The biggest problem for these teams looking to acquire Howard, however, is that he has made it very clear that he will only re-sign with the Nets after his contract expires this next season.
That still hasn't stopped the Lakers or Rockets, though, as they are still actively structuring deals to try and bring Howard to their respective cities, hoping to swoon him this season into reconsidering and signing with them long term.
The dark horse in this wine-and-dine race may be the Golden State Warriors, a team that was pursuing Howard as far back as January. However, is it worth the risk to trade for a player who the Warriors may only be renting for a season?
Let's go with a big, fat no.
The Golden State front office also seems to agree with this decision, since they have reportedly dropped their pursuit of a Howard trade, according to Scott Howard-Cooper of NBA.com's Hangtime Blog.
Additionally, the Warriors have also traded for Australian center Andrew Bogut last season, making their desperate need for a quality center possibly fulfilled.
The price to pay for Howard is not going to be cheap for the team that ends up dealing for him, and I'm sure the Warriors were well aware of that. With the youthful core that Golden State has to offer, it's easy to see how the Magic could have demanded a lucrative package of players and draft picks in return for Howard.
Golden State has quite a promising young core in the works with Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson and the newly-drafted Harrison Barnes. They would have to had part with one or several of those pieces to get the best center in the league, in addition to possibly Andrew Bogut as well.
While Howard could be worth all of those players, if he only spent one season in Oakland, the Warriors and their fans would most certainly be cursing the sky.
In the event of trading for Howard and only getting one season out of him, the team would have taken several steps backward in their development, and the playoffs would be as far away as ever.
However, this will probably turn into a Dwight-mare that the Dubs get to wake up from. By pulling out of the Howard sweepstakes and letting other teams try to convince him to stay, the Warriors can focus on what they do have and move forward from here.
This is a young team, and they don't need any more distractions off the court than they already have. If Howard did get dealt to Oakland, it would surely be a nuisance to deal with all season long about whether he would stay or go. Therefore, by withdrawing their interest, Golden State has instilled confidence in their current core and the talent they already have.
Even without Howard, the Warriors have two quality bigs in Bogut and David Lee. They do a great job on the boards and can give Golden State a nice low-post complement to their very shooting-capable starting lineup.
The most important thing to consider about the Warriors opting out of the Howard race is that they are finding out that one thing that leads a team to better cohesion and overall success is consistency in the roster.
Since the Warriors last made their playoff run in 2008, only one player remains from that team since Golden State couldn't manage to find a functional core in the years since. Things have been looking up this offseason, however, as the Warriors have managed to acquire some solid talent in Jarrett Jack, in exchange for Dorrell Wright, who was an extra small forward anyway.
By moving on from the dreams of having a bona fide superstar in their uniform, the Warriors have made the absolute correct decision. Howard would have made an impact in Golden State without a doubt, but the Warriors clearly see that what they currently have may be special and are willing to give it a shot moving forward into next season.
Like the new article format? Send us feedback!