According to ESPN, the Golden State Warriors are in hot pursuit of Dwight Howard. Days after meeting with Howard, it was reported that team “made an impression.” Then, as of the yesterday, that impression has turned into an interest — of sorts.
ESPN Los Angeles is reporting that the Warriors are trying to clear some $20 million cap room to sign Howard outright. Said ESPN:
Such a scenario would be challenging, some executives have said, but not impossible. The Warriors have three huge expiring contracts in Andrew Bogut ($14 million), Richard Jefferson($11 million) and Andris Biedrins ($9 million). According to sources, they have tried to unload all three players this week to teams with cap room. Yet, Golden State likely would have to be willing to add assets to any potential deals to get teams interested. Sources say the Warriors have been willing to attach a future first-round pick to move one of their bad contracts since last February’s trade deadline, but potential partners tend to ask for prized youngsters such as Harrison Barnes or Klay Thompson — two of the more attractive young players in the league — when the subject of absorbing one of the Warriors’ big contracts is broached.
The thought of parting ways with either Harrison Barnes or Klay Thompson is disconcerting, especially given how each performed this past post season. Still, Howard would not only vault the Warriors into title contention, but alos garner them some national attention — probably as much national attention as they’ve had since Latrell Sprewell choked P.J. Carlesimo.
Questions remain as to how Howard would “fit” in with Golden State. But his presence would easily improve their defense. Not much evidence needs to be given here, but despite the off year, Howard’s defensive win shares were twice as much as the Warriors best defender: David Lee. His added defensive presence could be important in helping absorb the loss of assistant coach Mike Malone, who coordinated the Warriors defense last year. Offensively, it stands to reason that Howards low-post game could compliment Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson’s perimeter shooting. Sometimes, however, theory and reality turn out to be two very different things.
Howard is said to be making his decision sometime today.