Why Warriors did not sign Dwight Howard after meeting last week

Why Warriors did not sign Dwight Howard after meeting last week originally appeared on NBC Sports Bay Area

Despite plenty of reports and speculation, the Warriors did not sign Dwight Howard or any other veteran center ahead of training camp.

Howard, the eight-time NBA All-Star and three-time Defensive Player of the Year, reportedly met with Golden State last week and recently worked out with veterans Draymond Green and Chris Paul in Los Angeles.

New Warriors general manager Mike Dunleavy Jr., however, opted to not add Howard to the mix.

"I would just say in general, we brought maybe 40 or 50 guys in this summer to get a further look at, knowing agents and people around the league knowing we've got two roster spots open," Dunleavy told reporters Monday in San Francisco. "... The player you mentioned [Howard] is just one of many that we brought in and evaluated, and you know, 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."

The Warriors didn't sign Howard, who played last season in Taiwan, but they did bring in 21-year-old center Usman Garuba on a two-way contract.

Garuba, who was selected No. 21 overall by the Houston Rockets in the 2021 NBA Draft, gives the organization depth at center behind Kevon Looney. Garuba currently is the third-tallest player on roster behind Dario Šarić (6-foot-10), Looney (6-foot-9) and rookie Trayce Jackson-Davis (6-foot-9).

With training camp on the horizon, Golden State currently has two standard contract spots and one two-way contract still open. On Monday, the Warriors reportedly agreed to sign wing Rodney McGruder to compete for a roster spot.

They could also start the season without all 15 allocated roster spots filled, just as they did last year.

"We don't have to use [both roster spots], but we are open to it," Dunleavy said Monday. "I think from that standpoint, if there was a positional need or something that we absolutely needed, I think maybe we have already pursued and committed to that.

"Nice thing is I think we have good versatility and optionality throughout the roster, so nothing that we absolutely have to do right now. We are bringing in a mix of different players that we think can do some different things, and we'll evaluate in camp."

The Warriors will roll into training camp featuring a roster flushed with veteran players. Paul, Šarić and Cory Joseph will provide coach Steve Kerr's lineup with experienced depth not seen on last year's roster that fell short in the Western Conference semifinals.

"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," Dunleavy said. "We are 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."

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