The Golden State Warriors just signed DeMarcus Cousins to the mid-level exception, adding another superstar to their lineup.
Along with the Los Angeles Lakers signing LeBron James yesterday, it has been a rough couple days for Dwight Howard.
The buzz surrounding Howard was that he was interested in playing for either the Warriors or whatever team James ended up going to.
It’s extremely unlikely that the Lakers would want to bring Howard back after how disastrous his first stint with the team was.
Although Cousins is expected to miss the first few months of next season while recovering from his Achilles injury, the Cousins signing probably ends the possibility of the Warriors taking a flyer on Howard.
Cousins is potentially combustible enough, although the Warriors core has raved about how much they enjoy him and how excited they are for him to be on the team.
The culture of the Warriors is strong enough to positively mold any player, but they’d be pushing their luck with Howard it seems like.
Howard was recently traded to the Brooklyn Nets from the Charlotte Hornets and is in the process of completing a buyout with the Nets.
That would make Howard an unrestricted free agent, and he reportedly wants to play for a team that is contending for a championship.
Sam Amick reported this past weekend that Howard was interested in joining either the Warriors, the New Orleans Pelicans, the Washington Wizards, and wherever team LeBron James would ultimately end up.
The other free agency developments now make the Pelicans and Wizards the teams he’ll likely focus on at this point.
This Cousins move has allowed the Warriors to avoid having to make a tough decision on a player as enigmatic as Howard.
Howard ranked 4th in the league last season in Total Rebound Percentage and 10th in the league last season in Block Percentage, but doesn’t have a polished offensive game, isn’t a fluid passer, and is a terrible free throw shooter.
Even theoretically, the most the Warriors could offer Howard now is a minimum contract, and he’s going to get an offer way more than that from some other team.
It’s funny that people around the league a few days ago were contemplating how the Warriors would look with Howard as their center, and now Cousins is going to be their center. Another reminder of how crazy NBA free agency is.