There was a lot of buzz about Howard potentially joining the team last week and finally teaming up with Chris Paul. But Dunleavy and the Warriors did not see the need to bring the 37-year-old center on board.
“The player you mentioned is just one of many that we brought in and evaluated, and I think right now, you’ll know more about who we’re inviting to camp in a couple of days, but overall, we feel good about what we’ve done this summer, and we’ll keep our options open in terms of who we need to add,” Dunleavy Jr. answered the reporter during Monday’s press conference ahead of the training camp next week.
Howard, a former three-time Defensive Player of the Year well past his prime, had a two-day workout and met with Dunleavy and some of the Warrior’s top brass to discuss his potential fit with their championship core. Unfortunately for Howard, the Warriors believe they have enough bigs to contend this season.
“We’ve got five guys that can play center in training camp,” Dunleavy said. “To me, it’s a position that you can’t play multiple of them. So, I want to make sure everybody gets enough reps, and I think that’s been our discussion with the coaching staff as well, and I think that’s the path we’ll head down from there again.”
The Warriors currently have Kevon Looney, Draymond Green and Dario Saric as the projected three centers in their rotation, with rookie Trayce Jackson-Davis and Usman Garuba as insurance depth.
Warriors Value Team’s Chemistry Over Talent
The rookie general manager highlighted the need to do due diligence on the players they want to bring in for their remaining two roster spots. After all, those are roster fillers who will not be part of the regular rotation.
“We’ve got to evaluate it, and I think we have to be very careful about the types of players we bring in,” Dunleavy said. “Just because a guy is tall or just because a guy can shoot or just because a guy is athletic doesn’t necessarily mean they can fit in the way we play, and so we got to be very mindful of that, and we’ll continue to do so.”
“But I like the five Guys we can play at center right now. I think they all fit well with how Steve wants to play, and I am looking forward to evaluating them in the next few weeks,” he added.
Warriors Not in a Rush
The Warriors are in no hurry to fill their roster with their two available spots. Dunleavy prefers flexibility, which they always had during his predecessor Bob Myers‘ years at the helm of their basketball operation, which produced four championships.
“We don’t have to use them both but we’re open to it and I think from that standpoint, if there was a positional need or something that we absolutely needed, I think maybe we’ve already pursued and committed to that,” Dunleavy explained.
“The nice thing is I think we have good versatility and optionality throughout the roster, so nothing that we absolutely have to do right now.”
Dunleavy said they have brought in roughly 50 free agents and will continue to do so in the training camp. Casting a wide net means they are not zeroing in on a particular position for their 14th and 15th roster spot.
“We’re bringing in a mix of different players that we think can do some different things, and we’ll evaluate in camp, but I don’t think we have our sights set on any one thing right now in terms of a guard, a big, a wing, a young player, an old player. We’re kind of open, and I think that’s a great position to be in where we have flexibility and can kind of evaluate to see what’s the best for our team,” Dunleavy said.