Rumor: Howard, Paul, Williams still leaving Magic, Hornets, Nets?
Owners dropped their insistence on what would have been known as the Carmelo Anthony rule, preventing teams from executing extend-and-trade deals similar to the one that sent Anthony from the Denver Nuggets to the New York Knicks last season. This means that if Dwight Howard, Deron Williams and Chris Paul want to leverage their way out of Orlando, New Jersey and New Orleans, they will still be eligible to sign three-year extensions with their current teams before being immediately traded elsewhere.
HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Weren’t owners, in part, fighting to prevent superstars from leaving less desirable markets?
Wasn’t the five-month long lockout about re-establishing a balance between smaller, have-not markets and larger, have markets?
The owners conceded by failing to end the extend-and-trade clause, which means superstars and pending 2012 free agents Dwight Howard, Chris Paul, and Deron Williams have leverage over Orlando, New Orleans, and New Jersey in contract negotiations.
Howard, Paul, and Williams can sign lucrative four-year extensions for max’ money with the Magic, Hornets, and Nets as part of a trade – just like Carmelo Anthony did in 2011.
Remember Anthony held the Denver Nuggets hostage, signing an extension once he knew he’d be sent to the New York Knicks as part of a blockbuster deal.
Personally, I think Howard and Paul move on.
Howard wants a flashier, bigger city to maximize his off-court pursuits, while Paul is clearly frustrated with the Hornets’ progress and wants to win now.
Williams could stay with the Nets. Ownership has deep pockets. The franchise will soon swap the swamps of Jersey for a trendy Brooklyn stadium. And the stocky point guard, if he re-signs, will be the face of a re-born franchise.
Of course, the Nets have been trending upward since Mikhail Prokhorov, also known as Russia’s richest man, bought the franchise.
If Howard and Paul do leave Orlando and New Orleans through the extend-and-trade, fans will again wonder what the lockout was really for.
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