The Golden State Warriors are willing to trade for Orlando Magic center Dwight Howard even if the six-time All-Star won't commit to staying with them beyond the 2011/12 season, reports Scott Howard-Cooper of NBA.com: "[The Warriors are] not backing off from risky move, source says." According to Howard-Cooper, Golden State's offer "has to be 3-4 key players," as center Andris Biedrins "has zero trade value." The NBA.com scribe speculates the Warriors would be willing to package scoring guard Monta Ellis, rookie swingman Klay Thompson, and others in a trade for Howard.
The Warriors aren't among the teams to which Howard, who can become a free agent during the summer, would commit long-term; those clubs are the Dallas Mavericks, Los Angeles Lakers, and New Jersey Nets. But Golden State seems to believe Howard could be convinced to stay after playing for it for the rest of the 2011/12 schedule. Entering the All-Star Break, the Warriors were in 12th place in the Western Conference, 3.5 games back of the Portland Trail Blazers for the final playoff seed.
But word during All-Star Weekend was that Orlando isn't motivated to trade Howard and may decide to keep him past the March 15th trading deadline. For Otis Smith, the team's President of Basketball Operations, to deal his superstar before then, he'd have to receive an offer he simply can't refuse. Would Ellis, Thompson, and filler constitute such an offer? Not likely, which is why Eric Freeman of Yahoo! Sports says Golden State's dream of landing Howard "could be seen as a case of reckless optimism more than outside-the-box business sense."
Ellis is averaging 22.4 points per game in 2011/12, shooting 43.3 percent from the field and 31.3 percent from three-point range. Thompson, the 11th overall pick in the 2011 NBA Draft, is posting 7.2 points in 16.5 minutes, shooting 45.2 percent from the field and from beyond the arc. In his three-year career at Washington State, he averaged 17.9 points, 4.8 boards, and 2.6 assists.