11:09pm: On the possibility that the Warriors complete some deals and Dwight still decides to sign elsewhere, one source tells Marcus Thompson II of the Bay Area News Group that there's no chance of that happening, as Golden State would presumably only follow through with cap-clearing trades if he were to commit to them. Thompson II also says that even if the Warriors were to agree to some deals, they could still cancel them before the moratorium ends if Howard decides to head elsewhere.
9:41pm: Earlier tonight, Heisler (via Twitter) cited a Lakers source who said that the team would consider a combination of Curry, Barnes, or Thompson to go along with Bogut and a number one draft pick in a sign-and-trade for Howard, although Golden State hasn't offered any three of those young players.
6:52pm: Eric Pincus of the Los Angeles Times says that the Lakers aren't actively looking for a sign-and-trade and still hope that Howard returns. If he were to be included in a deal, L.A. would want young talent in return and would have to find a third team to take on any expiring contracts. If the Lakers were to complete a trade with the Warriors and take back expiring contracts, they would still be accountable for roughly the same tax bill that they'd face if they were to successfully re-sign Howard, which is why they wouldn't want any expiring deals in return. Pincus adds that the Lakers would rather have Pau Gasol and Jordan Hill constitute their frontcourt than have to pay an additional $50MM in luxury tax in return for dealing Dwight (All Twitter links).
6:12pm: According to Brian Windhorst and Marc Stein of ESPN, sources with knowledge of the Warriors' thinking report that Golden State has begun aggressively shopping their players in an attempt to clear enough salary cap space to land Dwight Howard. Stein tweets that although no move would be easy for the Warriors, the team felt "emboldened" by the impression that they made on the free agent big man during their meeting with him this week, enough to where it is believed that they had gained ground on the Rockets and Mavericks.
As currently constructed, the Warriors chances at landing the star center primarily involved convincing the Lakers to agree to a sign-and-trade, although Windhorst and Stein make note that Los Angeles would prefer to let Dwight walk and preserve cap space for next summer – in addition to not being so open to helping him land on a division rival. With that in mind, Golden State is now trying to shop expiring contracts to teams with cap space in order to create enough room to sign Howard outright. Such expiring deals include those of Andris Biedrins ($9MM), Richard Jefferson ($11M), and Andrew Bogut ($14MM), and sources say that the franchise has tried to unload all three this week.
It is reported that Golden State would be willing to include a future first round pick in order to sweeten a potential deal, but they may also have to consider dealing away some of their promising young players – such as Harrison Barnes or Klay Thompson – in order complete a trade. Stein and Windhorst write that when the Warriors had tried to attempt to offload a large contract last year, prospective trading partners tended to include Barnes or Thompson into the discussion.
Mark Heisler of Sheridan Hoops (via Twitter) cites a source who indicates that if a sign-and-trade were to materialize between the Lakers and Warriors, L.A. would insist that Stephen Curry, Thompson, or Barnes would have to be involved. According to Stein and Windhorst, a source close to the situation says that Dwight is expected to make his decision by tomorrow. All things considered, it'll be quite intriguing to see if and what the Warriors can try to come up with until then.