Orlando Magic center Dwight Howard continues to be circulated around in plenty of trade rumors because Superman is going to be a free agent this summer. Howard isn't likely to return to Orlando, so the Magic probably want to trade him for whatever pieces they can find.
Problem is, Howard isn't guaranteeing he'll stick around to the team he's traded. Howard has not figured on agreeing to an extension to many of the teams the Magic are talking to, which lessens the interest of other teams to get him now when they can just wait until the summer and not give up anyone.
Only one team seems willing to play with fire: The Golden State Warriors. Scott Howard Cooper of NBA.com tweets the following.
Warriors continuing push for Dwight Howard deal even without DH commitment to re-signing. Not backing off from risky move, source says.— Scott Howard-Cooper (@SHowardCooper) February 28, 2012
Biedrins has zero trade value, so GSW offer has to be 3-4 key pieces. Imagine moving Monta, Klay, others and DH walks. But Dubs staying in.— Scott Howard-Cooper (@SHowardCooper) February 28, 2012
The Warriors would have to give up a lot to land Howard. Monta Ellis or Stephen Curry probably have to go, along with Klay Thompson, draft picks, one of their big men, and possibly more would just be enough to match up contract values right. And it doesn't really leave Golden State with much flexibility to get big free agents this summer. They must really be that confident they can convince Howard to stay this summer.
Eric Freeman of Yahoo Sports does point out that it wouldn't be the worst thing to rent Howard, which is what is likely to happen if he ends up in Golden State.
Oddly enough, a gutted Warriors team built around Steph Curry or Monta Ellis and few others wouldn't be the worst situation for the club moving forward. In the modern NBA, being terrible is much better than being mediocre because it helps a team get a high draft pick that they can then use to select a potential game-changing star. For the better part of two decades, the Warriors have been locked in a perpetual middle ground between the high lottery and the playoffs, one where they collect middling draft picks that yield role players who can't wrench them from their place in the middle of the league. Being awful for a year or two would help them reload in a way that could actually build towards something other than irrelevance. By taking a few steps back and accepting short-term failure, the Warriors could finally move forward.