The NBA Finals are nearing the end of the road (cue Boyz II Men). As we stand only three games removed from the conclusion of the 2012-13 NBA season, the speculation as to where this summer’s prized free agents will land is beginning to swirl at a fever pitch.
It was only days ago that three NBA franchises were hit with fines for tampering with eventual free agents Dwight Howard and Chris Paul, the Atlanta Hawks and Houston Rockets being among them.
The idea of Howard and Paul playing together has been circling the rumor mill for quite some time, especially since there are a handful of teams keen on replicating Pat Riley’s model in Miami for building a championship caliber team centered around a core of superstar players.
Recently, the story is that Paul and Howard have been in constant discussion of the possibility of teaming up. This prompted a sharp response from ESPN NBA Analyst Bill Simmons.
Hey Dwight? You thought playing with Kobe was hard? On a day-to-day basis, CP3 is even more relentless and unforgiving. But good luck!
— Bill Simmons (@BillSimmons) June 14, 2013
Friday, as many were still digesting the Miami Heat’s victory in Game 4 over the San Antonio Spurs, ESPN’s Chris Broussard—citing multiple sources—confirmed that the two star free agents are in fact communicating and would like to play with one another.
One source confirmed that “they would love to play together if somebody can make it happen.”
Yet, the team with the most flexibility available to acquire the two of them—the Atlanta Hawks—appears to have soured on both impending free agents. As Broussard’s sources stated that while Howard would be willing to play in Atlanta if Paul wanted to go there, the All-Star point guard is not as fond of Atlanta as he once was.
“It would be very tough for him to go to Atlanta. He loved Atlanta when they should have drafted him in ’05 but not so much since then. But hey, everybody is an option at this point.”
While it may sound like Atlanta is losing favor, the fact that they have the most money readily available to dispose of cannot be forgotten.
As the saying goes, “Money talks…”
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Michael Brumagin is the “Tweet of the Day” columnist for Sheridan Hoops.