The Golden State Warriors will need to address the center position in the offseason. Kevon Looney is a serviceable big man but hasn’t been able to stay healthy throughout his career. Marquese Chriss came along nicely last season and should be a part of the rotation next year.
General manager Bob Myers will have to get creative if he wants to bring in a center via free agency. The Dubs have the mid-level exception to work with and will have some intriguing options on the open market.
Marc Gasol, Hassan Whiteside, Aron Baynes and Robin Lopez are all due to become free agents after the playoffs. Another player who should be available is Los Angeles Lakers center Dwight Howard.
It’s been a season of redemption for the eight-time All-Star. Howard was close to being out of the league before the Lakers took a flyer on him before the season. He signed a one-year deal worth just over $2.5 million and could be had at a similar price range.
Howard averaged 7.5 points and 7.3 rebounds during the regular season and has played well during the postseason. Head coach Frank Vogel inserted Howard into the starting lineup after Game 3 of the Western Conference Final to slow down Denver Nuggets center Nikola Jokic. Howard did a great job against Joker as Los Angeles went on to win the series in five games.
The Warriors could bring Howard in on a one-year deal and insert him into the starting lineup. He is still an effective rim-protector and still has some pop left in his offensive game. If Myers wants to look at a short-term option at the 5, Howard will be a great fit.
Questions about Howard’s maturity have been answered during the season. With the veteran presence of LeBron James and Anthony Davis, Howard has fit in nicely. He would be in a similar position with the Dubs because Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson and Draymond Green are on the roster.
It looks like Golden State won’t take a big man with the No. 2 pick at the 2020 NBA Draft, so Myers will either look to add a big man via free agency or through a trade. If Howard doesn’t re-sign with the Lakers, Myers could offer him the MLE and bring him to the Bay Area.
Should the Warriors try and sign Dwight Howard?
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On to some links:
Golden State had a familiar face back at practice last week. Klay Thompson participated in full team practices and head coach Steve Kerr likes what he saw. (ESPN)
Oakland native Gary Payton is high on the Dubs’ title chances next season. The Hall of Famer says the Warriors will be a force to reckoned with in 2021. (NBC Bay Area)