It’s almost a given that Dwight Howard will be playing for his fifth team in seven seasons in 2018-19. Earlier this month, the Charlotte Hornets agreed to trade the former All-Star center to the Brooklyn Nets, and numerous reports since then have suggested that he will be seeking a buyout from the Nets once the trade is completed in July. Subsequent rumors hinted that Howard is interested in signing with the Golden State Warriors, but the latest word from the NBA grapevine suggests that the three-time NBA champions have no plans of acquiring Howard in free agency.
In a report that focused on the general expectations once NBA teams are allowed to sign free agents in the current offseason, the New York Times‘ Marc Stein briefly discussed the rumors of Dwight Howard joining the Golden State Warriors, noting that the team has denied these rumors, and will “not be pursuing” the 32-year-old former Defensive Player of the Year in free agency.
According to Stein, the expectation is that the Warriors will work on re-signing Kevin Durant and coming up with a new contract for the superstar forward, though it isn’t clear how the team will be bolstering their second unit or center rotation for the 2018-19 season. Last season, the Warriors’ top reserve players included veteran Andre Iguodala and Shaun Livingston and rookie Jordan Bell, while JaVale McGee, another veteran, started at center during the 2018 NBA Finals, where Golden State swept Cleveland, 4-0. Prior to that, Zaza Pachulia had started most of the 2017-18 regular season, yet averaged only 5.4 points and 4.7 rebounds in 14.1 minutes per game.
As previously noted by the Inquisitr, when rumors of Dwight Howard to the Golden State Warriors first broke, the Warriors’ salary cap situation might force Howard to agree to a veteran minimum contract if he really wants to play with the team. Another factor that might prevent the Warriors from showing much interest is Howard’s reputation as a difficult player off the court, one that fans and analysts say is the reason why he has played for so many teams since 2012 after spending the first eight years of his career with the Orlando Magic.
Regardless whether Howard ends up in Golden State or not, he will be coming off a solid 2017-18 season where he bounced back after repeated subpar years. Howard put up averages of 16.6 points, 12.4 rebounds, and 1.6 blocks with the Hornets, as he provided a reliable complement to top scorer and starting point guard Kemba Walker, who has been subject to his fair share of NBA rumors in recent weeks.