The New Jersey Nets' agreement in principle to acquire Joe Johnson today effectively knocks them out of the running for Dwight Howard, who was reportedly only willing to sign there. (Photo by Sam Greenwood/Getty Images)
(h/t to GSW9 for originally posting this as a fan shot)
Earlier this morning, ESPN's Chris Broussard tweeted that the Golden State Warriors are willing to trade for Orlando Magic center Dwight Howard without the assurance that he would stick around after his contract is up.
However, Scott Howard-Cooper of NBA.com reported this afternoon that Warriors are not expected pursue Howard because, "There’s already a talented center in place now, who, as Lacob pointedly noted, 'wants to be here.'"
"I doubt it," Lacob told NBA.com at the gathering to introduce rookies Harrison Barnes, Festus Ezeli and Draymond Green. "I never say never. But we have somebody called Andrew Bogut. He is, in our opinion, one of the three best centers in the whole NBA, and in most people’s opinion. And he wants to be here and is a great fit. We think we have a really nice nucleus now going forward."
Yet contrary to the headline that states the Warriors are "dropping out of the Howard sweepstakes", this report doesn't necessarily mean that the possibility of negotiating with the Magic for Howard is now dead - Lacob clearly leaves the door open, even while suggesting he has little desire to pursue a player whose illogical lust for relocating to Brooklyn has alienated the fans who wanted him to stay in Orlando most.
But what it might mean is that Lacob has even less desire to gut a Warriors team that the front office has started to mold into a potentially playoff-worthy team in the near future... if they can remain healthy.
Might the acquisition of Joe Johnson and his large contract by the New Jersey Nets - Howard's single desired location - change the terms of the Howard "sweepstakes"? Possibly. Yet ultimately, even if the prospect of landing Howard is intriguing, this rather minor "news" that suggests that they might not go go all-out for a dramacidal superstar is something of a relief.
For more on the Dwight Howard sweepstakes, visit SB Nation's Dwight Howard trade rumors storystream.