The Golden State Warriors are in need of some help in the frontcourt, and the answer could be waiting some 6,500 miles away.
Warriors head coach Steve Kerr raised concern this week about the workload for veterans Draymond Green and Kevon Looney, saying they need a break.
“The guys who’ve been playing heavy minutes absolutely need a break but you got to do what you got to do,” he said, via Bay Area News Group’s Madeline Kenney on Twitter.
While insiders believe the Warriors will hold off on making any big moves at the trade deadline, they could have a free-agency candidate in Dwight Howard, the big man currently playing for Taiwan’s Taoyuan Leopards but who has recently expressed interest in joining the Warriors.
Steve Kerr Worried About Workload for Big Men
As ESPN’s Kendra Andrews reported on Twitter, Kerr has taken some steps to alleviate the workload on both Green and Looney. He held them out of a scrimmage on Monday, along with guards Donte DiVincenzo and Jordan Poole.
Green has averaged 34.2 minutes per game over the last seven games, while Looney has played 25.4 minutes in his last seven. The Warriors have gotten some relief for their frontcourt with the return of James Wiseman after a stint in the G League, but the 21-year-old has still only played 11.7 minutes per game since returning in early December.
Kerr has leaned more heavily on the team’s veterans since Steph Curry went down with a shoulder injury on December 14. The Warriors have been able to hold steady with him out of the lineup, going 6-5 while moving up to sixth place in the tightly packed Western Conference.
Dwight Howard Interested in Warriors
If the Warriors looked to sign a veteran to help ease the pressure on Green and Looney, Howard could be an option. He averaged 6.2 points and 5.9 rebounds in 16.2 minutes per game with the Los Angeles Lakers last season, but opted to play in Taiwan after failing to land an NBA contract.
In an interview with Shannon Sharpe of Fox Sports 1 on the “Club Shay Shay” podcast, Howard said he had hoped to return to the Lakers in a contributing role.
“I’ve been willing to go back,” Howard said. “They told me every time ‘We’re not going to give nobody over 30 a multiple-year contract.’ I was like ‘Dang, I just helped ya’ll win an NBA championship. Ya’ll can give your boy a (million) or two, or give me a (million). I don’t want a whole bunch of minutes. Give me 20 minutes and let me ball out.’ “
Howard has expressed an interest in the Warriors, telling Sharpe that he believed he could serve as a mentor to Wiseman and a good fit alongside Green.
“Wiseman can learn so much from me because he’s headed in that direction of being a great big man. So, I feel like… even in that situation playing with all shooters like that, Steph — the way he [would] get open with me setting screens — he’s gonna get more wide open,” Howard said. “Draymond, in the pick and roll, me and him. Me being able to teach Wiseman how to play defense, how to block shots. I see him as a person that’s similar to David Robinson and his size and athleticism. There’s a lot of things that I could really teach him.”