NBA insider Shams Charania reported late last week that the Golden State Warriors have shown interest in signing Dwight Howard. This report also came out when the Warriors signed Usman Garuba to a two-way contract.
The Warriors reportedly worked out Howard this week, which shows they’re adamant about adding more center depth. Howard didn’t play in the NBA last season, but his skillset could prove valuable on a championship contender.
Howard’s Championship Experience
In Dwight Howard’s return to the LA Lakers in 2020, he won his first NBA championship. He was a crucial part of that team and provided some important frontcourt depth. Howard showed that he was willing to sacrifice his role as an all-star and starter to win a championship.
At the time Howard averaged career lows in points and rebounds that season, which made sense in a diminished role. However, he shot an astounding 72 percent from the field in 2020, a career high and one of the highest field goal percentages ever in a single season.
Howard played his role perfectly as a screen setter, lob threat and defensive anchor. His role was simple yet extremely valuable. LeBron James and Rajon Rondo would set Howard up for easy dunks in pick-and-rolls while Howard would use his shot-blocking presence to alter shots at the rim.
If Howard can perform a similar role on the Warriors and play around 10-15 minutes a game, he’d be an ideal fit.
Howard’s Potential Role on the Warriors (If He’s Signed)
Javale McGee’s role on the Warriors is a great archetype of Howard’s potential fit with Golden State. Ironically enough, McGee was also Howard’s teammate on the 2020 Lakers, and McGee started over Howard during that championship season.
McGee mostly came off the bench during his Warriors stint, but he would start depending on matchups. Howard could see a similar role on the Warriors, but Kevon Looney is pretty much guaranteed to start almost every game.
Steve Kerr would probably use Howard in spot minutes depending if the Warriors want to go small or have a traditional center. The Warriors usually don’t play many traditional centers, but having Howard as a reliable option would be super valuable in the playoffs.
Similar to his Lakers role in 2020, Howard would likely be a shot-blocking presence and lob-catcher on the Warriors. His role would be fairly straightforward, and he’d get extremely easy looks from Stephen Curry, Draymond Green and Chris Paul.
Essentially, Howard would mainly play a Javale McGee-type role for the Warriors. Howard’s minutes would likely be sporadic, and he probably wouldn’t play every game. When he does get court time, Howard would likely play with Paul or Green in the second unit.
Will the Warriors Sign Howard?
The Warriors have two standard roster spots remaining after using both their two-way contracts on Lester Quinones and Usman Garuba. However, the Warriors are allowed to go over the 17-player maximum to sign players to training camp deals.
They’ve done so with Jerome Robinson already, and they’re bound to add more players to that list in the coming weeks. Maybe Howard will be one of those additions, but it all depends on how the Warriors viewed their meeting and workout with Howard.
Whether Howard gets added on a standard contract or training camp deal, he’d be a great fit as a backup center. Howard is looking to play his nineteenth season in the NBA. He played in China last season, but he’s looking to make a final NBA comeback.
Will the Warriors sign Dwight Howard or will another contender pick him up?
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Featured photo courtesy of NBA.com.