5 Free Agents the Golden State Warriors Must Avoid

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Andrew Bynum

Feb 01, 2013; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Philadelphia 76ers center Andrew Bynum (33) prior to the game against the Sacramento Kings at the Wells Fargo Center. The Sixers defeated the Kings 89-80. Mandatory Credit: Howard Smith-USA TODAY Sports

Speaking of the out-of-favor 76ers, do you remember when Andrew Bynum was the second-best center in the NBA? I do. It felt like a simpler time. The Lakers were still considered legitimate contenders, Dwight Howard was still in Orlando and the 76ers fans could still yell IGOUDUNKA! while secretly wondering what they could get for him in a trade.

The answer to that final question is Andrew Bynum, who arrived in Philadelphia as part of a four-team mega-deal that sent Andre Igoudala to Denver and Dwight Howard to Los Angeles. At the time, the Sixers appeared well poised for a deep-run in what had been expected to be a weak Eastern Conference. Bynum had just compiled his best season, averaging 18.7 points and 11.7 rebounds across 60 games. Only 24 years old at the time, Philadelphia believed Bynum’s best seasons lay ahead of him.

It hasn’t worked out. The knee injuries that had plagued Bynum throughout his career kept him in street clothes through the entire 2012-2013 season. When healthy, Bynum has the talent and physical gifts to be one of the best players in the NBA. When injured, his maturity issues and apparent lack of dedication to his recovery proves to be an unwelcome distraction.

Who the Warriors shouldn’t avoid: Dwight Howard

Apr 28, 2013; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Los Angeles Lakers center Dwight Howard (12) and San Antonio Spurs power forward Matt Bonner (15) have to be separated after a call in the first quarter of game four of the first round of the 2013 NBA playoffs at the Staples Center. Los Angeles Lakers center Dwight Howard (12) was called for a technical foul. Mandatory Credit: Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports

Dwight Howard is not on this list.

Although the Los Angeles Lakers and Houston Rockets are the clear front runners in this year’s Dwight-stakes, there have also been rumors that Howard would consider signing with the Golden State Warriors through a sign-and-trade that would send basketball’s self-anointed “Superman” to Oakland in exchange for Andrew Bogut and either Klay Thompson or Harrison Barnes.

As much as Howard’s flakiness and propensity for self-aggrandizement has rankled casual basketball fans, he can still produce at both ends of the court (though probably not at pre-back surgery levels) and would be a welcome addition to a Golden State team that lacked consistent offense from its big men.