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Report: Warriors try to clear cap space for Dwight Howard pursuit

Dwight Howard to the Warriors? They're trying to clear cap space. (Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE via Getty Images) Dwight Howard to the Warriors? They're trying to clear cap space. (Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE via Getty Images)

The Golden State Warriors are attempting to trade players in order to clear the cap space needed to pursue free-agent center Dwight Howard, ESPN.com's Brian Windhorst and Marc Stein reported Thursday.

According to the report, the Warriors "made an impression" on Howard during their meeting with the coveted free agent earlier this week. They are now viewed as one of three teams — along with the Dallas Mavericks and Houston Rockets — that have a legitimate chance at signing Howard away from the Los Angeles Lakers.

But to clear enough cap space to sign Howard outright, they have been exploring trades involving three expiring contracts — center Andrew Bogut ($14 million), forward Richard Jefferson ($11 million), and forward Andres Biedrins ($9 million). But the Warriors have been reluctant to add other assets to the deal.

From the report:

According to sources, they have tried to unload all three players this week to teams with cap room. Yet, Golden State likely would have to be willing to add assets to any potential deals to get teams interested. Sources say the Warriors have been willing to attach a future first-round pick to move one of their bad contracts since last February's trade deadline, but potential partners tend to ask for prized youngsters such as Harrison Barnes or Klay Thompson — two of the more attractive young players in the league — when the subject of absorbing one of the Warriors' big contracts is broached.

Ultimately, the Warriors could be hampered by the fact that the Lakers have said they are unwilling to complete a sign-and-trade for Howard in letting him walk. They have said they would rather let him leave for nothing.

While the Warriors are said to have impressed Howard during their meeting earlier this week, the Lakers' pitches haven't gotten off to a great start. Kobe Bryant's presentation to Howard on Tuesday was a reported "complete turnoff" for Howard.
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