Apr 28, 2013; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Los Angeles Lakers center Dwight Howard (12) during the game against the San Antonio Spurs in game four of the first round of the 2013 NBA playoffs at the Staples Center. Mandatory Credit: Richard Mackson-USA TODAY Sports

NBA Free Agency: If Dwight Howard Chooses Warriors, Lakers Have No Leverage

As the entire NBA waits for Dwight Howard to make his free agent decision, the big man is with his camp in Aspen, Colorado, pondering about one of the biggest choices that he will ever make.

You know the teams by now; the Houston Rockets, Dallas Mavericks, Golden State Warriors, Atlanta Hawks, and Los Angeles Lakers are all vying for Howard’s services.

One team that has climbed up the proverbial ladder quite a bit is the Warriors. According to ESPN’s Marc Stein, the Warriors made a “real impression” when the met with him on Monday and have “become a factor.”

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.

However, Marcus Thompson of the Bay Area News Group reports that the Lakers have no leverage if Howard wants to go to Golden State.

Here’s how that works. If Howard a) doesn’t want to re-sign with the Lakers, b) wants to go to the Warriors, and c) threatens to sign with the Rockets, Mavericks, or Hawks if he doesn’t go to the Warriors, he will almost force the Lakers into dealing him to the Warriors because otherwise, they would get zero compensation for letting him walk.

Therefore, in a possible sign-and-trade scenario, the Warriors plan to hold on to both Harrison Barnes and Klay Thompson, offering perhaps Brandon Rush, Andrew Bogut, and an expiring contract. Unless the Lakers have the nerve to demand more, they will have to take the offer if they want any pieces at all in return for losing their prized center.

Tags: Dwight Howard Golden State Warriors Los Angeles Lakers

  • j lee

    Lakers have no leverage if Howard wants to go to Golden State???That’s stupid.The Lakers willing to let him walk for nothing,they don’t have to sign n trade with any team to help him get what he wants.

    Remember how he gave up on the short handed Lakers by got himself ejected??
    If the Warriors want Dwight the Lakers can ask for both Thompson and Barns.
    I am a Lakers fan and I don’t care if Dwight stay or walk away, and I knows many Lakers fans feel the same way.

    • goldenbaysports

      So the Lakers are willing to let him walk and get nothing in return?

      • Kenny Oliver

        They definitely are willing to let him walk. They gain a lot more in cap space and the ability to sign multiple star players in 2014 or 2015. The other option is take back a lot of junk and pay all that luxury tax on players not even worth it. Lakers are sitting pretty in 2014 if he walks and unlike Dwight other players want to come to LA to become legends.

  • Ra M.

    No leverage? If he wants to go to Warriors, he can only do it if the Lakers accept a Sign and Trade and that will entail Warriors giving up a couple key players. Who writes these damn articles?

    • goldenbaysports

      Look at it from the other direction. If the Lakers want any compensation if he leaves, they have to do a sign-and-trade with the Warriors.

  • Ra M.

    I hope he leaves. I hate him. He actually sucks.