Dwight Howard might be on the move. Is Golden State a reasonable destination?
Golden State Warriors head coach Mark Jackson has made it clear that he is determined to turn the team into a defensive force to be reckoned with. However, the Dubs lack the personnel to play the style of basketball Jackson wants. With Kwame Brown out for the season and an ailing Andris Biedrins putting up mediocre numbers at center, the Warriors are in need of a shakeup.
Here are five potential moves the team could make.
The seven-foot Diop has only played in 43 games the past two seasons, but should he stay healthy, he could give the Warriors a boost in the low post with his size and shot-blocking ability. With Byron Mullens likely taking over as the full-time starter at center for the Bobcats, the 29-year-old Diop should be expendable and come at a relatively low cost to Golden State.
Pros: Defense, shot blocking. Charlotte won't ask for too much for him.
Cons: Offensive liability, risk to injury. Bad contract (two years, $7 million)
Charlotte gets: Future second-round pick
Warriors get: Diop
Once considered a bust, Milicic has quietly earned a starting job with the Timberwolves.
The infamous bust of the 2003 NBA Draft, Milicic quietly put up career numbers starting alongside Kevin Love last season in Minnesota, averaging 2.0 BPG with 5.4 RPG in just under 24 minutes last season. He's been getting considerably less playing time this season, and the Timberwolves could see him as expendable.
Milicic isn't physical and doesn't rebound as well as the Warriors want, but could help boost the defense and push Andris Biedrins for the starting job.
Pros: Solid defender, Shot blocker, has some upside
Cons: Inconsistant, poor rebounder, offensive liability
The Warriors don't have a whole lot of pieces Minnesota would be interested in.
Minnesota gets: Charles Jenkins, Jeremy Tyler, future draft picks
Warriors get: Milicic
A primed defensive player, Okafor seems like a perfect fit for the Warriors.
The Hornets are in turmoil, and if the team continues to lose, we could see a fire sale from the franchise. This creates a perfect opportunity for the Warriors to pick up a bonafide defensive prowess in Okafor.
The 2005 Rookie of the Year's scoring and rebounding have taken a hit this season, but that could be attributed to Chris Kaman pushing him for playing time. Granted, Dan Gilbert and David Stern won't let the NBA-owned Hornets part with the former first-round pick frugally, so the Warriors will have to give up some young talent in return.
Pros: Physical low-post defender, shot blocker, strong rebounder.
Cons: Can have trouble scoring, will come at a high price, big contract (three years, $12.6 million)
Hornets get: Biedrins, Klay Thompson, Ekpe Udoh, Jenkins, future first-round pick
Warriors get: Okafor, salary cap throw-in
McGee's upside and skillset make him an excellent fit both in the short and long term for the Warriors.
It's a long shot, but the way the Wizards are floundering out of the gates, anything could be possible. McGee bust out on to the scene last season and looks like he is poised to break out in the early goings, averaging 11.6 points, 9.8 rebounds and 3.2 blocks per game through ten contests. The freakishly-athletic big man is in the final year of his contract, so Washington could deal him if the price is right.
Pros: Big upside, superb shotblocker, good rebounder, developing scorer
Cons: Final year of his contract, and again will come at a high price
Wizards get: Udoh, Thompson and two future first-round picks
Warriors get: McGee, future first or second-round pick
Should he agree to sign long term in Oakland, Golden State could offer the Magic a deal they cant refuse.
As the Dwight Howard soap opera unfolds, the Warriors could make the best offer for the three-time Defensive Player of the Year. The Dubs are stock loaded with young talent, and should Howard agree to re-sign with the team, Orlando could find the pieces Golden State is willing to give up more than enough to part ways with the disgruntled superstar.
Pros: The Bay Area would see a basketball talent unbeknownst to them since the Wilt Chamberlain era.
Cons: Nothing but a blockbuster trade that would completely dismantle the current roster would bring Howard to the Warriors. Whether or not he would sign long term with the team, though, remains a question.
Magic get: Monta Ellis, David Lee, Thompson, Udoh, Jenkins, Brandon Rush, first-round pick
Warriors get: Dwight Howard, Hedo Turkoglu, J.J. Reddick