For the past few weeks, the Warriors have been working out veterans who could fill one of the final roster spots the team has open. Will Barton, Stanley Johnson and Derrick Favors have been through the doors, not to mention some former Warriors such as Juan Toscano-Anderson, Kent Bazemore and Dewayne Dedmon.
Now you can add Dwight Howard to the list, something broken by Shams Charania of The Athletic and confirmed by other Warriors reporters.
Howard was out of the NBA last season and played for the Taoyuan Leopards of the Taiwanese league. The season before that, he played 60 games for the Lakers (starting 27 as the Lakers worked to put a traditional big next to Anthony Davis). He is not the MVP-candidate player he was in his prime — a lot of younger fans don’t grasp just how elite Howard was at one time, an eight-time All-NBA player and three-time Defensive Player of the Year — but even now he believes he could fill a role as a reserve big off the bench.
For Kerr and the Warriors, it’s less about his physical skills (within reason) and more about Howard’s mindset, willingness to accept a role and just fit in. With a player like Toscano-Anderson or Dedmon the Warriors know what they are getting, with Howard they are just trying to get a feel for the situation.
Golden State has 13 players under guaranteed contract for next season and is already deep into the luxury tax, with a combined salary and tax bill already pushing $400 million. They are looking for one more big man to fill the 14th spot on the roster at a veteran minimum contract, and then Golden State will leave the 15th spot open (at least for now). Maybe Howard fills that slot, although the smart money is on them bringing in someone they know.
But Howard is getting his chance.