The Golden State Warriors are a good basketball team.
Well, they just finished their 2012-2013 regular season with a 47-35 record, made it to the NBA playoffs as the sixth seed in the Western Conference, upset the Denver Nuggets in the first round, and just nearly took the San Antonio Spurs to a Game 7 in the second round.
Aside from that, their star point guard Stephen Curry had a massive breakout year while averaging nearly 23 points per game (PPG) and right around seven assists per game (APG). Curry also broke the NBA’s all time record for most three-pointers made in a season, as the sharpshooter knocked down 272 sh0ts from deep throughout the Warriors sensational season.
With all that said, how much do they need to improve?
The answer will vary depending on who you ask, but the bottom line is that every team can always get better. But there are certain ways to approach the scenario. And adding Dwight Howard should not be one of them.
Earlier in the week, it was reported that Howard would test free agency and has considered the Warriors, as well as the Lakers, Mavericks, Rockets, and Hawks.
So could it happen?
I mean, anything can happen, but the chances are very unlikely, and that should be a good thing for Golden State.
The Warriors are not financially able to throw a max contract to Howard (which will be his rate), and a sign-and-trade isn’t likely either due to the fact that the Lakers (or any team) would want to absorb the huge contracts of Richard Jefferson or Andris Biedrins (Golden State would have to dump one of their contracts in the potential move). Regardless of the circumstances, though, the Warriors should not even be thinking about this.
They have a beautiful foundation established right now, and it would be moronic to ruin such a productive group of young guys to pursue an injury-plagued and emotionally unstable big man.
Don’t get me wrong, Howard is up there with the best centers in the NBA, and he’s arguably the best one from the list. This past season, he dealt with a brand new team, back injuries, and a torn shoulder labrum, but was able to put up 17.1 PPG while snagging 12.4 rebounds per game (RPG), in addition to blocking 2.4 shots per game. His massive strength and low-post moves are unmatched by any other big man in the league, and he will make another franchise very happy.
But not the Warriors.
Acquiring Howard would mean letting go of one of Golden State’s two blooming stars in Klay Thompson or Harrison Barnes. Thompson, the Warriors’ second-best shooter and efficient defender, is really coming together as an NBA player, and it would hurt to give him up at such a crucial point in his career.
Barnes is a superstar in the making and if you watched any Warriors games this postseason, you would know that. His ability to drive the lane and use his superior athleticism to score baskets is one of the best aspects of the young guy’s game. His mid-range jumper is also tuned up, and his three-point shot is above average.
Thompson and Barnes are vital to the Warriors rebuilding process and they simply cannot afford to let them go. Those two guys, paired with a rising Stephen Curry and some other young role players (Draymond Green, Festus Ezeli, etc.) can make some noise in the NBA for years to come if they are able to stay together.
Bringing Howard to the Warriors would be a short-term solution for their long-term problem.
Would Howard help the Warriors win more games? Of course.
But the Warriors’ supporting cast would be depleted after making such a move, and the last thing Golden State can afford to do is to move backwards and regress towards their old ways.
Joe Lacob and company have strung together a closely-knit group of young and rising players, and they should keep their guys in place for the future so that they can fully develop and reach their potential under Golden State’s wings.
Howard is good but he is not needed. The Warriors are no longer in desperation mode and if they pulled off such a move, it would look like they still are.