Dwight Howard’s agent has been given permission by the Orlando Magic to speak to three teams about a potential trade for the All-Star center — and those three teams are the New Jersey Nets, Dallas Mavericks and Los Angeles Lakers.
In addition, agent Dan Fegan dismissed an earlier report that Howard had had illegal contact with the Nets — telling ESPN The Magazine on Friday night, “I read reports today of a meeting between Dwight Howard, his representatives and the New Jersey Nets which claimed, according to the story’s anonymous sources, that such a meeting violated the NBA’s tampering policies.
“This story is clearly inaccurate with respect to tampering claims and other facts. Tampering doesn’t apply once a team grants permission for a player and/or his representatives to make contact with another team. The Magic have given us permission to have contact with several teams in order for Dwight to explore his options.’’
Magic chief executive officer Alex Martins said that Orlando has not filed tampering charges against any other team for any illegal contact with Howard.
Howard’s preferred choice is the Nets, several reports said.
The Nets are believed to be ready to offer a package that includes center Brook Lopez and two first-round picks while taking back Hedo Turkoglu’s three-year, $34.8 million salary.
The pursuit of Howard — who can opt out of his contract at season’s end — already gained the endorsement of the man the Nets are desperate to keep with the franchise, the New York Post reported.
"He’s a monster. He’s like a created player. He’s not real," Deron Williams said this week when discussing Howard, whose acquisition would "convince" the All-Star point guard to stay a Net.
"I’ve talked to him a lot," Williams added. "We’ve had some conversations. He knows I want to play with him. I don’t think there’s a player in the NBA who doesn’t want to play with Dwight Howard. I think he would love to play with me, as well."
After previously not ruling out a trade, Magic general manager Otis Smith had said earlier this week that Orlando wanted to keep Howard forever.
But Howard looked set to force his hand in an attempt to join Williams on the Nets — who plan to move to Brooklyn next season.