– For the latest updates check out: NBA.com’s Free Agent Tracker
HANG TIME HEADQUARTERS — It’s no longer appears to be a matter of if Dwight Howard and Chris Paul will have new uniforms before long, it’s just a matter of when, where and who goes first?
It would take too long to run through all of the potential scenarios of when these moves will finally go down and where they could end up, so we’re trying to get a good fix on whose deal goes down first.
Their respective situations remain fluid as we roll into the second day of free agency and training camp, with rumblings that both of these superstars remain in play for potential blockbuster deals.
As far as the latest on Paul, our very own David Aldridge dropped this on us in the wee hours:
A source directly involved in the negotiations told TNT’s David Aldridge Friday that progress had been made in a potential trade of Chris Paul from the New Orleans Hornets to the Los Angeles Lakers. However, the trade was not expected to be completed Friday and could have several more incarnations before being completed, if it is completed at all.
The trade may or may not ultimately involve the Houston Rockets, who were part of the initial version of the three-team deal, which was vetoed by NBA Commissioner David Stern Thursday night. In that version, the Hornets would send Paul, a four-time All-Star, to the Lakers. The Lakers would send forward Pau Gasol to Houston, and send forward Lamar Odom to New Orleans. The Hornets would receive forward Luis Scola, guards Kevin Martin and Goran Dragic and a 2012 first-round pick from Houston. But now, the deal could involve more or different teams that can provide the Hornets with the combination of young players and additional Draft picks that the league is seeking for Paul.
Howard’s situation heated up overnight, too, when his agent, Dan Fegan, addressed and dismissed reports of tampering charges, among other things. It turns out, Fegan has permission to seek a trade for his client, and might actually have had it before all the tampering talk began. More from Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports:
The Orlando Magic have given Dwight Howard’s representatives permission to speak with the New Jersey Nets, Los Angeles Lakers and Dallas Mavericks about a possible trade for the All-Star Center, his agent told Yahoo! Sports.
The Nets have a chance to close on a four-year, $60 million-plus deal for Denver Nuggets free-agent center Nene this weekend, but are working relentlessly to make a deal with Orlando for Howard, league sources said. Howard has been waffling between wanting a deal to the Lakers and Hollywood, and wanting to join point guard Deron Williams with the Nets and be the cornerstone of the franchise’s move to a new Brooklyn arena in 2012-13, sources told Y! Sports.
Howard’s agent, Dan Fegan, denied reports Howard met with Nets officials on Thursday night – a possible violation of the NBA’s tampering rules if the Magic did not permit the meeting. Howard and Nets general manager Billy King also had previously denied meeting together.
Fegan said he met with King this week to discuss a deal for Nene, another client.
“Tampering is a non-issue,” Fegan told Yahoo! Sports by phone Friday night.
Howard, Williams and Nene adds three more big names to the six players involved in the Paul deal, making for a particularly spicy free agent gumbo this weekend.
With the tampering issues put to rest and the revival of the Paul talks by the Hornets, we’ll pose the question again before everyone get’s going this morning: