The weeklong saga involving Dwight Howard should finally come to an end tomorrow, when he is expected to make his free agent decision.
The Los Angeles Lakers have long thought they would be able to retain their star center, but now, even they are acknowledging that other teams may have a beat on them.
According to ESPN, it was quite an “uncomfortable” July 4th holiday for the Lakers’ brass, as their stock in the chase for Howard may be plummeting to as far as fourth on the list, behind the Rockets, Mavericks, and Warriors.
They may even be looking at sign-and-trade options if Howard doesn’t choose them, which is a total reversal of their stance from earlier this week. The report indicated that the Lakers would ”look at everything” in the case that they lose their big man.
That is music to the ears of the Warriors, whose only way to acquire Howard currently is via a sign-and-trade, although they reportedly have been looking at ways to shed salary cap space by trading some of their expiring contracts which would allow them to sign Howard outright.
According to Peter Vescey, the Warriors have teams willing to absorb the contracts of Andris Biedrins, Richard Jefferson, and Andrew Bogut (their salaries amount to over $30 million), but of course they would have to sweeten the deal a bit with a draft pick or another player.
If they choose to sign-and-trade with the Lakers instead, the Warriors would likely offer a package of Bogut, Brandon Rush, and a draft pick, then sweetening the deal with Harrison Barnes or Klay Thompson should the Lakers demand more.
All this, however, is contingent on Howard choosing to play in a Golden State Warriors uniform next season.
Will it happen? We hope to find out tomorrow.