Days after the Charlotte Hornets sent him to Brooklyn, Dwight Howard has reportedly agreed to a contract buyout with the Nets. This will allow him to become an unrestricted free agent in July where he could potentially join a title-contending team. According to Ben Rohrbach of Yahoo Sports, one of the NBA teams who could express interest in acquiring Howard is the Golden State Warriors.
In the past seasons, the Warriors have helped several NBA players revive their basketball careers and win an NBA championship title. Former Shaqtin’ A Fool MVP JaVale McGee is one of those players who experienced a major change when he headed to Bay Area. From being the laughingstock in the NBA, McGee became a reliable bench contributor and quality rim protector for the Warriors.
The same thing could happen for Dwight Howard. The 32-year-old center is undeniably a much better player than McGee on both ends of the floor. The potential acquisition of Howard will address the Warriors’ only weakness – the center position. In 81 games last season, Howard averaged 16.6 points, 12.5 rebounds, and 1.6 blocks on 55.5 percent shooting from the field.
In addition to his incredible rebounding and rim protection, Howard has added a midrange pull-up jumper in his sets of skills.
“This year was an opportunity for me to show what type of player I am and where I can go,” Howard said, via Chris Haynes of ESPN. “This season I made the most jump shots that I’ve made my whole career. I’ve improved my pick-and-pops. My [isolation] numbers are very high. I’m in a position where I can still dominate on the post, but I can do more things now because I understand the game on a different level. Furthermore, I still want to continue developing and growing as a player.”
However, the Howard-to-Warriors scenario will only be possible if the All-Star center will accept a veteran minimum deal. Also, despite the numerous things he can contribute to Golden State’s dynasty, it remains unknown if the Warriors will really consider adding Howard to their team this summer. Howard is popular for being a problem in the locker room, and his basketball style doesn’t fit in the Warriors’ system.
Warriors beat writer Anthony Slater of The Athletic said he would be “stunned” if the Warriors entertained the idea of signing Howard. After winning their third NBA championships in four years, Golden State has reportedly revealed their plan to go “young, hungry, and smaller” which means their top target this summer is adding more wings and fewer veteran big men.