Nene signed a 5-year deal worth $67 million with the Denver Nuggets Tuesday night, essentially closing the door on big-time 2011 free agents, unless you could Jamal Crawford, Sam Dalembert or Rodney Stuckey.
Now, back to 2012′s big two. What’s up with Dwight Howard and Chris Paul?
Dwight Howard: The Lakers and Nets appear to be the remaining best two options. The third? Increasingly, NBA writers feel Howard could stay in Orlando. Maybe acquiring Big Baby Davis is a step in the right direction! The latest option, floated this morning by ESPN’s Marc Stein: Orlando gets Gerald Wallace from Portland, and Brook Lopez of the Nets; the Nets get Howard; the Blazers get draft picks and a 4th team is somehow involved. Even in its fluidity, the trade is more difficult to decipher than the plot of Lost.
I wonder if any crafty GM will start to do what Pat Riley and the Miami Heat did before going after Lebron and Bosh: Purge the roster and go all in for Dwight Howard and Chris Paul or Deron Williams. Since Williams is from Dallas, and Mark Cuban is smart, and Dwight Howard put the Mavericks on his wish-list, I’ll say Dallas pulls off a miracle. Where will he dump Brenda Haywood and the Matrix?
Chris Paul: Speaking of Chris Paul … a few NBA reporters keep floating the idea that CP3 to the Clippers isn’t totally dead yet, but it’s difficult to muster any energy after the two initial deals were shot down. I’m currently suffering from Chris Paul fatigue (symptoms are similar to LeBron fatigue in 2009 and Carmelo Anthony fatigue in 2010, both of which briefly crippled every NBA fan on the planet). Just get the trade over with. Send him anywhere, and that includes Minnesota, because David Kahn doesn’t yet have enough point guards.