Warriors targeting big name in free agency

Warriors prowling free agency for a big name

7/3/13 in NBA   |   Matthew_Shovlin   |   735 respect

The Golden State Warriors were one of the NBA's surprise teams last season, as they finished with the sixth best record in the Western Conference and advanced to the second round of the playoffs. However, they didn't quite have what it took to beat the San Antonio Spurs, and they were eliminated in six games from the conference semi-finals.

The Warriors, led by guard Stephen Curry and forward David Lee, are certainly a solid team, but they are still a piece or two away from being a serious championship contender. Another borderline All-Star-caliber player (along with continued improvement from Curry) may be what the Warriors need to put themselves in the same discussion as the Oklahoma City Thunder and Los Angeles Clippers.

After a strong rookie season and even better postseason (16.1 points and 6.4 rebounds per game in the playoffs), perhaps Harrison Barnes has shown signs that he can develop into that superstar that propels the Warriors to greatness. The Warriors, however, do not appear willing to wait and see if Barnes can become that player.

The Warriors have now been connected to three of the biggest names on the free agent market this season. Dwight Howard, Josh Smith, and Andre Iguodala have all been tied to the Warriors in one way or another, and it is now evident that the Warriors are looking to make a splash in free agency by landing a big name.
Apr 28, 2013; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Los Angeles Lakers center Dwight Howard (12) during the game against the San Antonio Spurs in game four of the first round of the 2013 NBA playoffs at the Staples Center. Mandatory Credit: Richard Mackson-USA TODAY Sports
It was reported Wednesday that the Warriors made a strong impression on top free agent Dwight Howard, and that Golden State has "become a factor in his decision process." Howard would certainly have a nice place on the team as an upgrade over the oft-injured Andrew Bogut at center. His inside offensive game and defensive prowess would be a great compliment to power forward David Lee's perimeter offense and defensive shortcomings.

With limited cap space, the Warriors would have to execute a sign-and-trade with the Los Angeles Lakers to acquire Howard. The Lakers would reportedly be receiving Andrew Bogut with either Klay Thompson or Harrison Barnes in the deal. The haul would be nice for the Lakers, who could lose Howard to free agency for nothing, but they are said to be unwilling to help the Warriors acquire the league's premier center.
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