Berger: Dwight Howard Wants Orlando Magic to Pursue Chris Paul, Carlos Boozer

Chris Paul, the world's finest point guard, is the player for whom Orlando Magic fans have pined the most since Sam Amick and Tim Povtak reported last week that the Magic had engaged the New Orleans Hornets in trade talks regarding him. That rumor still has life. Ken Berger of CBSSports cites a Western Conference executive as saying a deal sending Paul to Orlando is "plausible" due to the Magic's "deep, deep pockets." More from Berger:

To soften the blow from losing Paul, New Orleans would likely insist – and the Magic would agree – on the inclusion of Jameer Nelson in any such trade. Nelson was exposed as a liability in the Magic’s conference finals loss to the Celtics, but could bridge the gap to [Darren] Collison with a cap-friendly contract that pays him $8.1 million in each of the next three seasons. The Magic have internally explored including Vince Carter in various trades they’re considering, sources say, but Carter’s $17.5 million salary next season might require a third team to get involved or force the Magic to explore another deal for him.

Earlier, Berger mentions that the Hornets would want any team trading for Paul to also take on Emeka Okafor's mammoth contract.

The Paul angle is part of a larger story that might prove more interesting: franchise center Dwight Howard has apparently given Magic management "a short list of players he’d like GM Otis Smith to pursue this summer," says Berger. Power forward Carlos Boozer is also on that list, and Berger says the Jazz would likely be "enticed" by a package featuring Brandon Bass and J.J. Redick.

John Denton has written about Howard's excellent relationship with Boozer before.

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