Dirk Nowitzki has talked with Dwight Howard about joining Mavericks

Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

Dwight and Dirk, discussing Big D? Apparently so, but we're still a few days away from the start of free agency.

With Dwight Howard reportedly unlikely to return to the Los Angeles Lakers, it's open season on trying to convince the talented, if fickle big man which other teams he should consider. Dirk Nowitzki has joined the fray, trying to tell the three-time defensive player of the year that the Dallas Mavericks should be his next team, according to ESPN Dallas' Tim MacMahon.

Nowitzki told ESPN Dallas that he's had phone contact with the seven-time All-Star, telling him that the Mavericks would "love to have him." Nowitzki said Howard didn't say much of note, and went on to praise Howard, calling him "the most dominant big man in the league."

It's a tricky situation, especially since Nowitzki's conversation could almost definitely be considered tampering. Houston's Chandler Parsons has also gone on record saying he's trying to convince Howard to sign with the Rockets.

As for the Mavs, they've made no mistake about making it clear they're trying to shed salary to make cap room for a free agent, specifically Howard. In the run-up to the draft, Mark Cuban spoke about a two-year plan: landing a max free agent this year, and discussing the future of the franchise with that free agent and Dirk Nowitzki. Nowitzki would then take a massive pay cut from his $22 million contract that expires after this season, and the team would hypothetically have the space to sign another max free agent. If Howard and Nowitzki are indeed talking, the first part of that plan is coming to fruition.

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