NBA Draft 2013: Mavericks could shop No. 13 pick to maintain cap space

Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

What is Mark Cuban up to? It looks like he and the Mavs are going to make a play for this offseason's most prized asset.

The Dallas Mavericks are trying to trade their No. 13 overall draft pick in hopes of saving cap space before the 2013 NBA Draft takes place, according to ESPN NBA Insider Chad Ford.

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The Mavs are major players in the Dwight Howard sweepstakes, and reports have indicated that the Los Angeles Lakers big man and soon-to-be free agent is taking a hard look at the Lone Star State for his next playing destination. In order to make a real play for his services, Dallas needs to free up all the cap space they can in order to offer him a competitive contract.

The signee from the Mavericks' first-round selection would be slated to make $1,655,300. That's a considerable amount considering that Howard will command the maximum that teams other than the Lakers can offer. Howard has been silent so far in the offseason and has not made any definitive statements as to his intentions, although there has been speculation he is unhappy with the coaching situation in Los Angeles.

If Dallas is successful in clearing space, they will compete with the Houston Rockets for his services. The Rockets are positioned from a salary cap standpoint and have the young players to make an attractive offer and give Dallas and Los Angeles stiff competition for Howard's services.

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