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Amick: Dwight Howard Among 4 Prominent Free Agents That Could Bolster Warriors

A general view of the Golden State Warriors arena.

(Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)

Despite the huge names available, this isn't the best free agency market we've ever seen. Very few teams have cap space available, so they have to get creative to add any significant players. That includes the defending NBA champion Golden State Warriors.

There are some pretty big names that the Dubs can try and add to the rotation using the mid-level exception. As a team paying the luxury tax, they can use $5.3 million for players with it, though it could end up costing them over $22 million, due to that tax. It will be interesting to see how dedicated ownership is to bolstering this roster, given how successful it has been already.

Assuming Joe Lacob and company do want to add more talent, there are some decent names that could be in the crosshairs. USA Today's Sam Amick named four very familiar NBA players as possibilities, a few who have been floated elsewhere. The first, and most prominent, is Dwight Howard.

Dwight Howard Warriors speculation has been out there since the moment it became clear the Brooklyn Nets would waive him.

Howard was traded to Brooklyn by the Charlotte Hornets earlier this offseason. However, the team has no intention of playing him, with promising young center Jarrett Allen coming off of a strong rookie campaign.

Howard is likely going to be bought out. From there, he is free to go to a contender like the Warriors. Of course, as is always the case with him, a team will have to want to deal with him in the locker room.

People like The Athletic's Andrew Slater and The New York Times' Marc Stein have recently shot down the idea of the Warriors adding Howard. Amick says that he does have significant interest in the team though.

Eight-time All-Star center Dwight Howard, who has yet to complete an expected buyout with Brooklyn, has serious interest in joining the Warriors. But there remains skepticism within the Warriors’ walls about whether he would be a good fit, with Howard also known to be interested in joining LeBron James (wherever he winds up), New Orleans and Washington.

Jamal Crawford has also been floated as a possibility for the team. Amick mentions the veteran bucket-getter, and apparently a number of prominent Warriors including Kevin Durant and Draymond Green have lobbied for him.

Two more intriguing names on the wing, a place of need for Golden State: Trevor Ariza and Avery Bradley. From Amick:

If Houston small forward Trevor Ariza can’t find a big-time payday with the Rockets or anyone else, the prospect of joining the Warriors on a one-year deal is known to be of interest. Golden State has also discussed Avery Bradley as an option, which comes as no surprise to anyone who has seen the eight-year veteran hound the Warriors’ scorers these past few years.

The Rockets are in a serious cap crunch, so Ariza might wind up being on the outside looking in, even after being a key part of the team's run to a No. 1 seed this year. Bradley was looked at as a budding star last year, when the Celtics included him in their trade with the Detroit Pistons, made to clear room for the signing of Gordon Hayward. Things did not work out there for him, and he was later included in the team's swap for Blake Griffin. When healthy and at his best, there are few better on-ball defenders, and he could become an heir apparent to Andre Iguodala for Golden State.

[USA Today]