How Dwight Howard to Lakers doesn't affect Warriors

August 10, 2012, 4:23 pm
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The Los Angeles Lakers get Dwight Howard, Earl Clark and Chris Duhon.

The Denver Nuggets get Andre Iguodala.

The Philadelphia 76ers get Andrew Bynum and Jason Richardson. Yes, that Jason Richardson.

The Orlando Magic get Arron Afflalo, Al Harrington, Nikola Vucevic, Moe Harkless and protected first round picks from Los Angeles, Denver and Philadelphia in 2014, 2015 and 2017.

And thats when you know youve either made it in the NBA or are hopelessly screwed when you have to bring in a lot of partners either to get or shed a player.

The multi-team deal, though, never happens to the Warriors. They either never have anyone someone covets beyond all reason, are poised to challenge for a title, or need to bottom out and start again.

Indeed, it is the story of the Warriors, stuck in an amorphous and dull sub-middle because in their history, theyve only been involved in one multi-team ever 20 years ago next month. And heres that blockbuster:

The Dallas Mavericks got Rodney McCray from the Warriors.

The Chicago Bulls got two conditional second-round draft picks from Dallas.

And the Warriors got Byron Houston.

Byron Houston. Let that one roll around in your head awhile.

I mean, it violates the spirit of the multi-team deal, in that McCray was at the end of his career, Houston played for three teams in four years and averaged 10 minutes per game, and the Bulls extra picks resulted in no NBA players.

It was the antithesis of the blockbuster. In that way, it was so perfectly Warrioresque, just as the fact that they hadnt been involved in a multi-team before or since is equally Warriortastic.

They are in no position to do such a deal now, as theyve just reconstructed their team again, this time around Andrew Bogut. Bogut is the person who is being asked to make the Warriors relevant enough to be asked to be a multi-team deal down the road, but you have to walk before you can conference call.

As for how the trade that did happen impacts the Warriors, well, it doesnt. The Lakers, who were better than them , got slightly better. The Nuggets, who were better than the Warriors as well, got slightly better.

STEINMETZ: How does Dwight Howard to Lakers affect Warriors?

Now if the deal had involved Dallas, or Utah, or Phoenix, or Portland, or Houston, or Minnesota, then this would matter to Warrior fans. Those are the teams the Warriors need to pass to get from 28 wins (the equivalent in 82 games of the 23 they won 66) to 48 and become a playoff team.

Or go from 28 wins to 15, and have to back up the truck yet again.

But being the relentlessly local optimist that I am, lets all keep the happy thought instead. The point is, this trade didnt materially affect the Warriors except the eight games they play the Lakers or Nuggets, or the four times they play the Sixers or freshly expansionist Magic.

But some day, theyll be big kids too, and be part of one of those multi-piece headbanging trades that get rumored forever and then happen in a flash, with big names going hither and yon in a seeming blur.

They just need to get a big name.

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