Howard has permission to seek trade

The Orlando Magic have given Dwight Howard’s representatives permission to speak with the New Jersey Nets, Los Angeles Lakers and Dallas Mavericks about a possible trade for the All-Star Center, his agent told Yahoo! Sports.

The Nets have a chance to close on a four-year, $60 million-plus deal for Denver Nuggets free-agent center Nene this weekend, but are working relentlessly to make a deal with Orlando for Howard, league sources said. Howard has been waffling between wanting a deal to the Lakers and Hollywood, and wanting to join point guard Deron Williams with the Nets and be the cornerstone of the franchise’s move to a new Brooklyn arena in 2012-13, sources told Y! Sports.

Howard’s agent, Dan Fegan, denied reports Howard met with Nets officials on Thursday night – a possible violation of the NBA’s tampering rules if the Magic did not permit the meeting. Howard and Nets general manager Billy King also had previously denied meeting together.

Dwight Howard has spent his entire seven-year NBA career with the Magic.
(Getty Images)

Fegan said he met with King this week to discuss a deal for Nene, another client.

“Tampering is a non-issue,” Fegan told Yahoo! Sports by phone Friday night.

[ Related: Hornets resume Chris Paul trade talks ]

SI.com reported that Magic CEO Alex Martins denied giving Howard permission, but the team later confirmed it will indeed allow Howard’s representatives to speak with the three teams.

Howard gave no indication he wants to stay with the Magic for the long-term while speaking with reporters on the opening day of training camp.

“Right now, we’re in Orlando,” Howard said. “We just had practice, and that’s what matters. Nothing else matters beyond today and this moment.”

Friday’s developments continued an eventful week for the Magic and Howard. Longtime CEO Bob Vander Weide resigned after admitting he’d made a 1 a.m. ET phone call to Howard after “two, three” glasses of wine to assess where Howard stood on his future intentions with the Magic. Howard then had a meeting scheduled with Martins mid-week, but canceled it at the last minute, a league source told Y! Sports.

Martins told reporters in Orlando earlier Friday the team would consider filing tampering charges if it discovered other teams had improper contact with Howard or his representatives. The NBA only opens tampering investigations at the request of teams.

Howard and Fegan also denied a report that Fegan would be replaced as agent by Howard’s father. “The rumors of my demise as Dwight’s agent are greatly exaggerated due to the demands of ‘good copy,’ ” Fegan said.

The Magic used their amnesty clause to waive high-priced guard Gilbert Arenas, who was acquired last season in an effort to surround Howard with greater talent. Orlando also acquired forward Glen Davis Friday in an sign-and-trade deal that sent Brandon Bass to the Boston Celtics.

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Adrian Wojnarowski is the NBA columnist for Yahoo! Sports. Follow him on Twitter. Send Adrian a question or comment for potential use in a future column or webcast.
Updated Friday, Dec 9, 2011