Warriors’ owner says team was ‘a lot closer than people realize’ to landing Dwight Howard in free agency

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Before ultimately deciding to sign with the Rockets, Dwight Howard met with four other teams in free agency — the Lakers, the Mavericks, the Hawks, and the Warriors.

No one on the outside truly believed that Howard would end up anywhere but Houston or Los Angeles, and Golden State especially appeared to be a long shot considering that they would need to clear salary cap space in order to sign Howard to the maximum contract he would require.

But Warriors owner Joe Lacob says the Warriors were truly in the mix, and were much closer to landing Howard than most realize.

From Sean Deveney of Sporting News:

“I don’t like to focus on those who aren’t here,” Lacob told SN as part of an exclusive conversation this week. “Good luck in Houston, Mr. Howard. And I am sure he will help that team, they will be better. But we would not have gone after him if we didn’t think we had a chance or that it made sense. … We were a lot closer than people realize to perhaps that actually happening, (Howard) coming here. I think that is a testament to what is happening here. He was affected by the presentation that he saw by our ownership and our management.”

Believe what you want, and obviously Lacob was in the room with Howard and we weren’t. It just doesn’t seem like the Warriors could have pulled it off, even if Howard had indeed decided that he wanted to spend the next five years in the Bay area.

But the fact that we’re even talking about it speaks volumes as to where the franchise is now, and in that sense Lacob is absolutely right.