Up until this point, the talk about Dwight Howard and Chris Paul teaming up was all speculation. Sure, teams were eyeing up the possiblitiy of landing the pair, but at no point did we have any real indication that D12 and CP3 wanted to team up. However, that may have just changed.
According to Chris Broussard, Howard and Paul have been texting and want to work out a way to team up in time for next season:
[pullquote]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.
Paul and Howard have been communicating via text messages. This is not the first time they’ve talked about teaming up together.
During the lockout of 2011, they spoke often about going to Dallas together to play for the Mavericks. But their subsequent trades, Howard’s decision to opt into the final year of his contract in Orlando, and Dallas’ current payroll situation, seemed to eliminate the possibility of them ever becoming teammates.[/pullquote]
Before you ask, no, the Los Angeles Lakers can’t re-sign Howard and then sign Paul – unless, of course, CP3 takes a drastic pay cut. I explained all this last month, so if you’re interested, you can read of the ways the Lakers can and can’t get Paul here. In short, though, the possibility of the Lakers signing Paul are slim and none.
Also last month, executives felt that the Atlanta Hawks had a good chance of signing both Howard and Paul – the Hawks even later sent out an email to their season ticket holders, noting that the possibility of landing the All-Star duo is becoming “more and more of a reality”.
The Houston Rockets were also recently reported to be interested in pursuing both Howard and Paul this off-season, though it would likely take a lot of shuffling to secure enough cap room to sign the pair to max contracts. However, the Rockets apparently feel confident about pulling off such a move.
Finally, the Dallas Mavericks are likely to be another team who will try to snag both D12 and CP3 this summer, yet they’d appear to be more of an outsider at this point.