In a recent development, the Golden State Warriors considered signing veteran center Dwight Howard to bolster their frontcourt depth. However, the team ultimately decided against it, opting to maintain roster flexibility instead. General Manager Mike Dunleavy shed light on the decision, expressing confidence in the existing frontcourt players and their ability to handle the challenges posed by opposing teams.
Warriors’ Decision to Decline Signing Dwight Howard Analyzing Mike Dunleavy’s Explanation
The Warriors’ brain trust, led by General Manager Mike Dunleavy, chose to keep the roster spot open entering the season to preserve flexibility. This decision allows the team to explore potential acquisitions or make adjustments during the year if needed. By maintaining flexibility, the Warriors can adapt to various scenarios and tailor their roster to specific matchups or changing circumstances.
Here’s Mike Dunleavy on the Warriors’ reasoning for not signing an extra big.
“We have five guys who can give us minutes at (center)”
— Anthony Slater (@anthonyVslater) September 26, 2023
Dunleavy emphasized the organization’s trust in the current frontcourt players on the roster. The recent addition of Usman Garuba, a former first-round pick on a two-way deal, further solidified their depth. Alongside Garuba, the Warriors have five players capable of playing the center position: Kevon Looney, Dario Saric, Draymond Green, and rookie Trayce Jackson-Davis.
Although none of these players stand above 6-foot-9, the Warriors’ coaching staff believes they possess the skills and capabilities to contribute effectively. While Looney provides a reliable presence on the glass, the team acknowledges the potential need for a larger interior presence when facing dominant centers like Nikola Jokic and Anthony Davis.
Addressing Challenges in the Paint
One notable concern for the Warriors is their ability to match up against physically imposing teams like the Los Angeles Lakers, as witnessed in the second round of the 2023 NBA playoffs. The Lakers exploited Golden State’s vulnerability on the glass and in the paint, resulting in numerous trips to the free-throw line for Los Angeles.
While the absence of a true “rim protector” may be a disadvantage, the Warriors believe in their collective defensive prowess and versatility. Draymond Green, renowned for his defensive acumen, provides an invaluable presence despite his lack of height. Additionally, the team’s emphasis on switching and aggressive perimeter defense aims to mitigate the need for a traditional big man.
The Warriors’ decision to forgo signing Dwight Howard demonstrates their commitment to maintaining roster flexibility and their trust in the current frontcourt players. While the team may face challenges against physically dominant opponents, they remain optimistic about their defensive capabilities and the versatility of their existing roster.
As the 2023-2024 NBA season approaches, the Warriors’ strategy will be put to the test. The coaching staff will continue to evaluate the team’s performance and make adjustments accordingly, ensuring they remain competitive against a wide range of opponents.
The Golden State Warriors’ decision not to sign Dwight Howard was driven by their desire to maintain roster flexibility and their confidence in the current frontcourt players. While concerns persist about their ability to handle physically imposing opponents, the team believes in their defensive prowess and the versatility of their existing roster. As the new season unfolds, the Warriors will rely on their collective strength and adaptability to navigate the challenges that lie ahead.