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Dwight Howard is a Long Shot for Warriors, but Worth A Shot

It only makes sense the Warriors get mentioned in the third annual Dwight Howard saga. They had cameos in the first two and they were awful. Now, Golden State is a successful, attractive destination in the NBA. And even though he doesn’t need to these days, co-owner Joe Lacob still loves the pursuit of the big fish.

So the fact that reports surfaced about Howard being interested in the Warriors is expected, if not redundant.

But is this even possible? Sure. In the same way it was possible for the Warriors to win a title. Except there were a few MAJOR obstacles in the way, namely San Antonio, Memphis and Miami. Golden State’s acquisition of Howard too has major obstacles. The first one being it’s only late May so the likelihood is Howard has NO IDEA what he wants yet.

Here are some other obstacles:

* The Warriors cannot sign Dwight Howard. Their salary for 2013-14 is up over $75 million, which would likely put them into the luxury tax (it was $70.3 million this year). So the Warriors won’t have the space to ink Howard to that max deal – which will be the going rate for Howard. That means the only way Golden State can get him is via sign and trade. Houston, Dallas and Atlanta all have the space to offer Howard the max.

* New CBA rules limit the amount of money players can receive in a sign and trade. The maximum number of years allowed in a sign-and-trade is 4. The Lakers can offer Dwight the fifth year. He’d make considerably more money staying in Los Angeles. Usually, NBA players don’t pass up on considerably more money

* A sign-and-trade with the Lakers (which is possible because the Warriors traded Charles Jenkins and Jeremy Tyler to get under the cap) would require the Warriors to return some $20 million worth of salary to the Lakers. Since Los Angeles GM Mitch Kupchak is pretty good at what he does, he probably won’t take Andris Biedrins or Richard Jefferson in return. That means Andrew Bogut or David Lee would have to be involved in the deal. If you’re the Lakers, who would you want?

If the Lakers took Bogut, that would probably work for the Warriors. It would cost them Harrison Barnes or Klay Thompson. But they’d be getting the best center in the NBA. Bogut only has one year left, so he wouldn’t hurt the Lakers long term plans. But you’d have to consider this: why would Howard sign-and-trade to the Warriors for the same amount of money he could get with Houston? The Warriors would weaken the supporting cast to get Howard. Houston, being under the cap, wouldn’t have to do that. Neither would Atlanta. And Dallas has the ability to sign Howard and another really good player to put with him and Dirk Nowitzki.

* Dwight Howard has proven to be a polarizing figure who drama seems to follow. A big part of Warriors’ success was chemistry. It seems pretty risky to add that element to the locker room. How will he respond when the Warriors are jacking up 3-pointers instead of dumping the ball to him?

With all that said, if you’re the Warriors you have to be talked OUT of obtaining Howard if you can.  Bogut showed Golden State exactly what life could be like with a legitimate defensive presence in the middle. But Bogut also showed the Warriors he may not eve be 100 percent again. Dwight Howard is not only a great defender in the middle, he also gives the Warriors some offense at that position.

As bad as he was last season, he is still the best center in the game. And if you’re talking about winning a championship, Howard is the best answer to the Spurs, the Grizzlies, the Clippers, the Heat and the Bulls.

Another interesting note to remember: Dwight Howard was once deeply religious. His dad is a minister and Howard came into the league saying he was going to save the NBA. Not sure where he is on that end now, but he might view a preacher coach and fellow Christian teammates as a plus.

Marcus Thompson

  • Mike

    All this talk about Bogut’s health, what about Howard’s health? He was not 100 percent healthy all year. Should not his health be a question mark? The guy is immature and does not know what the heck he wants. Why not try and play with Lakers and Kobe for two more years to win a championship? Pretty much a no-brainer except Dwight can’t handle being second to Kobe. Guess what, Dwight won’t be number one in Oakland either. Pleeeease Ws, don’t even consider Dwight Howard. You guys have something special started that may last for a while. Don’t ruin it on a primadonna.

  • http://Yahoo Louisville76

    I was reading the LA article regarding this earlier on BR. He’s already complaining to Kupchak about D’Antoni and how he is (under) utilized in the offense. We’re fine with who we have currently on the roster and they have good chemistry with each other. No need to bring in a cancer like Howard.

  • itsagreattimeout

    the Christian team thing might be the one thing that no other team can top. It all depends on how important that is to him.

  • J Canseco

    Headcase.

  • Niners in 2012

    This team BADLY needs a bigman who can command double teams. Our shooters are handcuffed right now. And sorry, but a healthy Bogut and DLee don’t get that much attention.

  • bill

    dwighthoward is a cancer

  • Grey Warden

    If he comes to the Warriors, it would just be like a similar version to him being in Orlando. Lots of 3 point shooters around him.

    I said in another thread that the chances of Warriors getting him are very very low. Don’t know why everyone’s getting so worked up over this. If the Warriors were in his top 5 destinations, they would be #5 on that list.

    Also thought Howard was planning on getting David Lee back for the elbow or shove or whatever it was. I still haven’t seen it yet.

  • RamboRaider

    If we had Dwight on our team we’d be on our way to a title right now. Bogut defends but has no inside game, he looked timid after setting screens and rolling to the hoop like he didnt want the ball or was scared of getting his shot blocked when he’s 7ft. Yes orlando surrounded him with shooters but those shooters were never as good as ours and the attention steph will demand will only free him up to do so much. With the dubs he’ll have better teamates (chemistry), better fanbase (more supportive), and a coach that will utilize him to his strenghts not a system. Howard would do wonders for this team, if the dubs can make it happen I say go for it. Id trade klay before id trade harrison though.

  • Oakland Stroke

    Not gonna happen. Not gonna do it.

    I think Lacob, Myers, et al are smart enough not to try this stunt. I don’t see any positives. I think Bogut is worth another season to see if he will return to form. Giving up any of our other core guys is lunacy.

  • Eddie

    Hell no..Dwight is a soft clown.

  • Young

    hell no…

    Shocked you even mention that guy…

  • gizzm

    do not want

  • deano

    MT2: You speculate that Howard and GSW would be a good fit. Why speculate when we’ve already seen the Bogut, when healthy, is an excellent fit? GSW is no longer so desperate for a big man that it needs to gut a good team to take a flyer on a troubled center. The smarter play is to keep the good team in tact, and give the reliable center an off-season to complete his return to health.

  • Ben Brung

    Over-rated. W’s hopefully saved by a dearth of cap space.

  • Megatron

    Howard is better than Bogut statistically and physically. I’d rather have Howard, at least he could play for 80% of the games as compared to Bogut playing 35% of the games. Bogut may need surgery again for his ankle again, because resting it doesn’t seem to help much. And I would hate to see Bogut turn into Greg Oden.

  • RamboRaider

    Dwight is better than bogut. Dwight carried the magic on his back for many years and almost led them to a title, until this year bogut had only 1 year of playoff experience where his team made no noise at all, bogut cant carry a team Dwight can… Yes he had a bad year on a team that threw a bunch of players together and had no chemistry with a system in which he didnt fit but that doesnt mean hes no longer a great player. He protects the rim as well as bogut but finishes around the rim even better. If the dubs can make a play for him its a no brainer that they should throw their line out there.

  • Dirk Suave

    If it could be done for Beans RJ and a slew of every other year 1st rounders I don see why the Lakers wouldn’t deal. Better to get something than let Howard walk to Dallas, Atlanta or Houston and get nothing. Klay and/or Barnes are not touchable. I’d rather give em DLee vs Bogut. I know David has more range and has been healthier but I like the thought of twin towers down low for the Dubs. Biggest issue would be the hack a guy play. In which case it’d be better to hand LA Bogut.
    And lets remember that DHow and a bunch if 3pt shooters got to the finals once. Our cast would be much better than that team. With DHow the Dubs become one of the best teams in the NBA.

  • http://reesdeag@gmail.com Rich Ryan

    If I was in Kupchak’s spot, I would definitely take Lee and Thompson for Howard. A energetic rebounding hustler/scoring PF and an up an coming pure shooter? two big needs for the Lakers… Howard is always going to be trouble… if they can amnesty Kobe and still keep him for 2014-15, save the 30 million and fatten the bench… by the time Kobe comes back, they are younger overall and contenders again…

  • bigcityballer

    Dwight is apparently a slow learner or he enjoys the attention. Let’s just say Dwight has an interest in every team in the NBA with the exception of whatever team he is currently under contract with. I lost respect for him as a player when he agreed to be a prop in a dunk contest. What self respecting big man would allow someone to dunk on them; he’s a clown incapable of being a team leader! He cares too much about being liked. Good luck to any coach saddled with this one. Try conducting your business affairs like an adult this time.

  • K

    Get the best u can for Howard before its too late.
    -Trade him to GS, yeas I know they’re in the west fuck it.
    -Get Lee, Thompson and pick.
    -Go after George in 2014.
    -Trade Pau next season for two pieces and a pick.
    Total younger, stronger competitive team. Face it’s, there is only one superstar Lebron as it was when Jordan came in and Magic and Bird were on their way out. Kobe is on his way out and there is no 1b. CP3? Spoken for lol. So do the best u can bcuz there is no other superstar in the league. Good players but only one superstar and haunt coming. Hitch your wagon to Dwight and wake up to it and the horse walking off.

  • Rod

    If you’re GS, this trade would make the most sense. You have the best 3pt shooters in the league…. It would only free up Thompson and curry even more.

  • Tim Lawson Sr

    I’m tired of this non-sense, come back or leave but let’s get it over with and move on ! I never thought I would say this but even Andrew Bynum is more mature than Dwight Howard ! Howard needs to grow up !

  • Gary Romes

    I agree with you Marcus, not a good move for the Warriors. Bogut showed us in the playoffs that a good move was made in aquiring him. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. And, I don’t see anything broken with the Warriors right now.

  • Grey Warden

    Bogut’s great if he can play, but he’s useless if he can’t. And if he plays only 10-15 min a game, he’s not going to help the Warriors much either since he’ll be done playing by the time the 4th quarter rolls around. The guy was supposed to be ready by the beginning of the season and he turns out to miss 50 games while only getting bench player minutes in the games he does play. I don’t think he’ll ever be 100% healthy again.

  • SouthernFriedWarrior

    Just say no to Dwight Howard. Most Atlanta Hawks fans don’t even want this guy to return to his hometown. He’s a head case and will never be a championship player. Warriors should’ve drafted Drummond and this wouldn’t even be an issue.

  • Mitch

    Forget physical health for a moment. No professional athlete is ever 100 percent healthy, regardless of age, considering the toll put on their bodies with training much less actual seasons ! Howard is as selfish as they get and I can’t imagine the W’s wanting to change the team culture just as they are beginning to play well again for the first time in a generation even if he is considered by some as the premiere player of his position in the league.

  • http://problem ke

    howard on offensive end down low just is not that good right now thats why koby when he came to the lakers suggested he needs to work on that part of his game he has the tools just doesnt understand how to use them or he would have had a lot more passes inside he missed alot of shots in the paint but great on defensve end until he gets frustrated on offense than effort not there

  • Tony

    Dear Dwight,
    Don’t let the door hit you in the rear on the way out. Just go quickly.

  • DA

    This article is worthless b/c it completely overlooks the fact that the Lakers CANNOT take back players in a sign and trade b/c they are well over the cap. So they would let Howard walk before doing a sign and trade.

  • http://HowardtoGoldenStateistheperfectmatch Wayne Runcie

    Howard to Warriors is the perfect choice.

  • Wayne Runcie

    Golden State is the perfect choice for Howard

  • Paul

    Howard has more potential and talent than what has been seen in the NBA for many years.. Maybe back to Olajuwon has the NBA had such a player with those skills. BUT… one thing Howard lacks is competitive spirit and how to be a leader. His work ethic is more about how he looks rather than the game. Great to show boat at Slam Dunk and have fun but he needs to develop his basketball skills and learn how to make good decisions on the floor.

    He would kill the Warriors locker room. His lack of effort in LA just showcased what Orlando saw… gifted but doesn’t have heart. Warriors might not be the most gifted in talent but they competed 99% of the time. They left it on the floor… When has Howard “left it on the floor” ? Especially when his team was losing and needed someone to pick up and lead the team… Sorry not a Howard fan… show me some heart like what Pierce gives in loosing efforts in Bean Town or Wade guys that put it on the line no matter what because they appreciate the game and the challenge.. Howard chose to get thrown out of the last LA playoff game so he didn’t have to play anymore in a loosing situation with all key lakers out.. what kind’of character/heart does that illustrate?

    While Bogut may not have the same skill sets as Howard (need to see Bogut when he’s healthy and has had time to get his game back) he plays with conviction and you won’t ever question his character. Ezeli also has character and is willing to put in the effort to be better. Both guys play for the team and again something I’ve yet to see from Howard. Howard might give you heart when it will make a highlight reel but I’ve yet to see him do it when his team needed it, IMHO.

    So grading Howard: Skills A, Athleticism A, Defense A, Offense A, Heart F, Character C-(maybe D)

  • Grey Warden

    No player may be 100% healthy, but there’s a big difference to being able to play and not being able to play. Bogut falls more in line with the latter than the former.

  • Paul

    One potentially saving grace… As Marcus pointed out in his last paragraph (good article Marcus BTW ;-) , Howard does have a spiritual side to him that maybe has been lost or ? But will he heed the preaching of Jackson and be part of the flock or rebel and try to be his own preacher. There can be only one! (or is that Highlander?) LOL

  • manhattanproj

    the only problem is howard doesn’t want to play the role that bogut played during the playoffs, just being a rim protector, defender, and rebounder.

    for some reason, howard has this false idea of himself as a back to basket dominant scorer who should be fed 30 shots a game.

    he’ll never want to be the playoff bogut or a tyson chandler. he’s not going to be a good fit for this team, unless he changes his mindset.

  • Gregg B*

    DwightvHoward is a big baby and plays with no heart or passion to win a championship anywhere.

    He needs to go workout with Shack and David Robinson to understand how to fill the big man role.

  • Julie

    Would love to have DW for the Clippers (CP3 is a Christian) — of course we’d probably have to give up the whole team sans CP3 and Blake! Plus, we’re trying to find a NBA-winning coach. I believe he would like to stay in LA. Guess, this is a pipe-dream for us…

  • Jay

    klay thompson and bogut for dwight howard. that would still leave us with an elite starting 5. Then we could resign Jack and sign a back up center in the offseason.

    PG- Steph Curry
    sg- Harrison Barnes
    SF- Brandon Rush
    PF- David Lee
    C- Dwight Howard

    DOnt froget brandon rush wa an eliter 3 point shooter, Harrison Barnes does everything klay cant do and has a higher ceiling. The Lakers benefit from this trade because they need an elite shooter. Oh yeah Klay’s dad played for the lakers too (hint hint).

    Lakers Starting 5

    PG- Steve Nash
    SG- Kobe Bryant/ Klay Thompson
    SF- Klay Thompson/ Metta World Peace
    PF- Pau Gasol
    C- Andrew Bogut

  • daniel

    The W’s will have a difficult decision to make when Bogut becomes FA after next season. Bogut will never be healthy again, he is done as full time player so signing Bogut to 3 or 4 yr contract would be risky.

    Next, should the W’s get DH12 assuming they can make the deal? With the W’s, DH12 will play the role he did in Orlando surrounding with 3pt shooters.

    Can they win with DH12? very tough to answer. As we have seen DH12 seems to be very moody. Maybe the preacher coach can help but I don’t know.

    So my vote is a nervous YES for getting DH12.

  • pete maguire

    oh please let this happen, If I were Mitch Kupchak I would take Harrison Barnes and Festus Azili, then look for some future draft picks or guy like Richard Jefferson to round out some numbers. The 2 others that would greatly help the Lakers would be Carl Landry and Jarret Jack- they played incredible for the warriors this year and are steals of the free agency this year. Klay and Lee are almost untouchable for the future of the Warriors but if there was ever a guy that can score and is truly improving it is Klay- doubt that Jerry West wants to boost the Lakers to a top spot on the Western Conference so I think it is unlikely they do any business with LA. Dwight is the most fickle immature ungrounded player in the NBA and a guy like Mark Jackson would do wonders for him in his positive influence and the strength of team that these guys exude. They play with heart and have fun, it would be a great new role for him – Bogut is too fragile to depend on and the truth is he should be release or traded even amnestied. Helps both teams immeasurably, but the Lakers are too stupid to try and will go down hard hoping to see Kobe be Kobe again, good luck with that build now or forget about the future.

  • skeet

    Would beans expiring 9 mil and jeffersons 6…plus lets say bazemores contract be enough free room to sign him without giving up our core and role players?

  • RD

    Bye Dwight drama queen and can’t even catch the ball with his butter fingers acting like LA is his kryptonite more like superwoman is what he is.

  • Timothy

    Once a Laker always a Laker, Dwight

  • Grey Warden

    #23 Skeet,
    Nobody will take that unless the Warriors take back equal money with longer term contracts attached to it. So no, that would not work.

    ———————————–

    Back to Bogut, I keep saying that I doubt Bogut will play more than half a season’s worth of games on starter minutes next season, but then again he’s due for another contract so he might just push himself harder. Kinda like how Baron Davis played through his injuries in order to get that fat contract when he left the Warriors.

  • Sunny

    Howard would bring down the team free throw shooting by 30 percent. I imagine that would nullify his on court benefits to the team. Off the court obviously would be a good boost to the team as far as marketing and merchandising.

  • Stan

    Let me tell all of you what we learned this year. After trading away Monta,and adding Bogut: Yes,the Warriors are a quality team with conventional basketball,Talented guards,a talented power forward,and a dominating big center who rebounds,blocks shots,and can pass.
    After decades of getting propaganda of we don’t need a big man, and that small ball is genius at work. Hell,we were told we didn’t need a star player weren’t we?
    If the Warriors can get Howard then get him. His 17 points a game and 12 rebounds is double what Bogy did..and Howard had a bad old team and he himself had nagging injuries.
    Lee,Curry,Howard..and a backup of Bogut?..THAT’S team that can beat anybody.
    SA is just cruising now..that means the Warriors are THAT close.

  • RamboRaider

    You guys mention Dwight surrounded by a team of shooters not winning but you forget none of thos shooters xould ahoot as well as steph, create for others like steph, create their own shot like steph, nor take over a game like steph. The dubs shooters are wayyy more versatile than that magics team was and.Dwight was the only superstar there. In oakland dwight will have curry and lee to back him up. Curry demands an awful amount of attention that no one in orlando did besides dwight. I also dont recall dwight playing next to a pf as skilled as D. Lee either… I honestly believe dwight to the dubs would bring a ring to the bay, easy.

  • Referee

    Howard and Mark Jackson? A great team. If anyone can convince Howard to play team ball, it would be either Jackson or the other one, Phil.

    The Lakers might well go for a sign and trade to get something for Howard. The Warriors would be in a very strong bargaining position, and might be able to send a number of developing younger players to the Lakers, something they really need.

    Howard has to have shooters around him, because frankly he’s not that great a scorer, and doesn’t do well when double teamed. His choice should probably be Houston, if he wants a ring.

    I wonder if the Warriors aren’t better off as they are, but healthy. They are a combination of shooting, running, and if injuries hadn’t slowed them down, I think they would have been in the finals.

  • JDRSFO

    NO! He’s a big bottom! NO!

  • jsteez

    I’d prefer a healthy Bogut to a healthy Howard for the chemistry and defensive smarts Bogut brings, but we’re not talking about 2008 Bogut or 2011 Howard.

    If you’re the W’s you’d have to make the move b/c of the unique skills Howard has (and will have again next year – his back is getting better) and moreso because Bogut has a bad ankle, arm, and back, and when he runs he looks like he weighs 500 pounds. I just don’t think he’ll be right ever again.

    In the end, Howard should go to Houston where he can be a pick and roll center in the middle of 3 point shooters while collecting checks w/o 10% state taxes. His grand plan to be a marketing centerpiece (hence, L.A.) are kaput b/c he is a giant douche and everyone knows it.