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Examining Pierce-Clippers buzz from Los Angeles's end

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Examining Pierce-Clippers buzz from Los Angeles's end

We addressed the latest buzz about Paul Pierce possibly heading to the Clippers, including reasons why the small forward might indeed look to move West. Though they have two major pieces in point guard Chris Paul and power forward Blake Griffin, the Clippers, like the Wizards, could use a big time shot maker with confidence for days. This is especially true after blowing a 3-1 series lead to the Houston Rockets in the second round of the playoffs.

However, such a scenario isn't a slam dunk, especially financially. Los Angeles's top priority is free agent center DeAndre Jordan. Keep the shot blocker and salary cap room becomes an issue. Dan Woike with the OC Register examined the idea from the Clippers' end:

Assuming the Clippers re-sign DeAndre Jordan this summer, the team won't have a lot of options to add quality pieces.

If Pierce opts out, the Clippers could offer him the tax payer’s exception for $3.7 million – the biggest salary they can offer a free agent who isn’t already on their roster.

Pierce also could opt in to his deal and the Clippers could try to acquire him from the Wizards.

However, the best-case scenario from the Clipper would involve Pierce signing for the veteran’s minimum, allowing the Clippers to address other needs with the $3.7 million exception. In this scenario, Pierce would make a shade under $1.5 million next year, a sizable pay cut from this season with the Wizards, where he averaged 11.9 points per game.

The Clippers wanted Pierce last season, but chose to use their mid-level exception on center Spencer Hawes, leaving them short financially. The Wizards swooped in and signed Pierce to a two-year, $11 million contract, far more than what the Clippers had available. He is slated to make $5.5 million in 2015-16 if he stays in Washington.

While the future Hall of Famer averaged 14.6 points in the postseason and made one dramatic shot after another - whether they counted or not -, Hawes rarely got off the bench even though Los Angeles struggled with production from its second unit. 

Pierce previously won an NBA title with the Boston Celtics under coach Doc Rivers, who holds the same position with the Clippers. If the lure of winning another ring with Rivers and doing so in his hometown drives the Los Angeles native above all, Pierce could go. Would he leave money on the table is a question.

As for a trade, the Clippers do not have a first round pick in 2015.

[RELATED: Wizards regroup with eye to future]

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Wizards plan to introduce Dwight Howard Monday

Wizards plan to introduce Dwight Howard Monday

Wizards team president Ernie Grunfeld has stayed relatively busy this summer crafting his new-look lineup for the 2018-19 season. 

One of the team's key additions, Dwight Howard, is set to be introduced as a member of the Wizards on Monday. 

NBC Sports Washington will air the introductory press conference live at 1 p.m. while also streaming it online.  

Ernie Grunfeld and head coach Scott Brooks are both expected to be in attendance. 

The 32-year-old big man is coming off a 2017-18 season with the Charlotte Hornets in which he averaged 16.6 points and 12.5 rebounds per game. 

Since leaving the Orlando Magic after eight seasons in 2011, Howard has played for four different teams in the last six years. 

Howard is an eight-time all-star and a three-time defensive player of the year. 

 

RELATED LINKS: 

John Wall's take on Dwight Howard 

Wizards make Dwight Howard free agent signing official 

By the numbers: Is new Wizards center Dwight Howard still in his NBA prime? 

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Carmelo Anthony traded to Hawks in three-team deal, but not likely to stay

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Carmelo Anthony traded to Hawks in three-team deal, but not likely to stay

The stage has been set for Carmelo Anthony to hit free agency, as the 10-time All-Star was traded to the Atlanta Hawks on Thursday in a three-team deal, one that will lead to a subsequent buyout of his contract. ESPN first reported the news and noted that the Rockets are the favorites to sign him.

The full deal sends Dennis Schroder from the Hawks to the Thunder in exchange for Anthony and a protected first-round pick, and sends Mike Muscala from Atlanta to Philly. Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot will go to the Thunder from Philly and Justin Anderson will go from the Sixers to the Hawks.

That's a complicated deal, but it ultimately frees Anthony up to choose a new team. He was set to make $27.9 million from the Thunder next season, but the Hawks are footing the bill to let him walk.

Anthony's skills have declined now that he's 34 years old. Last season, he averaged 16.2 points on 40.4 percent shooting, way down from the 22.4 points he averaged the season before with the Knicks.

Still, Anthony could help a team looking for a scoring punch and the Rockets would like some more help in their quest to take down the Warriors. If he signs there, he will join friend Chris Paul and the 2017-18 MVP, James Harden. 

Houston has been the logical landing spot for Anthony ever since news broke that the Thunder were looking for a way out of his contract. If he doesn't go there, perhaps the Lakers would make sense. LeBron James is going to need a lot more help than the roster he currently has around him to make some noise in the crowded Western Conference.

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