Insider: Dwight Howard and The L.A. Clippers

Monday, Chris Sheridan reported the Clippers have been added to Dwight Howard’s wishlist:

“He’s been watching them a lot. He’s intrigued by the Clippers,” said the source, who is privy to the trade talks that have taken place between all of the aforementioned teams.

That source also said it now appears more likely that Howard will play out the season with the Magic, who improved to 9-3 Monday afternoon by defeating the New York Knicks 102-93 while making 17 3-pointers and getting just 8 points and 10 rebounds from Howard.

Josh Robbins of the Orlando Sentinel reports Magic General Manager Otis Smith has not been told about Howard’s apparent desire to play for the Clippers:

Orlando Magic General Manager Otis Smith said Tuesday that he has not been informed by Dwight Howard’s camp that the superstar center has expanded his list of preferred trade destinations beyond the Dallas Mavericks, the Los Angeles Lakers and the New Jersey Nets.

Smith said the Magic have not granted Dan Fegan, Howard’s agent, has permission to speak with any teams in addition to the Mavericks, Lakers or Nets.

The Los Angeles Clippers have already dealt several of their assets – fourth year guard Eric Gordon, veteran center Chris Kaman, second-year forward Al Farouq-Aminu and Minnesota’s first round pick when they traded for Chris Paul.

As Mike Tuck wrote earlier today, the only deal the Magic should accept should Sheridan’s original story be true, is one involving forward Blake Griffin.

He’s absolutely right. There is no deal the Magic can realistically justify making that doesn’t include Griffin.

Griffin, who was the first overall pick of the 2009 NBA draft, missed his first season with a stress fracture in his left knee. Last season, Griffin averaged 22.5 points and 12.1 rebounds per game on his way to the Rookie of the Year Award. Through 10 games this season, he’s putting up 23.1 points and 11.4 rebounds per game.

Second-year point guard Eric Bledsoe and fourth-year center DeAndre Jordan are other players the Magic would probably ask for in return for Howard.