Sports Out West

Dwight Howard free agency: Warriors trying to clear cap space by trading expiring contracts

Photo Credit: Richard Mackson/USA TODAY Sports

After meeting with free agent Dwight Howard earlier in the week, the Golden State Warriors are now aggressively attempting to trade away players in order to create the salary-cap space needed to sign the center, according to an ESPN report by Brian Windhorst and Marc Stein.

As one of five teams granted the chance to pitch their case to Howard, the Warriors have a serious desire to sign the big-name free agent and believe the interest is mutual. With Howard possibly making his decision by Friday, Golden State is ramping up their efforts to outright sign him by freeing up the salary-cap space needed for this big transaction.

Since joining the sweepstakes for his services, one of the biggest roadblocks would be the Los Angeles Lakers’ cooperation. The Warriors are over the cap, meaning they would need the Lakers assistance in the form of a sign-and-trade deal to make this happen. Seeing how the two teams are division rivals, cooperation was going to be unlikely.

By doing some package deal involving a combination of Andrew Bogut, Brandon Rush, Andris Biedrins and/or Richard Jefferson’s expiring contracts, as well as a coveted commodity like David Lee, Harrison Barnes or Klay Thompson, the Warriors just might be able to create the cap space needed to sign Howard themselves and not rely on the Lakers.

While a trade involving these players would purely be for clearing up cap space and getting little-to-nothing in return, the Warriors could instantly become a more likely destination for Howard if they can cut payroll and get no contracts in return.

Photo Credit: Richard Mackson/USA TODAY Sports

Follow and interact with Austin Chang on Twitter @_austinchang.
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Austin Chang

Austin Chang is the Associate Editor of Sports Out West and a San Francisco Bay Area-based sports journalist. His work can also be found on Yahoo! Sports and RamsTalk. Follow him on Twitter @_austinchang.