The Golden State Warriors reportedly won’t be signing free agent center Dwight Howard to a contract for the 2023-24 season.
Howard, who had recently been playing professionally in Taiwan, is looking to make a return to the NBA.
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) September 22, 2023
“The Warriors are not expected to sign Dwight Howard or another veteran center ahead of training camp, sources tell me,” NBA insider Shams Charania said. “Howard had a two-day visit with the Warriors this week that included meetings and workouts, but the Warriors are expected now to maintain flexibility to sign a potential big man later in camp or into the regular season.
“So, expect Howard to discuss a potential return to the league with any other interested team in the coming week or so.”
According to The Athletic’s Anthony Slater, Golden State is prioritizing an extra wing in camp over a big man like Howard.
It makes sense since the team recently added former first-round pick Usman Garuba on a two-way contract.
An extra wing has become the camp priority for Warriors. This is their frontcourt: Draymond Green, Kevon Looney, Dario Saric, Trayce Jackson-Davis and Usman Garuba on a two-way. TJD has impressed since arriving and organization views Garuba as young depth piece with upside. https://t.co/irnP2LVMNX
— Anthony Slater (@anthonyVslater) September 22, 2023
It’s possible that other teams will be interested in Howard’s services, but it’s certainly a blow to his comeback chances that Golden State decided to pass on him.
Howard last played in the NBA during the 2021-22 season for the Los Angeles Lakers. That season, he averaged 6.2 points, 5.9 rebounds and 0.6 blocks in 16.2 minutes per game. He played in 60 games for the Lakers and made 27 starts.
An eight-time All-Star, Howard has won three Defensive Player of the Year awards in his NBA career and been selected to an All-Defensive team five times. He also led the NBA in blocks per game in the 2008-09 season and the 2009-10 campaign.
There’s no doubt that he was a dominant player in his prime, but Howard may have a hard time latching on with a team at this stage in his career due to his limited offensive game.
If a team is looking for a center who can rebound and finish near the rim, he would make sense, but it appears Golden State is looking for wing help and flexibility at this time.
There’s always a chance that an injury for the Warriors or another NBA team could open a spot for Howard.
Given his pedigree, Howard should get another shot to at least try out for a team for the 2023-24 season.