Andre Iguodala to the Warriors, Howard Out?

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When a young, up-and-coming team full of rising stars like the Golden State Warriors makes a deal that clears up $24 million in expiring contracts and acquires a solid veteran in one fell swoop, it may typically be seen as an overwhelmingly positive move. The Warriors reached a deal which sends Andris Biedrins’ $9 million, Richard Jefferson’s $11 million, and Brandon Rush’s $4 million as well as two future first round picks (2014 and 2017) to Utah in order to clear a lot of cap space, which they then used to sign Denver’s free agent small forward Andre Iguodala to a four year, $48 million contract.

Iguodala fits in with a team who could use a small forward, especially a veteran All-Star who can help youngster Harrison Barnes develop even further than he already showed he has during the postseason. He is a piece that the team has reportedly been coveting for multiple years, but does their acquisition mean that they are out of the sweepstakes regarding another former All-Star — center Dwight Howard?

At first glance, it may seem unlikely that Howard to the Warriors would work out because of their inability to sign him outright. It was believed that the Warriors would send these contracts out in order to position themselves to be able to sign Howard, but they opted to sign Iguodala in his stead. In order to acquire Howard, Golden State would have to execute a sign-and-trade with the Lakers which would likely involve center Andrew Bogut as well as one of their young pieces in Harrison Barnes or Klay Thompson.

While this deal may seem to be a stretch for both sides, it is still possible for the Warriors to acquire Howard, for multiple reasons. Their signing of Iguodala may prove to Dwight Howard that the team is in a win-now mode, backed by this signing as well as Stephen Curry’s emergence as a superstar this past season. It may swing his opinion of them into their favor, if he feels the Warriors have more top-to-bottom talent than the Los Angeles Lakers, Atlanta Hawks, and the Houston Rockets. In terms of the sign-and-trade aspect, Howard could inform the Lakers that he is going to leave them for Houston or Atlanta if they do not trade him to Golden State, where the Lakers may oblige simply to feel as if they did not lose the star center for nothing. While Howard to Golden State may not seem likely at this point, their trade for Andre Iguodala certainly does not hurt their prospects to land him.

BREAKING NEWS: According to reports, Dwight Howard has chosen the Houston Rockets as his landing spot for the 2013-’14 NBA campaign.

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