COMMENTARY | The Los Angeles Clippers have a lot of important decisions to make during this offseason.
The looming free agency circus starts July 1 and the franchise is focused on bringing back superstar point guard Chris Paul. They'll do whatever it takes to keep CP3 in L.A. as a Clipper. Besides finding the right head coach, this team also believes it'll need a roster with more talent.
Apparently, Chris Paul has recently shown interest in teaming up with Dwight Howard. Surprisingly enough, Dwight Howard has also expressed a mutual interest in joining the Clippers. It's an interesting situation because both players will be entering free agency this summer. The two of them can choose to team up in Atlanta, Dallas or maybe even Houston. But it would make most sense for both players to join forces in Los Angeles.
LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh decided to team up in South Beach during free agency in 2010. Since then, they've reached the NBA Finals every year, recently winning back-to-back championships. Miami's success in pairing stars together shows us that it's the best way to win NBA championships in an era of NBA super teams.
Dwight Howard will get everything he wants as a Clipper. He'll get to play for a big-market team without having the pressure of performing well. It was clear Howard couldn't live up to the expectations of the Los Angeles Lakers this past season. He couldn't play well and the fans were extremely disappointed in him.
He's also shown his displeasure in Mike D'Antoni's system. He's made it very clear that he's unhappy playing with Kobe Bryant. People viewed him differently as a Laker; he wasn't much of a team player. They felt he could have given the Lakers more effort.
Why would Dwight Howard want to leave the Lakers for the Clippers?
Joining a team like the Clippers gives Howard the best opportunity to win multiple championships alongside Chris Paul. The Clippers are in a big market, but with one major difference: There are no expectations with the Clippers, and the fans are much more forgiving.
But how could such a scenario become a reality?
This scenario is only possible through a sign-and-trade. In order for this to happen, the Clippers would have to offer a package surrounding Blake Griffin and Eric Bledsoe to the Lakers in exchange for Dwight Howard. Bledsoe is an important trade piece; the Clippers can get a lot in return if they trade him to the right team. But it doesn't make sense to package him with Blake Griffin. The Clippers should not let go of Blake Griffin. If CP3 is the leader, then Griffin is the heart of the franchise. Howard may have flourished more in the NBA, but Griffin has the most upside for the Clippers.
JUKE BOX, TAKE ME BACK TO 2011.
If it wasn't for Blake, there would be no Chris Paul. He made the Clippers look attractive, and that's why Chris Paul wanted to join the Clippers. He wanted to team up with Blake Griffin and form Lob City.
And contrary to popular belief, Griffin has consistently improved his overall game every year. He's capable of scoring, rebounding and passing. He's a complete player and at 24 years old, Griffin still has more room to grow. He's also a very unselfish teammate.
Howard, on the other hand, has displayed his selfishness far too many times. He whines too much and complains constantly. He wants to be the main man on the team, and we all know that will never happen with Chris Paul as his teammate. That could potentially cause chemistry problems for a team with so much talent.
Every dynasty has a No. 1 and No. 2 option. In Chicago, you had Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippen. Both players were incredibly good, but Pippen was OK with being the second option. The Lakers won multiple championships with Shaq and Kobe. Shaq and Kobe could have gone on to win more championships together, but eventually their egos got in the way.
Chris Paul and Dwight Howard are not exactly compatible because their egos will get in the way. Both players want to be in Los Angeles because they're craving the limelight. They want the best of both worlds. Dwight Howard will always want to prove he's the franchise player, but he'll have a tough time proving himself. It will eventually get to him and cause Dwightmare III. However, Griffin has shown he's very happy playing sidekick to Chris Paul. They form a great tag team.
Chris Paul wants to win, that's all he wants. He'll re-sign with the Clippers if he believes it gives him the best chance to win a championship. To be honest, the Clippers had a very talented roster this past season. They just need a few minor changes -- there's no need to shake up the entire roster. The Clippers would lose their identity if they trade Blake Griffin to the Lakers. They would no longer be Lob City, and that's something all Clippers fans love.
Chris Paul changed the culture; I know he made the Clippers a winning team. But he couldn't have done it without Blake Griffin. Management needs to do their best to keep this duo together. They have a bright future together. The Clippers want to win, and they can do it without Dwight Howard.
Krithic Annamalai lives in Los Angeles and covers the NBA as a sports writer for Sidelines. His articles regarding the NBA have been featured in Fox Sports and Sports Illustrated. He is also the Co-Founder of Champs Nation.
You can follow Krithic on Twitter @AskKrithic.
- Sports & Recreation
- Dwight Howard
- Chris Paul
- Blake Griffin
- Los Angeles Clippers