What once seemed like a long shot for the Golden State Warriors is potentially turning into a reality. According to Mark Stein of ESPN, the Warriors are aggressively looking at all options to acquire coveted free agent center Dwight Howard.
Throughout the entire free agency period, it was thought that the Warriors could only land Howard via a sign-and-trade with their Western Conference rivals, the Los Angeles Lakers. It would be thought to surely include Andrew Bogut and either Klay Thompson or Harrison Barnes.
However, Stein reports that the Warriors would send Barnes, Andris Biedrins and a 2014 first rounder to LA in return for Howard. Of course, if this were to take place, Bogut and the $14 million he is due this season would have to be traded to be under the cap space.
But the Warriors aren’t content with having to do a sign and trade deal to get Howard. Reported by Stein and ESPN’s Brian Windhorst, Golden State is looking to shop the expiring contracts of Bogut, Biedrins ($11 mil) and Richard Jefferson ($9 mil) in hopes of having enough cap space to sign Howard outright without a sign-and-trade, and keep both Barnes and Thompson, which would have sounded crazy on July 1st.
Trading Bogut shouldn’t be an issue; many teams can use a 7-footer with skill, and if Bogut can remain healthy, he is still a very valuable player. But trading Biedrins and the aging Jefferson will be difficult.
However, Joe Lacob and crew must be able to work some magic, as Stein reports that “three rival execs told ESPN tonight they think that Warriors ARE capable of trading Bogut, Jefferson and Biedrins if LA won’t sign-and-trade”
If you were told three years ago that Dwight Howard, one of the NBA’s elite, dominating with the Orlando Magic at the time, would want to come play with Golden State, a team led by Monta Ellis, you would have sounded crazy.
But today, you may just look like a genius.