Teams already putting interest in Howard, Paul, Rondo and Roy

The newly made CBA hasn’t officially been cleared yet and already teams around the league are getting themselves ready to woo free agents. Here are some very interesting links concerning some of the most high profiled players in the league that could find their way into a new city.

Already the New Jersey Nets and New York Knicks are eyeing All-Star center Dwight Howard who becomes an unrestricted free agent next year:

The New Jersey Nets are prepared to offer a trade package featuring Brook Lopez and two future first-round picks to acquire Dwight Howard before the Orlando Magic center becomes a free agent in July 2012, according to sources close to the situation.

Orlando will try their hardest to keep their five-time All-Star from leaving

 Sources told this week that, to sweeten the proposal, New Jersey would likewise offer to take back the contract of Magic forward Hedo Turkoglu, who has three seasons left on his contract worth just under $35 million. Absorbing Turkoglu’s remaining salary would become financially feasible for the Nets after the expected release of swingman Travis Outlaw through the amnesty clause that will be included in the NBA’s new collective bargaining agreement and by including another smaller contract or two in the deal.

The Los Angeles Lakers are also expected to eventually lodge their own trade bid for Howard — featuring some combination of Pau Gasol, Andrew Bynum and Lamar Odom — but the Nets appear poised to furnish Orlando with a young replacement for Howard in Lopez, two higher draft picks than the Lakers could presumably offer and the ability to shed Turkoglu’s expensive deal, which will enable Orlando to take another big rebuilding step.

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Chris Paul is also being watched by New York and New Jersey

There was that time last year during the end of the trade deadline when Boston Celtics owner Danny Ainge made a highly surprising move that sent veteran big man Kendrick Perkins and Nate Robinson to Oklahoma City in exchange for Jeff Green. Now it seems Ainge is in the hunt to switch star point guards, as reports are surfacing that the Celtics are very interested in trading star Rajon Rondo for Chris Paul:

The Boston Celtics, who already have one of the best point guards in the NBA, are interested in making an upgrade by acquiring the New Orleans Hornets’ Chris Paul and would be willing to give up Rondo to get him, sources have told ESPN’s Chris Broussard. The sources say the Celtics are having internal discussions regarding a swap of marquee point guards.

Rondo averaged 10.6 points and 11.2 assists during the 2010-11 season

According to an report, Celtics general manager Danny Ainge is “highly motivated” to land Paul. The report says the Hornets don’t appear interested in a two-team deal in which Rondo and Paul would switch places. So Ainge has been trying to find a third team to get involved.

 Paul can become a free agent after this season, so the Celtics also would have to convince him to sign an extension with them before giving up Rondo, who has four years and approximately $46 million left on his contract.

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And the first line of suitors to sweep up guard Brandon Roy, should Portland release him, seem to be the Golden State Warriors and Minnesota Timberwolves. The Warriors, who could see him being a mentor to their rookies and a backup to Monta Ellis would like to take him no matter how high his contract is:

The Warriors are willing to use what he has for the right price. They view him as a good locker room presence (which is what they need for rookie Klay Thompson), someone with good size and a great skill set, and another option for late in games. With Monta Ellis and Stephen Curry in tow, the Warriors have the luxury of not needing Roy to be the All-Star he once was. If he is willing to come off the bench and play more of a complimentary role, the Warriors would probably make an offer (depending on how things go with their other targets).

Could we have seen the last of Roy in a Blazers uniform?

I should also note that Chicago is another team looking into Roy’s situation, with ESPN basketball analyst Chris Broussard posting on Twitter: “Bulls’ dream (sources say) & Heat’s nightmare is for Chi to get Brandon Roy after Blazers cut him w/ amnesty clause. But Bulls know Roy likely to be picked up first by a team with cap room.

With the news about Roy, many Blazer fans have gone to Twitter (mainly Paul Allen’s account) and voiced their opinions about the talk. Neither Allen nor the organization or Roy himself have said anything about the reports, largely due to not being able to talk while there is no CBA agreement. Once that’s been passed, teams and players can start talking to each other again.

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