The Golden State Warriors are at the point where they really believe that they can land prized free agent Dwight Howard, so much so that they are trying to desperately shed at least $30 million in salary cap space, according to ESPN.
That would enable them to sign Howard outright, instead of having to sign-and-trade for him with the Lakers.
The report suggests that the Warriors have been attempting to trade Andris Biedrins, Richard Jefferson, and Andrew Bogut to any takers to clear out some cap room. The salaries of those three players make out to a cool $34 million.
However, the problem is that teams are not willing to take on an expiring contract without some extra compensation. The Warriors are dangling a future first round pick, but teams are asking for Harrison Barnes or Klay Thompson as well.
While the Warriors were originally thought of as long shots to land Howard, they were able to convince him otherwise during their meeting with him on Monday. It was almost an inevitability that Howard would choose the Houston Rockets, Dallas Mavericks, or Los Angeles Lakers over the Warriors, but now things have changed.
According to ESPN’s Marc Stein, the Warriors made a “real impression” when they met with him on and have “become a factor.”
But 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.
In all likelihood, the Lakers probably rejected a sign-and-trade offer from the Warriors because they didn’t include any of their prized youngsters (Stephen Curry, Barnes, or Thompson).
That’s why they are looking to move the expiring contracts listed above, in a last-ditch effort to clear enough space to offer Howard a max contract.
Does this mean the Warriors know something that the public doesn’t know? Have they received some kind of inkling from Howard’s camp that the big man would like to come to Golden State?
Otherwise, they wouldn’t be going through this much trouble, clearing cap space for no reason.