The data collection ends here.
Everything has coalesced. All the data points have been resolved. EVERY data point has been in Atlanta Hawks' favor and so, I have to award it to the Hawks.
1. The Clippers can't get a big man. The Celtics trade is kibosh. Without a proven championship winning coach or a veteran big, CP3 aint staying. I don't think there's any other deal in place either. CP3 is going to a championship team. And he's going to team up with Howard.
2. The Atlanta Hawks were fined for tampering but the news was covered up with the fine on two other teams. It's a nice little cover. I doubt the NBA would "basketball reasons" the CP3/Howard teamup.
3. The Atlanta Hawks are the only team with a decent cheap power forward in Horford. They are the only playoff calibre team with capspace to sign both cp3 and howard to the max. If they are willing to take a little less money, with a little finangling they could maybe pull iguodala in too (haven't done those calculations)
4. Lebron just won back to back titles in Miami. He aint ETOing. Mitch Kupchak can't promise Dwight a good team in 2014 because the free agency in that year is now kaput. Lakers are going to rebuild the slow way. The non Lebron way. And Dwight can't have that.
The only thing niggling block is that Woj gave an interview (personal opine) that he thought Howard would leave to the Rockets. Because it's an opinion, i've watered down the magnitude even if Woj-stuff is usually Rock-Solid.
If the Clippers can find a veteran big in time, sure. But who's going to help the Clippers out?
Part of having a championship team is a championship coach. Rivers is out of the picture. Hollins? Karl? Will CP3 be satisfied with also-rans. I doubt it.
This whole thread is based on CP3 leaving. If the Celtics manage to find a good big and a CP3 endorsed coach (Brian Shaw?), then all bets are off. Chances are super super small.
So yeah, I'm betting on the Hawks.
For the reasons listed above, the Rockets don't have a chance to land Howard.
1. No championship coach (hawks have a spurs assistant who've experienced it with Duncan.)
2. No Power Forward. Why is PF > SG? Defensively.
3. No flexibility to land CP3 and Howard together credibly.
(there is a chance that everybody stays put but CP3's personality profile suggests him being proactive. If he moves, Howard moves. Like Rome, it all begins with CP3)
Hopefully the Rockets can get into one of the blockbuster trades and grab a good piece/pick etc.
The Clippers/Rivers trade is happening with TWO first rounders. I did not think that would happen. Is this CP3 mandated or a desperate play to keep CP3? Don't they need that roster pick to get that veteran big cp3 wants? This prediction does not work if CP3 stays in LA.
Alvin Gentry is now the Clippers assistant coach tasked with the job of turning Blake Griffin into vintage Amare Stoudamire. Championship coach. Championship trainer for PF. Does that placate CP3s two requirements for staying? It's a good effort. My CP3/Howard theory is as shakey now as it's ever been. When the Hawks make their move is when I'll finally give up this theory though.
Update Draft Day+1
Clippers still haven't found their big men while rumors are that the NBA is acting like CP3 is staying in LA. I guess 50% of his demands are good enough for CP3. Goddammit. Hawsk just picked PGs and Cs. Either means my deal is kaput or prep work for 2 sign and trades. It's not looking good for my prediction right now, i have to admit.
looks like my theory all went to hell. Sigh. This prediction is now 100% fail.