Originally posted on Fox Sports Southwest  |  Last updated 6/27/13
DALLAS -- The Dallas Mavericks are approaching tonight's NBA Draft and the July 1 opening of free agency as if they have a legitimate shot at big fish Dwight Howard. A national report now calls it unlikely the All-Star center will remain with the Lakers and Dallas is the front-runner destination. The valid base of the story is two years in the making. Howard has long admired the way Mavs owner Mark Cuban does his basketball business - business that includes shopping Dallas' No. 13 overall pick in the Draft in order to carve out the cap room needed for an outright signing of a player of Howard's stature. But making room is the easy part; the Mavs can essentially do so with a give-away of Vince Carter's contract, freeing up space to give Howard a max deal that starts as 20,513,178. Convincing Howard that Dallas is worth forgoing the extra 30 million guaranteed the Lakers can give him with a five-year deal (as opposed to a four-year deal teams like Dallas and Houston are limited to) is the challenge. The Lakers' max offer: five years and 118 million contract. The other suitors' max: 87.6 million over four years. Howard has always planned to explore free agency. Dallas, Houston, Atlanta and the Lakers will be on his July 1 doorstep. Sources tell FoxSportsSouthwest.com that the Mavs plan to explain to him how their cap flexibility will allow him a voice in future organizational decisions a power Howard expressed a wish for when in Orlando two years ago, at which time the Mavs started angling for ways to acquire him. The Mavericks can shed 1.66 million in cap commitments by trading out of the No. 13 spot. They can also gain 9.32 million in space by giving away Shawn Marion, though neither of those moves are necessary until the point there is a commitment from Howard to come to Dallas. Indications are that the Mavs' aggressiveness in those areas suggest a belief that Dallas will be granted a serious audience with Howard once the calendar turns to July. And when that happens, Dallas hopes the jostling with Houston (and other suitors) won't be about "styles of play" or "supplemental pieces on the roster," as those sorts of things are fluid and changeable. Dallas wishes to sell its track record for having a stable and consistent foundation of success and Howard's ability to take the baton from Dirk Nowitzki and continue that success.
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Predators fans throw catfish on ice to celebrate Stanley Cup berth

WATCH: Draymond Green tries just a little to hard to sell foul

Eddie George fires up Predators fans before Game 4 vs Ducks

Viktor Arvidsson had bloody ‘R’ on forehead after hit

Danny Ainge’s son running for congressional seat in Utah

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

John Wall’s retweet saves fan from taking final exam

WATCH: Cubs pull off two miraculous defensive plays in a row

To raise money for charity, a wrestling fan has Cody Rhodes slam him on thumbtacks

Gregg Popovich on Steve Kerr’s health issues: ‘It’s just a crap situation’

CJ McCollum clearly interested in having Paul Millsap join Blazers

Injuries are depriving us from watching the Spurs thrive in the clutch

NBA Weekend Awards: Who will take a bite of the Snow White Crystal Apple?

The 'How two award snubs might shake up the NBA' quiz

Preparing for the BIG3: Q&A with BIG3 co-founder Jeff Kwatinetz

Two months in and Nintendo's Switch dominates 2017 video game market

Getaway Day: League leaders falter allowing new teams to surge ahead

Why wait? Our too soon Cavaliers-Warriors NBA Finals preview

The 10 best sports docs available for streaming

Best of Yardbarker: Gregg Popovich doesn't mince words

The 'Happy birthday to two of the NBA's all-time antagonists' quiz

The shortstop evolution continues to raise the ceiling

Three Up, Three Down: Astros dominate in every category

Box Score 5/19: Heartbreak in OT

NBA News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

NBA Weekend Awards: Who will take a bite of the Snow White Crystal Apple?

The 'How two award snubs might shake up the NBA' quiz

Preparing for the BIG3: Q&A with BIG3 co-founder Jeff Kwatinetz

Two months in and Nintendo's Switch dominates 2017 video game market

Getaway Day: League leaders falter allowing new teams to surge ahead

Why wait? Our too soon Cavaliers-Warriors NBA Finals preview

The 10 best sports docs available for streaming

Best of Yardbarker: Gregg Popovich doesn't mince words

The 'Happy birthday to two of the NBA's all-time antagonists' quiz

The shortstop evolution continues to raise the ceiling

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker