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Warriors furiously trying to dump salaries to sign Dwight Howard as free agent
Golden State wants to clear cap space to avoid needing sign-and-trade deal for star center

  • Dwight Howard is interested in joining the Golden State Warriors, so the club is trying to deal and dump salaries in order to clear cap space to sign him. (MARK J. TERRILL / Associated Press)

According to ESPN, the Warriors are aggressively shopping centers Andrew Bogut and Andris Biedrins, and forward Richard Jefferson because the Warriors want to prevent the Los Angeles Lakers from stopping their Dwight Howard pursuit.

The Warriors are $11 million over the projected salary cap (at about $69.9 million including Kent Bazemore), not including the cap holds. That means in order to get Howard, the Warriors would have to agree to a sign-and-trade with the Los Angeles Lakers — or start furiously dumping salaries.

Reports are the Lakers aren't interested in working a sign-and-trade and would rather let Howard walk. And whatever hopes the Warriors have of convincing the Lakers to deal, many suspect, would involve giving up Klay Thompson or Harrison Barnes.

According to a source, their pitch to Dwight Howard on Monday — where Mark Jackson reportedly shined — included Howard playing with Curry, Thompson and Barnes.

Those prospects intrigued Howard, as ESPN's Marc Stein reported. So much so, the Warriors are now actively trying to create enough salary cap space so they don't need to do a sign-and-trade with the Lakers.

The projected salary cap is $58.5 million, which means the Warriors would need to cut their salary down to $38 million or less to have the space needed to pay Howard the max contract he commands.

Cutting that much money would require the Warriors moving their three major expiring contracts: Bogut ($14 million), Richard Jefferson ($11 million) and Andris Biedrins ($9 million). Dumping all three without taking any money back would chop $34 million off the Warriors' cap figure, getting them down to about $35 million.

They would also have to renounce the rights to their free agents, including Jarrett Jack, to remove their capholds.

The difficult part is finding teams to take on those big contracts. The Warriors would need to find teams with enough cap space to absorb their expiring contracts.

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