via Ric Bucher

The Warriors’ search to bolster their bench—particularly with another backup point guard—led them to seriously consider Raptors point guard Kyle Lowry, a league source said. However, concerns about how Lowry— a soon-to-be free agent—would fit into their locker room prompted them to pass.

Golden State’s unselfish camaraderie is both rare and a decided advantage. The asking price for Lowry apparently has risen with his and the Raptors’ success as well.

League executives are conflicted on who would be a better fit among the other big point guards potentially available, the Nuggets’ Andre Miller or the Bulls’ Kirk Hinrich. Miller is a better offensive option than Hinrich but, as he has demonstrated in Denver, is not happy if he isn’t playing; there are questions, however, if Hinrich has enough left to be a playoff factor at either end of the floor.

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via Sam Amick

While forward Carlos Boozer could be waived via the league’s amnesty clause during the offseason as yet another way to clear the Bulls’ books, it appears point guard Kirk Hinrich will be drawing the most immediate interest when it comes to the Bulls’ possible next move. According to a person with knowledge of the situation, the Golden State Warriors are among teams that had been showing serious interest in Hinrich long before the Deng trade. The person spoke to USA TODAY Sports on the condition of anonymity because trade talks are typically private.

Hinrich, the 33-year-old who is making approximately $4 million in the final season of his contract, is averaging 7.8 points, 4.7 assists and 30.7 minutes per game but shooting at a career-low rate from the field (34%) and three-point range (28.6%). In the wake of the Deng trade, the natural question being asked by opposing teams is whether the Bulls will go into full-tank mode as a way to improve their draft standing and how that might impact the trade possibilities.

Even with the Warriors’ current nine-game winning streak, they remain on the lookout for a point guard to play behind Stephen Curry. While small forward Andre Iguodala spends ample time as a playmaking point-forward and veteran Toney Douglas provides spot minutes, this is the void that was created when Jarrett Jack left for Cleveland as a free agent last July. Hinrich is certainly not the only possible solution on the Warriors’ radar, as they remain in the mix for Denver point guard Andre Miller as well.

Miller was suspended recently and excused from the team indefinitely after his verbal altercation with coach Brian Shaw on Wednesday, and the Nuggets – according to several executives here at the D-League showcase – have been telling teams that they expect to trade him this week. The Sacramento Kings are also known to be bidding on Miller. Yahoo! Sports first reported on the Nuggets’ newfound urgency to trade Miller.

As for the Bulls, this is the new way of their world. Let the bidding wars for almost anyone on their retooled roster begin.

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via Adrian Wojnarowski

The Golden State Warriors and Sacramento Kings are intrigued with the possibility of acquiring suspended Denver Nuggets point guard Andre Miller, league sources told Yahoo Sports.

For now, Denver management is determined to smooth over the acrimony between Miller and coach Brian Shaw, and plan on bringing back Miller on Monday for practice, league sources said.

The Warriors and Kings have interest in Andre Miller, but the Nuggets insist they are keeping him. Denver had resisted trade overtures before Wednesday’s encounter between Miller and Shaw on the Nuggets bench, and teams reaching out to the Nuggets on Thursday insist that Nuggets GM Tim Connelly still seems committed to working through the issues with Miller and getting him back on the floor for Denver.

Miller is suspended for Denver’s games on Friday and Sunday. The Warriors have been shopping for a backup point guard and have been engaged for weeks with Toronto on Kyle Lowry, sources said. The Warriors and New York Knicks have been two of the most persistent suitors for Lowry, but Toronto’s recent run of success has made the front office more reticent to unload Lowry, league sources said. Toronto hasn’t completely changed course on a possible deal for Lowry, but they’re no longer simply auctioning him.

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via Sam Amick

Somewhere in Aspen, Colo., in that undisclosed location where Dwight Howard escaped to clear his head and make up his mind, the truth will emerge.

The big man who has stolen the spotlight for so long will finally decide his fate, be it to join the Houston Rockets, Golden State Warriors, Los Angeles Lakers or… No, let’s stop there. The Dallas Mavericks and Atlanta Hawks are among the teams dying to know as well, of course, but the events of the last 24 hours have sent strong signs that their respective candidacy has likely come to an end.

Elsewhere, however, chaos ensues. According to a person with knowledge of the situation, the Warriors have been given indications within the last day that the Houston Rockets are the strong favorite to land Howard. The person spoke on the condition of anonymity because of the private nature of the talks.

The backdrop that surrounds the Warriors, however, tells a different tale. Having been given the impression in recent days that they were in Howard’s top three, with the Rockets and Lakers likely the other two, the Warriors went to work attempting to clear salary cap space with a vision in mind that’s even grander than one what was initially assumed.

The notion of clearing space to sign Howard outright isn’t the only plan in play, as free agent small forward Andre Iguodala has serious interest in joining the Warriors even without Howard. He has been seen as a possible cherry on top of their recruiting efforts to get the big man.

It’s their version of the Rockets’ plan that is also in play, with free agent forward Josh Smith considered the third star in the sort of scenario that both teams hope could win his affection.

If they could convince a team to take the contracts of Andris Biedrins and Richard Jefferson (a combined $20 million in expiring salaries next season), Iguodala could be signed and possibly tip the scales on Howard’s decision.

Should he pick them, they would then do a sign-and-trade with a Lakers team that would face the prospect of losing him for nothing if they don’t cooperate with the Warriors and, hypothetically speaking, see Howard head to Houston instead. The timing factor in play here is beyond problematic at this point, as Howard’s decision was widely expected to come today and the Warriors have yet to find a new home for those players.

But this much is clear: Iguodala remains a possibility only if those deals can be made, as his former Denver Nuggets team strongly rebuffed the idea of cooperating in a sign-and-trade with a Warriors team that upset them in the first round of the playoffs, and the Rockets are clearly worried about the threat the Warriors pose to land Howard.

All signs point to that fear being unfounded at this point. And should the Rockets win these sweepstakes as has been expected for so long, the Warriors will go down as the team that pushed its way into the top three after Houston and the Lakers were running a two-horse race.

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