Why are the Golden State Warriors interested in former Lakers star Dwight Howard?
It’s no secret that the Warriors’ roster lacks size, but if recent chatter proves true, they’re about to address the problem with an interesting option.
An NBA Championship winner, the former Lakers star could well be the exact thing that the Warriors need as they look to bolster a roster that has struggled to compete on a physical level with teams that are bigger physically.
The Warriors will meet Dwight Howard
According to reports on Friday, free agent center Dwight Howard is set for a meeting with the Golden State Warriors in San Francisco next week. Yes, the same Dwight Howard who is an eight-time NBA All-Star and last played in the league during the 2021-22 campaign, which saw him play in 60 games for the Los Angeles Lakers, while averaging 6.2 points and 5.9 rebounds on approximately 6.2 minutes per game. The former No. 1 overall pick has of course played for a number of teams - seven to be precise - across a career that has spanned some 18 years in the NBA. He was of course also part of the Lakers’ 2019-20 championship team.
You may recall that Howard made a surprise move to Asia last offseason where he signed with Taiwan’s Taoyuan Leopards after failing to sign with an NBA team. In this last season, he averaged 23.2 points and 16.2 rebounds in 34.9 minutes across 20 games.
Dwight Howard is all well and good but what about Usman Garuba?
It’s interesting to note that Howard’s move to the Warriors was previously discussed, with the idea of his size and skill set offering the team greater depth. Where the 37-year-old is concerned, he himself has never hidden the idea that he’d like to join the Warriors. Just last year, he spoke openly about the prospect of mentoring the former No. 2 overall pick James Wiseman, a player who the WArriors later traded to the Detroit Pistons. This in turn brings us to Usman Garuba. Indeed, as the Warriors wait for Howard, they’ve gone ahead and signed the free agent to a two-way contract.
If you didn’t know, Garuba was a 2021 first-round draft pick by the Houston Rockets. In the two seasons that he’s played, he’s averaged 2.8 points and 3.9 rebounds across a total of 99 games. It’s worth noting, however, that he was traded twice in July before finally being waived by the Oklahoma City Thunder. Like the aforementioned Howard, Garuba brings the size that the Warriors covet so highly, and is also the second player that the franchise recently signed to a two-way contract, Lester Quinones being the other. In case you’re wondering, NBA teams are now allowed to have three two-way players. Where the Warriors are concerned, they currently have 13 players who are signed to guaranteed contracts, i.e., they do actually have room for Howard should he decide he wants to join the team.