The Warriors will be granted a chance to talk with free agent center Dwight Howard in Los Angeles once the window opens Monday.

They're on the list. Joe Lacob, Bob Myers and Mark Jackson will get in a room with Dwight at some point; that means they have a shot.

That alone is a mini-victory for Lacob, who has striven to lift his team into contention for any and all of the top stars, whenever they hit the market.

And it doesn't get any more high profile than getting on the list for Dwight -- even if the Warriors have to be considered the longest shot on the board, behind Houston, Dallas, Atlanta, the Clippers and the Lakers, possibly in that order.

Maybe the Warriors are getting used a little bit, just to add another hungry team to the big-money mix. Maybe Howard and his agent Dan Fegan are curious, but not serious.

Maybe the GSWs really have a way to pull this off. I think the Warriors are fine with any interpretation, they just want the meeting and then see what happens.

At this point, you have to consider all possibilities, and again, just getting a meeting with Howard is a step up from where the Warriors have been.

With that understood, the Warriors are long, long, long, long, long shots in this derby because ...

  • Unlike Houston, Dallas and Atlanta, they're way over the cap and would have to do a sign-and-trade deal with the Lakers to get Dwight;

  • And Howard has never before given one inclination that he wants to be here (despite giving that inclination to many other teams), so why is it that now, the FIRST time he has actually hit the market, he chooses to smile at the GSWs?

    Of course, Dwight has been known to change his mind a time or two; he's a disruptive influence at almost all times. Maybe not a bad guy, but definitely not a low-maintenance superstar.

    You might call these reasons for the Warriors NOT to pursue this route -- they've got a great locker room atmosphere and they've bragged about it incessantly. Even getting in this chase, and having big names mentioned as trade chips, could sour that mood.

    But I'm told the Warriors believe Howard is such a great player that they'll accept the shenanigans, before, during and possibly after his arrival.

    They want to sell what they've got going on -- to Dwight, and, if he reacts positively, that shines more light on the things they've got going on. See how that works?

    Who wouldn't want to play an inside-outside game with Stephen Curry? Who wouldn't want to be David Lee's front court mate?

    Who wouldn't want to play in front of those Oracle crowds? Who wouldn't want to play for Mark Jackson, into the playoffs, in the Bay Area, land of tech endorsements?

    That's the pitch Lacob will make, believe it.

    I'm told the Warriors won't do this for Andre Iguodala, Andrew Bynum or Josh Smith... it's just for Dwight Howard, Lacob's great target ever since he bought this team, and still his No. 1 target, even now, with the team turning a corner.

    Still, a lot of things would have to happen to get the Warriors anywhere close to a deal for Howard, and here are the main ones:

    1) The Lakers have to be convinced that Howard will leave for nothing if they don't do a sign-and-trade with another team that's agreeable to him.

    Again: Howard can sign outright with Houston, Dallas or Atlanta. If he likes one of those situations particularly, it doesn't matter what anybody else does or thinks, he can sign July 10, done deal.

    But ... What if he wants to consider other teams who'd have to sign-and-trade to get him?

    In that case, Howard's camp would have to alert the Lakers that he's ready to bolt to a team that can sign him outright, UNLESS the Lakers work out a deal with a S/T offer.

    I don't know if Howard's anywhere near such a threat -- or if the Lakers would believe it or react to it. But all of that would have to happen for the Warriors to get seriously into the mix.

    And then they'd still be competing with the Clippers and maybe another team or two... and that doesn't even account for the fact that Houston, Atlanta and Dallas could offer S/T deals, too.

    If it got to that, the arms race would be swift and crazy.

    2) The Warriors' pitch will have to be strong enough to get Dwight exploring how he could end up here -- and not in the other places.

    I don't know what Howard thinks. Nobody really does. I'd guess the Texas teams are closest to his heart, and then maybe the Clippers, just a guess.

    I do know that Fegan has steered his guys out of or away from the Warriors in the past, most notably Gilbert Arenas, Al Harrington and Ricky Rubio, but that was under the Cohan/Rowell/Nelson regime.

    Fegan has warmer feelings for the Warriors now, especially Lacob, who has gone out of his way to make a connection with Fegan.

    As for Dwight ... maybe he really has dreamed his whole life about playing next to DLee. I just don't know.

    3) The Warriors will have to meet the Lakers' demands if they do agree to the S/T concept after pressure from Howard.

    Any Warriors offer would start with Andrew Bogut, unquestionably.

    Bogut is an immediate near-straight-up replacement for Howard to help keep the Lakers competitive and he only has one year and $14.2M remaining on his deal, which helps clear up the LALs luxury-tax mess.

    Key points:

  • The Lakers would have to want Bogut as the centerpiece of that offer. That would be interesting to the LALs, I'd think, but other teams might offer more enticing centerpiece figures.

  • The Warriors would have to offer Bogut if it gets to S/T talk. I think they've already decided to do that, and if Bogut hears about it and is puzzled, they'll deal with that later.

    But if the Lakers ask for Harrison Barnes, too, would the Warriors do that? I don't think the team has made any kind of final call on that kind of expanded deal.

    If it was up to me, I wouldn't put Barnes into any larger deal ... and I'm not sure I'd put Bogut in there, either, but the Warriors might do both. And they still might be short on the offer.

    Could the Warriors sweeten the pot (and give the LALs needed salary-cap relief for 2014-15) by adding either Richard Jefferson or Andris Biedrins' expiring contract ... which could mean the Warriors taking back Steve Nash's remaining two years and $19M, Jordan Hill or Steve Blake or both?

    I've heard the GSWs think this might be a back-door bonus. It gets complicated, though, because the Lakers have so many contracts coming off the books next summer, anyway.

    The GSWs could give the Lakers a good center (Bogut), a player to help build a new foundation (Barnes, an NC product like Lakers GM Mitch Kupchak) and $25M in cap relief next summer (with the expiring deals of Bogut and Jeffers0n).

    Interesting.

    4) The Warriors will have to beat out Houston, Dallas and the others vying for his services.

    Even if Dwight likes the Warriors, there's a practical problem and it's the same one that stymied them in the chase for Kevin Garnett six long years ago.

    Would the Warriors have to give up so much in the theoretical deal that it basically turns them into exactly the same kind of creaky, capped-out situation -- a lot of mediocrities around Dwight -- that Howard is yearning to bolt?

    Remember, they'd also be on the hook to Howard for four years and $88M.

    The Warriors would almost certainly willing to do it and see how far Dwight, Curry, Klay Thompson and a few others could carry them.

    They'd launch themselves into the luxury tax, they'd break up a lot of the spirit of 2013, they'd depend on Mark Jackson's personal strength and chemistry.

    And it'll all be on the shoulders of the NBA's most famous serial non-committer.

    It's probably worth a shot. But it's a long shot. And it also could backfire immensely even if they get him.

    Read Tim Kawakami's Talking Points blog at blogs.mercurynews.com/kawakami. Contact him at tkawakami@mercurynews.com.