Golden State wants to clear cap space to avoid needing sign-and-trade deal for star center

  • Los Angeles Lakers center Dwight Howard grabs a rebound during the first half of their NBA basketball game against the Minnesota Timberwolves, Thursday, Feb. 28, 2013, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

According to ESPN, the Warriors are aggressively shopping centers Andrew Bogut and Andris Biedrins, and forward Richard Jefferson because the Warriors want to prevent the Los Angeles Lakers from stopping their Dwight Howard pursuit.

The Warriors are $11 million over the projected salary cap (at about $69.9 million including Kent Bazemore), not including the cap holds. That means in order to get Howard, the Warriors would have to agree to a sign-and-trade with the Los Angeles Lakers — or start furiously dumping salaries.

Reports are the Lakers aren't interested in working a sign-and-trade and would rather let Howard walk. And whatever hopes the Warriors have of convincing the Lakers to deal, many suspect, would involve giving up Klay Thompson or Harrison Barnes.

According to a source, their pitch to Dwight Howard on Monday — where Mark Jackson reportedly shined — included Howard playing with Curry, Thompson and Barnes.

Those prospects intrigued Howard, as ESPN's Marc Stein reported. So much so, the Warriors are now actively trying to create enough salary cap space so they don't need to do a sign-and-trade with the Lakers.

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