We have had one week for the dust to settle from Dwight Howard’s decision to join the Houston Rockets, and it is looking more and more like the Golden State Warriors made the right choice in not pursuing Howard.
Just seven days ago, it looked as if Golden State was on the verge of a major coup; adding Andre Iguodala and possibly Dwight Howard to their already impressive roster. The internet was rife with speculation that the addition of Iguodala could be the move that sent Howard packing for Oakland. However, it turned out that Warriors general manager Bob Myers decided not to try to work out a sign-and-trade for Howard. And Warriors fans should be grateful.
Obtaining Howard would have come at the expense of one, or likely both, of the team’s most promising young players. The Los Angeles Times reported that the Lakers would only consider a sign-and-trade for Howard if they received both Klay Thompson and Harrison Barnes along with taking Andrew Bogut off the Warriors’ books. Even with the acquisition of Iguodala, it would have made no sense for the Warriors to trade away two low-salary, high-production players such as Thompson and Barnes.
Securing Howard would have also resulted in much less financial flexibility both next year and over the long term. Howard would have commanded a contract of approximately $85 million over four years. That would be in addition to the $48 million over four years that Golden State committed to Andre Iguodala. The Warriors are in much better shape with the expiring $14 million contract of Andrew Bogut, which can either be re-negotiated at the end of next season or leveraged into a high-caliber replacement.
While the 27-year-old Howard is undeniably one of the top big men in the game, back and shoulder injuries have impeded his production and effectiveness over the past year. Already having one injury prone big man, Golden State is better off with the less-expensive but still effective Bogut.
Now that the dust has settled it is clear that the Warriors ended up in the best possible position: Adding the All-Star Iguodala without hollowing out the talented young core of players that are Golden State’s future.