Dwight Howard is back in the spotlight. After a disappointing season with the Los Angeles Lakers, the polarizing star center is once again a coveted commodity. One team that would be an ideal fit is the Golden State Warriors.
Even during a busy draft night, Howard was a hot topic of conversation. Chris Broussard of ESPN reported the Warriors are likely to meet with him during the free-agent process. It's the first step toward making a serious run at signing him.
Golden State trying to get a visit with Dwight Howard too. Source says he'll likely meet with them.— Chris Broussard (@Chris_Broussard) June 27, 2013
Mark Medina of the Los Angeles Daily News previously reported Golden State was one of several teams in the mix for Howard, with the Dallas Mavericks, Houston Rockets, Atlanta Hawks and, of course, Lakers being the other main contenders:
Nothing remains binding, though. The source added Howard's main concern involves "what team he feels has the best chance to win championships, has the best team and system around him." The source also stressed Howard has not and will not ask the Lakers to make any moves on his behalf.
Howard is one of the league's most unpredictable players, which makes it extremely difficult to forecast where he'll land. That's good news for the Warriors, though, as it should give them a legitimate chance to win him over during the process.
His desire to win championships also bodes well for Golden State. It was the only team in the Western Conference to mount a serious challenge against the Spurs, pushing the eventual conference champions to six games in the second round.
The Warriors were able to do it almost solely thanks to their perimeter scorers. The young trio of Stephen Curry, Harrison Barnes and Klay Thompson caused serious issues for the Spurs defense. Even veteran guard Jarrett Jack made an impact.
Play on the interior was a completely different story. David Lee suffered a right hip injury, which severely limited his contributions, and the team's other post players struggled to pick up the slack.
Pairing Howard, who's a dominant force in the paint when healthy, with the vast array of knockdown shooters on the Warriors roster would be a potentially elite combination. The added second-chance opportunities alone would be huge.
The front office would probably need to do some creative wheeling and dealing in order to open space on the roster for Howard. But that can wait until they find out if they are going to be major players in the sweepstakes.
It would definitely be a worthwhile investment for a team that appears on the cusp of breaking through. The Spurs aren't getting any younger, and the Oklahoma City Thunder will deal with questions revolving around Russell Westbrook's recovery.
Where do you think Howard will land?
In other words, the Warriors could emerge as a serious threat to win the conference with a healthy, motivated Howard on the roster.
The team would give Howard a chance at a championship, and he'd be the main focus in the paint. A potentially overlooked factor is getting out of a major media market, something he has learned can be very tough to deal with at times.
It should all equate to the Warriors becoming a factor as Howard begins the process of figuring out where he wants to play next season. There should be plenty of competition, but Golden State can make a strong case.
Even if the franchise isn't Howard's top choice right now, it could be once the dust settles over the summer.