Things are really starting to heat up now.
According to an ESPN report, the Los Angeles Clippers are “weighing the prospect” of offering Blake Griffin and Eric Bledsoe to the Los Angeles Lakers in exchange for Dwight Howard:
[pullquote]Sources told ESPN.com the Clippers are concurrently weighing the prospect of offering star forward Blake Griffin in tandem with prized young guard Eric Bledsoe to the Los Angeles Lakers in a sign-and-trade pitch to land Dwight Howard after July 1.
Sources say the Clippers want to keep open the option that they could package Bledsoe with Griffin in a sign-and-trade offer for Howard after the Lakers’ center becomes a free agent on July 1. ESPN The Magazine’s Chris Broussard reported Friday that Howard and Clippers star Chris Paul have been in consistent contact in recent weeks in hopes of landing on the same team via free agency.[/pullquote]
For the transaction to work, Howard would have to agree to a sign-and-trade to the Clippers, something that isn’t so far-fetched seeing as Chris Broussard reported on Friday that Dwight and Chris Paul would both like to sign with the Clips this summer.
The hard part, though, would likely be convincing the Lakers to take part in a potential deal. Their number one aim this off-season will be to re-sign Howard for themselves – why should they help out their crosstown rivals? Well, being compensated by two young, talented players such as Griffin and Bledsoe might help.
So, would the Lakers ever do it? Adrian Wojnarowski says no: his source tells him that the purple and gold would never want to help the Clippers:
However, ESPN Los Angeles reporters, Ramona Shelburne and Dave McMenamin, are hearing different. Shelburne says the idea of the two teams never dealing with each other is “overblown”, while McMenamin reports that the Lakers, to this points, haven’t even discussed between themselves the idea of trading Howard to the Clippers:
If Dwight walked into Mitch Kupchak‘s office and said he wanted to be sent to the Clippers via sign-and-trade, the Lakers would have two choices: either dare the Clippers with the mammoth task of clearing enough cap space to sign Dwight, leaving the Lakers with nothing in return if the Clips could pull of such a move, or Kupchak could accommodate Howard’s request and receive two young, athletic players who would fit nicely in Mike D’Antoni‘s system.
Whatever Dwight and the Lakers choose to do this summer, it’s definitely going to be interesting.