Wednesday , Jan , 18 , 2012 Hoopsvibe

Rumor: Dwight Howard to Clippers?

SheridanHoops.com learned exclusively Monday that Howard recently expanded his list of preferred future destinations, adding the Clippers to a list that already included the Nets, the Mavericks and the Lakers. “He’s been watching them a lot. He’s intrigued by the Clippers,” said the source, who is privy to the trade talks that have taken place between all of the aforementioned teams.

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Times have changed.

It wasn’t long ago the Los Angeles Clippers weren’t in the running for anything except the first pick at the draft much less a superstar center like Dwight Howard.

After all, the Clippers were a laughingstock. Their owner wanted luxury tax rebate cheques, not wins. They drafted Benoit Benjamin, Danny Ferry, and Michael Olowakandi. Worst of all, they played in the shadow of the league’s glamour team, the Los Angeles Lakers.

Sure, there were moments. A few years back, Sam Cassell and Elton Brand pushed the Phoenix Suns to seven games in the Western Conference Semi-finals.

The Clippers have mostly been a disaster.

Everything changed with Blake Griffin. ‘Lob Angeles’ is must-see television, and people listen when reports link Los Angeles’ newest darling to Howard.

But it won’t happen. The Magic will want Griffin in return for Howard. The 2011 Slam Dunk Champion is untouchable, as he’s made the Clippers trendy, glamorous, and relevant.

Instead, the Magic may ask for newly acquired Chris Paul. Forget that the Clippers paid a pretty-penny for the point guard. And forget that both sides agreed to work together for two seasons.

Paul would likely refuse to sign a long-term extension with the Magic, and simply opt-out at season’s end and become a free agent.

Sure, times have changed. The Clippers are a destination-team. Still, they lack the parts to trade for Howard and become his next destination.

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