Do the Warriors have a legitimate shot at landing top free agent center Dwight Howard? A report by ESPN's Marc Stein indicates Golden State is definitely in the running.

The Warriors were one of five teams to meet with Howard this week, including the Houston Rockets, Atlanta Hawks, Dallas Mavericks and Los Angeles Lakers. Most experts predict Howard's most likely choice is the Rockets or Lakers, but Stein reported Wednesday on Twitter that the Warriors are "a factor."

From Stein's Twitter feed: "First surprise of week on Dwight front: Sources say Golden State made real impression on Howard in their meeting and have become a factor

"Rockets/Mavs clearly still have better shot to steal Dwight from Lakers than Warriors. But Dubs, I'm told, have forced way into conversation

"Lakers still insisting NO to all sign-and-trades. HARD for GSW even if Lakers willing. But Warriors clearly didn't visit D12 just for show"

Without the cap space to sign Howard outright, the Warriors would need to execute a sign-and-trade with the Lakers. Tim Kawakami of the San Jose Mercury News reports it would likely take a package including Andrew Bogut, and either Harrison Barnes or Klay Thompson to entice the Lakers.

According to ESPN's Adam Schefter, Howard hopes to make his decision by Friday.