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Nowitzki latest in recruiting Howard

The SportsXchange

Dallas Mavericks star Dirk Nowitzki said he has talked with center Dwight Howard, but has not been aggressively recruiting the soon-to-be free agent.

"I reached out to him and told him we'd love to have him," Nowitzki said Thursday night, according to ESPN Dallas. "That's really about it. It's not like we call each other every day.

"I haven't written him a letter. We've just had a little phone contact, and that's about it."

Howard is expected to leave Los Angeles after just one year with the Lakers. The Atlanta Hawks, Mavericks and Houston Rockets are expected to meet with Howard after July 1 when he becomes a free agent. Rockets players James Harden and Chandler Parsons have reportedly heavily recruited Howard.

"He's just weighing out his options," Nowitzki said. "I'm sure he has a couple of meetings set up for whenever that might be in early July. Hopefully the Mavs are one of those teams, and we'll go from there.

"To me, when he's healthy, he's the most dominant big man in the league. He showed it at the end of the season when he was right and what he can still do and can dominate on both ends of the floor if he's healthy. He can still use his athleticism. He's a beast on both ends of the floor.

"I'd love to play with a guy you can throw the ball in the post and I'll just be out there spreading the floor. On the defensive end of the floor, a guy who can protect the rim like that is obviously a luxury."

The Mavericks would have to be creative in finding cap room to sign Howard to a four-year maximum deal.
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