Mar 30, 2013; Sacramento, CA, USA; Los Angeles Lakers center Dwight Howard (12) reacts after the Sacramento Kings made a basket in the fourth quarter at Sleep Train Arena. The Lakers defeated the Kings 103-98. Mandatory Credit: Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports

NBA Free Agency: Golden State Warriors' Chances of Landing Dwight Howard Increasing

The Golden State Warriors have been seen as a longshot to acquire Dwight Howard ever since their interest in him was reported.

However, that seems to be changing.

According to ESPN’s Marc Stein, the Warriors made a “real impression” when the met with him on Monday and have “become a factor.”

The reality is, though, that the Houston Rockets and Dallas Mavericks remain the frontrunners if Howard doesn’t re-sign with the Los Angeles Lakers. But the Warriors have “forced their way” into the conversation.

With that being said, it would be tough for the Warriors to land Howard even if he wants to come to Golden State.

Because the Warriors don’t have the salary cap space to offer him a max contract, they will have to acquire him via a sign-and-trade deal with the Lakers, who are “still insisting ‘no'” to all sign-and-trade deals.

The only conceivable way that the Lakers agree to sign-and-trade him to the Warriors would be if Howard tells the Lakers that: a) he doesn’t want to re-sign with them, b) he wants to go to the Warriors, and c) if he doesn’t go to the Warriors, he will sign with the Rockets, Mavericks, or any other team that can offer him a max contract.

That way, he will force the Lakers to play their hand. Do they want to give him up outright, without getting anything in return? Or do they want to ship him off to the Warriors, where they can acquire some compensation?

Tags: Dwight Howard Golden State Warriors Los Angeles Lakers NBA Free Agency

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