It was just over a decade ago that the Warriors were desperate to trade for Dwight Howard. Stephen Curry was one of the names Golden State lofted to the Orlando Magic in return for the then-superstar’s services. But Howard had no interest in a long-term future with the downtrodden Warriors and demanded a trade to the Los Angeles Lakers, meanwhile Curry transformed into a global superstar and Golden State into a lasting dynasty.
Now fate has come full circle and roles reversed: After a season in the Taiwanese League, 37-year-old Howard wants back into the NBA and Curry’s Warriors are offering a chance to land one of their final two roster spots. In this case, the Warriors won’t be courting Howard.
With a camp invite, Howard likely has to convince head coach Steve Kerr and general manager Mike Dunleavy Jr. that he’s willing to accept a lesser role — playing behind Draymond Green and Kevon Looney — than he was accustomed to during his All-Star years a decade ago.
Funny how that happened. The Curry Revolution in the NBA made obsolete an era that placed more value on seven-foot bully-ball centers such as Howard. But if Howard wins over decision makers, he can give Golden State the depth at center they sorely lacked last year.
Howard has done this before
The 2020 NBA playoffs were a fever dream locked into “The Bubble” at Disney World. So it may have gone forgotten that Howard was a quintessential part of the Lakers’ championship run in his LA reprise.
Before COVID hit, Howard reportedly suggested to the Lakers that he sign a non-guaranteed, one-year contract just to prove how committed he was to accepting a minor role behind bigs Anthony Davis and JaVale McGee. As the ninth man, Howard averaged 19 minutes per game in 69 games with the Lakers in 2019-20, used primarily in specific match-ups. After sitting out for the majority of the Western Conference semi-finals against Hosuton, Lakers coaches tapped him in for the Conference Finals to agitate and defend Denver Nuggets’ Nikola Jokic, imperative to helping the Lakers win the series.
With the Warriors, Howard may have to be OK with missing even more games and fewer minutes per game throughout the season with Green, Looney and Dario Saric taking on the majority of minutes in the front court. But there are minutes to be had for Howard to get back into the NBA game.
What’s in it for the Warriors?
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