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NBA Free Agents Rumors: Dwight Howard to Dallas Mavericks? Chandler Parsons Could Recruit All-Star Center

By Paul Jones
on Apr 07, 2016 06:51 PM EDT
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The Dallas Mavericks will be one of the teams expected to express strong interest in Dwight Howard if the Houston Rockets center becomes a free agent this summer.

Howard, who is playing in the third season of his four-year deal worth $87.6 million with the Rockets, could become a free agent this summer if he opts out of the final year of his contract.

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In the event Howard hits free agency this summer, the Mavericks are expected to reach out to the All-Star center. However, NBA insider Tim McMahon of ESPN noted that the Mavericks will first take a look at Howard's asking price this summer before joining the bidding war.

If Howard asks for a deal near the maximum level, the Mavericks are unlikely to offer a contract to the 30-year-old center. The Mavericks were one of the teams who aggressively pursued the Atlanta native in 2013, but they are now hesitant to offer a lucrative deal because of Howard's injury history and questions about his desire to win.

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But if Howard is willing to take a pay cut to move to another contender, the Mavericks have some aces in the bidding ward, including Chandler Parsons, who developed a strong relationship with the former Defensive Player of the Year during their time together in Houston.

Parsons told ESPN Dallas that he still has constant communication with Howard. Parsons could also become a free agent this summer, but has already expressed commitment to the Mavericks. The sweet-shooting forward was trying to avoid violating the league's tampering rules, but he said he will talk to Howard this summer.

"Obviously, right now is not the time to be talking about that with five games left and both of our teams in position to try to make a run here, make the playoffs and then hopefully advance," Parsons said. "When the time comes this summer, we'll definitely be spending some time together and talking."

Howard, who is playing in his 12th season in the league, is averaging 13.8 points and 11.9 rebounds on top of 1.6 blocks and 1.0 steals per game this season.

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