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Trades, new contracts become official around NBA

Published on NewsOK Modified: July 10, 2013 at 8:15 pm •  Published: July 10, 2013
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Just about every NBA team would like Dwight Howard.

Only the Houston Rockets could get him, and on Wednesday a couple of his other suitors announced their backup plans — while one lost out on another big target.

Paul Millsap is headed to Atlanta. The Golden State Warriors acquired Andre Iguodala. But the Dallas Mavericks missed out on another center when Andrew Bynum agreed to sign with the Cleveland Cavaliers.

The Los Angeles Clippers never had to look beyond their top target, with Chris Paul committing to stay on the first day of free agency. They also added Darren Collison, Jared Dudley and J.J. Redick to a team that won the Pacific Division last season, surpassing the Lakers as the best team in Los Angeles.

"We're loaded at every position," said Matt Barnes, who re-signed with the Clippers. "Who doesn't want to play with Chris? He's arguably the best point guard in the game. It just shows this organization has come a long way. They're making the right moves."

It's hard to see anything changing in Los Angeles next season after Howard passed on re-signing with the Lakers and instead opted for the Rockets in a deal that still hadn't become official as of Wednesday night.

That was the first day transactions could be completed and contacts signed following the completion of the NBA's moratorium period. The Rockets couldn't wait to talk about their All-Star center, getting fined $150,000 by the league on Tuesday for premature comments about Howard on TV and in social media.

The rest of the league waited until rules allowed Wednesday.

The Clippers held a press conference for Paul, the three new players and the re-signed Barnes and Ryan Hollins on what Paul called "one of the biggest days in franchise history."

While they were celebrating, Bynum was meeting with Dallas, another team that wanted Howard. But he went with a previous two-year offer from the Cavs, according to a person who spoke on condition of anonymity because the deal was not yet announced.

Bynum was part of the four-team trade that sent Howard from Orlando to Los Angeles last summer, but never played a game for Philadelphia because of knee problems.

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