Multiple chess pieces have moved during the 2013 offseason as free agents have made decisions on new destinations or simply remained put. The biggest asset however still has not decided what his zip code will be once the 2013-14 season starts.
Dwight Howard has not yet picked his future team, but many seem to agree the Indecision will more than likely end on July 5th, 2013. The Golden State Warriors have emerged from an underdog status to being right in the thick of the race to acquire the talented center.
Warriors’ management is apparently looking for places to unload their big contracts to facilitate the signing of Howard. According to Peter Vecsey, this is no longer a problem:
From what I’m told, should Howard decide on GST, & LA is unwilling 2 sign-trade, it has teams willing 2 assume salaries of AB, Biedrins & RJ
— Peter Vecsey (@PeterVecsey1) July 5, 2013
This is potentially an interesting development. Acquiring Howard via sign-and-trade might be a little difficult because the Los Angeles Lakers might not be willing partners in a transaction that allows the superstar to join a Pacific division foe.
However, if the Warriors can effectively trim their payroll by giving away a few assets, they would force the Lakers to consider every possibility.
The consensus out there is that Golden State probably has to surrender Andrew Bogut and Klay Thompson or Harrison Barnes. Marc Stein and Ramona Shelburne of ESPN.com have the info here:
If Howard were to choose Houston or Golden State, sign-and-trade discussions inevitably will be proposed by the team that lands Howard. And there were signals Thursday night that, in the case of Golden State, L.A. would have to at least consider a swap if either Harrison Barnes or Klay Thompson is added to the proposal along with Bogut.
Some believe both Barnes and Thompson have to be in the deal.
In the event Howard picks the Warriors and the Lakers end up with Thompson and Barnes, it’s probably the best-case scenario for Mitch Kupchak given the type of player they would be losing.
However, it’s quite possible that a Dubs team without those two young players loses some of its luster as far as Howard is concerned. Hence, Golden State probably hangs on to one of them.
However, in the event the Purple and Gold scoop both of them up, the Warriors still conclude the transaction with a core of Stephen Curry, David Lee, Brandon Rush and Howard.
Also, going into the 2014 offseason, the Dubs could have just about $10 million in cap space if they renounce their free agents. The list of available players in the 2014 summer is intriguing as far as Golden State is concerned. Look at the role players they could perhaps pair up with Howard:
- Ben Gordon
- Luol Deng
- Vince Carter
- Shawn Marion
- Danny Granger
- Jason Richardson (player option)
At this point in time, there is nothing definitively putting the Warriors in the driver’s seat with respect to the acquisition of Howard. However, Golden State has positioned itself to make a huge splash in free agency.
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