Warriors Taking Dwight Howard Matters in their Own Hands??

According to ESPN, the Warriors are aggressively shopping centers Andrew Bogut and Andris Biedrins, and forward Richard Jefferson. Why? Golden State wants to prevent the Los Angeles Lakers from hatin’ on their Dwight Howard pursuit.

The Warriors are $11 million over the projected salary cap (at about $69.9 million including Kent Bazemore), not including the cap holds. That means in order to get Howard, the Warriors would have to agree to a sign-and-trade with the Los Angeles Lakers.

Reports are the Lakers aren’t interested in working a sign-and-trade and would rather let Howard walk and save the luxury tax bill. And they certainly aren’t keen on strengthening a division rival. And whatever hopes the Warriors have of convincing the Lakers to deal, many suspect, would involve giving up young stars Klay Thompson or Harrison Barnes.

But the Warriors don’t want to give up either. According to a source, their pitch to Dwight Howard on Monday — in which I am told Mark Jackson shined — included Howard playing with Curry AND Thompson AND Barnes. Those prospects intrigued Howard, as Marc Stein reported. So much so, the Warriors are now actively trying to create enough salary cap space so they don’t need to do a sign-and-trade with the Lakers.

It’s a monumental task, to be sure. The projected salary cap is $58.5 million, which means the Warriors would need to cut their salary down to $38 million or less to have the space needed to pay Howard the max contract he commands.

Cutting that much money would require the Warriors moving their three major expiring contracts: Bogut ($14 million), Richard Jefferson ($11 million) and Andris Biedrins ($9 million). Dumping all three without taking any money back would chop $34 million off the Warriors’ cap figure, getting them down to about $35 million. (NOTE: They would have to renounce the rights to their free agents, including Jarrett Jack, to remove their capholds).

The difficult part, finding teams to take on those big contracts getting anything (or much) in return.

The Warriors would need to find teams with enough cap space to absorb their expiring contracts. That’s probably easiest to do with Bogut because in addition to being an expiring contract he is a legit center when healthy. Teams like Portland, Atlanta and Cleveland are in need of a good, defensive center.

Then the Warriors could use a future draft pick to pair with Jefferson to sweeten his salary dump. To sweeten Biedrins’ dump, the Warriors could send a team $3 million in cash considerations, trimming Biedrins’ salary to $6 million.

Another route the Warriors can go is to raise the stakes and adding Lee’s contract. Pairing Lee with one or more of the expirings would allow the Warriors to dump the contracts while being able to take a contract back. For example, Bogut + Lee + Biedrins is $37 million in salary. Golden State could take back up to $14 million in contracts and still would have accomplished the task.

But what if the Warriors trade Bogut and Howard decides to stay with Los Angeles or go to Houston? That wouldn’t happen, per one source. The Warriors are paving the way to be able to get under the cap if Howard says yes (which he hasn’t yet).

At this stage, anyway, teams can only agree to deals. No trades can be completed until the league-wide moratorium ends. So if Howard chooses elsewhere, GSW can cancel the deals. They may even know Howard’s answer before the moratorium ends anyway, if reports are true that Howard will decide by Friday.


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:

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David Lee Named All-NBA; Stephen Curry is Not

All-Star forward David Lee was named third-team All-NBA, the league announced Thursday.

Lee is the first Warrior to make All-NBA since Latrell Sprewell was first-team in 1993-94. Back in February, Lee became the first Warriors’ All-Star since Sprewell in 1997.

Lee was the only player in the NBA to average at least 18 points, 11 rebounds and three assists. He’s the fifth Warrior to post those numbers in a single season. The other four: Wilt Chamberlain, Nate Thurmond, Jerry Lucas and Neil Johnston. Led led the NBA with 31 games with at least 20 points and 10 rebounds, the most since Thurmond in 1971-72. Golden State was 25-6 in those games.

Despite a monster second-half of the season, Warriors point guard Stephen Curry was not selected.

MARK JACKSON: “Happy for and proud of David Lee. It is well-deserved. As far as Steph, the great thing is that the world now knows, even if the voters don’t.”

Here are the selections:

First Team

Forward           LeBron James, Miami                       595

Forward           Kevin Durant, Oklahoma City         555

Center              Tim Duncan, San Antonio                392

Guard               Kobe Bryant, L.A. Lakers                 521

Guard               Chris Paul, L.A. Clipper                   537

Second Team

Forward          Carmelo Anthony, New York            397

Forward          Blake Griffin, L.A. Clippers               132

Center             Marc Gasol, Memphis (38)                295

Guard              Tony Parker, San Antonio (16)         273

Guard              Russell Westbrook, Oklahoma City 306

Third Team

Forward          David Lee, Golden State                      79

Forward          Paul George, Indiana                          73

Center             Dwight Howard, L.A. Lakers             203

Guard              Dwyane Wade, Miami                        145

Guard              James Harden, Houston                    253

Curry totaled 72 points, the most of any guard not selected (next was Ty Lawson with 8 votes). But Curry was well behind Wade, who had the fewest points of any guard selected.


Warriors David Lee’s Going to Leave Live Tweeting to Kobe Bryant

Warriors forward David Lee, out for the season with a torn right hip flexor, has attending every practice. He’s participates in every meeting. He is filling his teammates eat with whatever insight he can offer.

But Lee said should he be inactive for Game 2, you don’t have to worth about him live Tweeting.

“Can you imagine that?” Lee said with a laugh. “Nah. I’ve got too many holes in my game to be on Twitter breaking down other people’s games.”

Los Angeles Lakers star Kobe Bryant’s in-game Tweets became national news. Out for the year due to a torn Achilles, Bryant couldn’t be with the team for Game 1 at San Antonio. As he explained, flying would increase the swelling in his injured foot. So Bryant did some live coaching on Twitter, offering critique and strategy to his followers.

He has since said he would stop live Tweeting because it had become a distraction.

NBA legend Jerry West, in a radio interview with ESPN, doesn’t think it’s a good idea.

WEST: “That’s Kobe. I have nothing but respect for him. The social media, I just don’t think it’s good. Therms enough pressure on everyone now. I don’t understand that at all. I never have understood it. … It’s just something I wouldn’t do.”