Dirk Nowitzki is doing hit bit on behalf of the Dallas Mavericks.
According to the Dallas Morning News, Nowitzki reached out to Dwight and told him he’d “love” to play with him in Dallas:
[pullquote]Nowitzki said Thursday before the NBA draft that he did call Howard recently to talk up life with the Mavericks.
“I reached out to him, but that’s probably as far as I would go,” Nowitzki said. “I told him we’d love to have him and that’s really about it. It’s not like we call each other every day. I didn’t write him a letter. I just had a little phone contact and that was about it.”
Asked how receptive Howard was, Nowitzki said: “He’s doing well. And I guess he’s just weighing his options. He didn’t say anything newsworthy. I’m sure he’s got a couple meetings set up in early July and hopefully the Mavs are one of those teams.”
“To me, when he’s healthy, he’s the most dominant big man in the league,” Nowitzki said. “He showed that at the end of the season when he was right what he can still do. He can dominate on both ends of the floor if he’s healthy and still use his athleticism. He’s a beast on both ends.
“I’d love to play with a guy who can just get the ball in the post and spread the offense around the floor and on defense a guy who can protect the rim like that is a luxury so we’d love to have him but so would the other teams with cap room. We’ll wait and see what happens.”[/pullquote]
As for Dirk’s boss, Mark Cuban, he’s heading to Los Angeles to meet face-to-face with Howard – even though he can’t actually say Dwight’s name yet due to league rules:
[pullquote]The Mavs owner didn’t get into specifics when questioned about the team having enough space to sign Howard. Cuban also declined getting into details about individual free agents because of fear of being fined by the league.
However, he did say: “We’re going to go out to L.A. We’ve set a meeting date with a couple of different players.”
“We made it clear to everybody that we’re exploring different options,” Cuban said. “It’s just not one approach. Last year it was one-year deals because we wanted to get to this year, not just because of the big names but there were other names that we really liked. This year it’s not going to be about one-year deals.”[/pullquote]
The Dallas Mavericks appear to be one of the more unlikely destinations for Howard, though they’re rumored to be chasing Boston’s Rajon Rondo, and pulling off such a move could possibly spark Howard’s interest in the team.
Free agency will begin on July 1st.