Dwight Howard free agency: Warriors try to clear cap space to sign star center

USA TODAY Sports

The Warriors will have to work out a sign-and-trade with the Lakers for Howard unless they're able to clear $30 million in cap space.

The Golden State Warriors are stepping up their efforts to sign Dwight Howard by attempting to clear salary cap space, according to an ESPN report. Despite being granted the opportunity to meet with him earlier in the week, the Warriors face serious salary cap implications by needing to clear approximately $30 million off the books in order to gain enough financial flexibility to sign the star center.

Since clearing that much salary in a matter of days does not appear probable, it seems the Warriors would have to work out a sign-and-trade with the Lakers in order to land Howard. That would require Golden State to ship a young, cheap asset such as Klay Thompson or Harrison Barnes to Los Angeles and a couple more expensive pieces to a third team, as Zach Lowe of Grantland pointed out.

Golden State has made it known that they do not want to deal Thompson, Barnes or Stephen Curry this offseason, which may seriously minimize the chances Howard ends up in the Bay Area.

Andrew Bogut, Richard Jefferson and Andris Biedrins would be the most likely options to be traded to clear cap space, but there would likely be few suitors for the three veterans. It is unclear how far the Warriors are in trade talks with other teams at this point, if at all.

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