summer. With Howard apparently not keen on the idea of going back to Atlanta to play for the Hawks (he grew up in Atlanta), it's hard to find a lot of teams with the flexibility to bring in both players without them taking serious pay cuts from the max deals they're sure to be offered.
Paul has carte blanche with the Clippers in the second-biggest market in the NBA. Convincing him to go to a city that doesn't have a great track record with being a basketball town could be difficult. And he has a young superstar in Blake Griffin while being able to pick his coach from the available pool right now. Would Paul really leave Los Angeles, where it's believed to be much easier to draw free agents, to team up with Howard and his antics in Atlanta or Houston or somewhere that can get pretty creative?
We have to wait a couple of more weeks to find out.