While we all had Friday, July 5th marked as the day we would find out where Dwight Howard would be signing — and an answer still may very well come — it seems that the Golden State Warriors, for now, have stolen the spotlight after inking Andre Igoudala to a four-year, $48 million contract.
The agreement came after the Warriors cleared $24 million in salary-cap room by agreeing to send the expiring contracts of Richard Jefferson, Andris Biedrins and Brandon Rush to the Utah Jazz, league sources told Y! Sports. Golden State also will send multiple draft picks to Utah, including its 2014 first-round pick, sources told Y! Sports.
Golden State general manager Bob Myers and Igoudala’s agent, Rob Pelinka, SFX colleagues for six years under Arn Tellem, worked furiously over the past 48 hours to help clear the salary-cap space and execute the agreement for Iguodala.
By shipping Jefferson, Biedrins and Rush to Utah, the Warriors were not only able to improve their team by adding Igoudala, but may be the team most-poised to complete a sign-and-trade with the Los Angeles Lakers for Dwight Howard.
As SheridanHoops’ James Park noted on Thursday: “The primary reason for writing off the Warriors, in particular, was simple: the Lakers had already stated that they would rather lose Howard for nothing than do a sign-and-trade, and that was the only way Golden State could acquire him because of their salary-cap situation.”
By trading with Utah, that is now a non-issue. Of course, Howard would have to agree to play in Golden State. But if he’s paying attention to what’s happening around the league, why wouldn’t he?
As currently constructed, the Warriors stack up with just about anybody in the NBA with the ability to field a lineup of Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, Harrison Barnes, Andre Igoudala (as a small-ball power forward) and Andrew Bogut. What they do with All-Star forward David Lee is to be determined, but if he remains a Warrior, I don’t think anybody will be complaining.
Golden State is also preparing to hop across the bay to San Francisco before the 2017-’18 season. While that is not for a few years, the thought of being the face of the franchise for a team moving back to San Fran has to be enticing. More so than playing in Houston or Dallas or Los Angeles? That can only be determined by Howard, but it definitely can’t hurt.
According to Wojnarowski, the Warriors would likely have to part with either Klay Thompson or Harrison Barnes and Andrew Bogut, but by adding Igoudala, that bullet is much easier to swallow. If they can trade Andrew Bogut and shed his salary, the Warriors can offer Howard a salary starting at $14 million.
The Warriors have $2.8 million in cap space left now. If they can move Andrew Bogut, they could offer Howard a deal starting at $14 million.
Golden State is now hoping that if Howard decides to leave L.A., they become more appealing than the Houston Rockets, who are believed to be the front-runners to land Howard. If that is the case, they are hoping the question becomes who do we part with — Klay or Barnes — and not: do we part with both of them?
Is Howard worth Thompson and Barnes? And Bogut?
I’d have a hard time justifying that, but that’s just me.
It is still unknown when Howard will decide his future, and it appears the Warriors are giving him even more to think about.
The Dallas Mavericks, however, are not…
Dallas Mavericks have been officially notified they are out of Dwight Howard Sweepstakes, sources tell ESPN
— Marc Stein (@ESPNSteinLine) July 5, 2013
“Got word we are out of the DH sweepstakes,” Mavs owner Mark Cuban told ESPNDallas.com and other local media in an email. “We gave it a shot and it didn’t work out. It was truly an experience. At some point I will post our video and presentation we made.”
I am not in the prediction making business, but my recommendation to Dwight — not that it counts for anything — would be to take the heat and bolt from LA.
Dwight choosing to stay in LA would be like proposing to your girlfriend after a miserable year of fighting and disfunction. Not to mention openly flirting with a ton of other women. He’s been dating a chick he obviously can’t handle, and he’d be sacrificing years of his prime to try and make it work when it’s obviously doomed to fail.
If Dwight truly wanted to stay in LA his decision would be easy and his mind would have already been made up…or at least, should have already been made up. It’s nothing personal, LA. And there’s never a good time to end things. But it’s always better to end them sooner rather than later.
Onto more news around the NBA