However, before any teams can engage in talks with the two star players, Paul and Howard seem to have plans of their own. According to sources, the two have been in contact recently about becoming teammates next season.
"They would love to play together if somebody can make it happen," one of the sources said.
One team who could make that happen is the Atlanta Hawks, as they have the cap room necessary to sign both players to max deals. However, one hurdle remaining is Howard's desire to go back to his hometown of Atlanta, something he wasn't fond of in the past but could be open to reconsidering, according to sources.
Paul is not particularly fond of the idea of returning to Atlanta, but he would do so to team up with Howard, the sources said.
"It would be very tough for him to go to Atlanta," the source said. "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."
This doesn't bode well for the Dallas Mavericks, as they don't have the cap room to sign both to max deals. Dallas would have to retool their roster completely and hope that both could maybe take less money to sign, something LeBron James and Chris Bosh did in the summer of 2010 to sign with the Miami Heat.
Another option for Paul and Howard is for Howard to come to the Clippers, although it seems unlikely considering the Clippers don't have the cap room, and the Lakers would be highly unlikely to trade Howard to their arena-mates.
It will all come together on July 1st.Tags: Basketball, Chris Paul, Dallas, Dallas Mavericks, Dwight Howard, Los Angeles Clippers, Los Angeles Lakers, NBA