Last month the Golden State Warriors courted Dwight Howard to no avail. But now with Jerry West prepared to become move involved in his current advisor role with the Warriors, the chase for Superman just might be back on again.
When it comes to premiere centers in the league, Howard heads the list, and, if there is one glaring position the Warriors are eager to secure, it’s a big man.
But that center of attention likely will not come this season — sorry Warriors fans. The hope is the team has the pieces in place to make a move happen during the offseason, even if Howard can’t be had.
“We need to solve our one glaring need at center, and once you have some chips, that’s when you can make a trade or shake things up to get something you don’t have,” West told the San Francisco Chronicle over the weekend.
“It’s challenging, but I’m confident that it can be done.”
West has always been up for a challenge, and he has one in Golden State. With his glowing resume as both an all-star player and a long-time NBA executive with the Los Angeles Lakers and Memphis Grizzlies, West has acted as a sounding board and provided insight for Golden State from afar this season as he remains in constant communication with general manager Larry Riley, assistant GM Bob Myers and co-owner Joe Lacob.
The days of a more hands-on West are apparently upon us and, in the long run, Golden State will be better off because of it.
The Warriors are 10-14 on the season, have won their last two games, and sit four games behind the Utah Jazz for the eighth seed in the Western Conference playoff picture.
Don’t expect a major overhaul of the roster this season with the NBA Trade deadline approaching on March 15 just because West will be more involved. That responsibility still falls in the laps of Riley and Myers. But what can be expected is for Golden State to spend the team’s $10 million in salary cap space wisely this summer, take advantage of a talented draft class, and be active in trade talks throughout the offseason.
“We need more chips, more players, and we’ll have the capability next year,” West said.
Flashback to last offseason and the Warriors pursued free agent centers ranging from Tyson Chandler, to DeAndre Jordan, and even had a deal in place with former Utah Jazz center Kyrylo Fesenko before deciding to unwind on the agreement. And, while Howard is still considered the must-have marquee middleman, the list of upcoming free agent centers also includes Indiana’s Roy Hibbert, Washington’s JaVale McGee and either Robin (Phoenix) or Brooke (New Jersey) Lopez.
Golden State’s front office and even ownership group are anxious to add a super star to the team, and if Howard can’t be had those “superstar’ plans will have to wait.
That is something we’ll have to get used to with this team — waiting. Because the strategy likely applied even as West becomes more involved is all predicated on making something happen for next season.