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Magic may file tampering charges against Nets for talking to Dwight Howard

Dec 9, 2011, 12:54 PM EDT

NBA: Orlando Magic at Los Angeles Clippers

And you thought the Chris Paul situation was messy….

The Orlando Magic are considering filing tampering charges against two NBA teams for reaching out to Dwight Howard (who is still under contract to Orlando), reports David Aldridge at This report has been confirmed by other sources.

Those two teams are the New Jersey Nets — where Howard was reportedly going to be asked to be traded — and the Houston Rockets, tweets Sam Amick of Sports Illustrated. He adds that Nets owner Mikhail Prokhorov and Howard allegedly met Thursday, which would be tampering if the meeting did take place. ESPN’s Chris Broussard confirms that there was a meeting in Miami and Nets GM Billy King was in attendance.

Future reports said the Rockets are now no longer on the Magic’s tampering radar or potential charges.

If the Magic can get proof of the meeting, it will file tampering charges. This is about the Magic trying to control the situation and how any deal goes down, reports.

The Magic, the source said, will not let Howard dictate the terms of where he wants to go.

“This will not be another Shaq situation,” the source said. The Magic will “do what’s in the best interests of the organization” and will not be left with nothing.

It should be noted that Howard has dropped agent Dan Fegan and will now have his father represent him (a decision that became public in the last 48 hours). Howard left agent Aaron Goodwin last year after family members pressured him to (giving them a larger role). Howard clearly trusts his family, but usually when family and friends represent a player it turns out poorly.

If Howard and Prokhorov did meet, that is pretty clearly tampering. Especially since Howard then reportedly was going to be asked to be traded to New Jersey.

On the heels of the Chris Paul trade fiasco, this could slow down the process and keep Howard with the Magic for a while (although if Orlando thinks he will walk as a free agent they will deal him). We know the Lakers are interested, but would the league and owners allow that deal?

  1. Chris Fiorentino - Dec 9, 2011 at 12:59 PM

    Isn’t that quote a contradiction? I mean…they can’t dictate where Howard goes if he won’t sign an extension with the team he is being traded to. And at the same time, they won’t get anything for him if he simply leaves, like Shaq did. So in actuality, if they want to get something for Howard, they will have to trade him where he wants to go, provided most teams won’t give up the farm for a guy who won’t sign past this season. Right?

    • ss3walkman - Dec 9, 2011 at 1:04 PM


      Also if there was a lockout would that still be tampering if the meeting in fact had taken place?

      • b7p19 - Dec 9, 2011 at 1:17 PM

        Yeah, it would still be tampering. Team execs aren’t allowed to talk to their own players, do you think they should be allowed to talk to the players on other teams?

        The meeting is tampering and the Nets deserve to be kicked hard for this. How stupid can you be? They were clearly in the drivers seat as Fiorentino states, so all they had to do was sit back and let Howard work his magic (pun intended and laughed at).

      • Chris Fiorentino - Dec 9, 2011 at 1:22 PM

        I read that article on and that quote in particular, and thought “That just doesn’t make sense” Then they posted it here, and pulled out that particular quote and it still doesn’t make sense to me. The fact is that the player holds all the cards except one…the max contract one. The owners can whine all they want…but until they have the balls to get nothing for a player, the only hammer they hold is the one that says…”Go whereever you want, but for less money and a year less”

      • b7p19 - Dec 9, 2011 at 1:36 PM

        I agree Chris, but that will never happen. If the owners wanted to change this system they should have bit the bullet and fought for changes in the system. Cancel the season if you feel that strongly about it. Zach Lowe as a good article up at cnnsi explaining this better than I ever could. I completely agree.

  2. leearmon - Dec 9, 2011 at 1:06 PM

    Question Kurt, historically what have been the penalties for tampering? I believe almost a decade ago the Twolves lost their first round pick(s)? for the Joe Smith debacle. Would that happen this time? If so, how would New Jersey/Brooklyn be able to trade two first round picks, if they lost them?

    Prochorov has played his hand beautifully since becoming a NBA owner. Driving up the price to trade for Melo, stealing Deron Williams from Utah. However, if this blows up in his face, which is a possibility, this could ruin all the progress he has made. If they aren’t able to to acquire Howard because of this, it may also keep them from re-signing Deron.

    A poster, whose name I cannot remember, (apologies) has been saying for sometime now, if the owners want to fight back against players trying to dictate where they will play, need to not do extend and trades. You would need to have stones of steel to do it, but if Orlando is truly upset at the Nets for doing this, don’t trade him to Jersey. You may risk losing him for nothing, but you wont be helping Dwight get 30 million extra by sending him to a team that tampered with him. Really see how much Dwight is willing to leave on the table, force his hand. Im really interested in seeing what comes of this.

    • Chris Fiorentino - Dec 9, 2011 at 1:14 PM

      I don’t know if you mean me, but I agree with what you are saying and have posted it from time to time. I HATE sign-and-trade and extend-and-trade deals. Unless dollar-for-dollar talent is being sent both ways, they drive me crazy. When Gilbert whined about LeBron, then did the sign-and-trade with the Heat, I wanted to punch him in the face. I am a guy who sides with the owners but that loyalty is waning a great deal with all these guys who are lacking the balls to do what is right. Many think the Paul trade was not so one-sided(I disagree because while I think the Lakers gave up a lot of depth, but their starting 5 would be sick if that trade went through) and if that’s the case, then the trade should stand since it is a dollar-for-dollar trade. But to sell out for a couple late first rounders to help the other team pay the player more and save cap space is just ludicrous. The Paul deal is not an example of that…and maybe a Howard deal wouldn’t be either. If they got Bynum+++ for him, it wouldn’t be such a terrible deal.

      • leearmon - Dec 9, 2011 at 1:26 PM

        Yes sorry Chris, you are the person I was referring to. I believe you’re correct when saying if owners truly wanted to make a stand that is the way to do it.

  3. stoutfiles - Dec 9, 2011 at 1:07 PM

    “We know the Lakers are interested, but would the league and owners allow that deal?”

    The league didn’t allow the Paul deal because the league owns the Hornets. I know you’re bitter about it but people who don’t read all your pro-player articles will think you don’t understand how trades work.

    • b7p19 - Dec 9, 2011 at 1:33 PM

      Do you really think the league handled this the right way? That they aren’t cutting the hamstrings of the Hornets by denying them the oppotunity to get something for Paul? It’s the leagues fault that the players still have this power.

      You are right that the league only nixed the deal because they own the team, but that doesn’t make it right. They abused their power as the owners of the Hornets (conflict of interest) and have set back the franchise for years unless they do the right thing and reverse this. And why? Because Dan Gilbert has sand in his vagina still from the LeBron episode? Shouldn’t the league at the VERY LEAST have told the Hornets up front that they were not allowed to trade Paul until the ownership situation was handled? At least then the Rockets and Lakers wouldn’t have had to betray their core players.

      • stoutfiles - Dec 9, 2011 at 5:00 PM

        If you lived in NO, would you rather see a star in Paul or a bunch of slightly above-average players? They might win games, but people aren’t going to pay big money to see an average team fight for the 8th seed every year.

  4. predicatepanda - Dec 9, 2011 at 1:27 PM

    In Russia this way make we business get done.

  5. shavodog1 - Dec 9, 2011 at 1:39 PM

    Magic fan here since day 1 & I think if we’re gonna lose his crybaby a** then we should trade him… But really Lopez & 2 1st picks is not enough. We should get the best value for him. Who gives a s*%# where he wants to play, get the best package for him. Period. After watching the diesel walk away for nothing a decade ago we have to get something of value in return. I’m with the players on the money situation, but screw these bastards who think they can dictate where they get traded to. Trade him for the best package, let him opt out after the season & then choose where he wants to play.

  6. gpatrick15 - Dec 9, 2011 at 1:45 PM

    If the reports are true that Howard met directly with the Nets, then both Howard and the Nets (and apparently the Rockets) are all incredibly stupid. Howard is still under contract. Talk to his agents, his representatives, his wife and kids all you want, but talking to a player under contract is tampering, and they deserve whatever punishment that’s handed down to them if this is true.

    • karlton2 - Dec 9, 2011 at 3:54 PM


      Talking to the agent of a player under contract with another team is still tampering, as would be communicating with anyone else for the purpose of influencing a player’s decision. It’s why you will never see an owner or GM say “Boy, I’d love to trade for player XXXXXX”.

      The only time such communications are allowed is when a team has been granted express permission to discuss such matters with a player or his agent, such as prior to a trade to see if they player would be willing to sign an extension, etc. with the new team

  7. vincejr79 - Dec 9, 2011 at 2:06 PM

    This comment is directed to Kurt Helin. This whole Chris Paul trade “veto” is confusing a lot of people of what the league can and can’t do when it comes to trades. With your ending statement “We know the Lakers are interested, but would the league and owners allow that deal?” Referring to Dwight Howard trade, the league or the owners can’t stop that trade because they do not own the team. This is the ONLY reason they were able to stop the Chris Paul trade. Which they are catching a lot of backlash for. Which they deserve all of!

    On another note, I hear everyone saying that the purpose of the lockout was to prevent deals like this from being able to happen. Let’s get this straight, the lockout was about money. The owners wanted more and were in a better position than the players to hold out. The “owners” absolutely won, hands down! The issue of competitive balance was brought up and their solution was higher luxury tax. (Which doesn’t kick in for 2 years anyway.) The bigger market teams will always have the advantage even with this luxury tax. They will just have to spend more and they have more. The Lakers just signed a TV deal worth $200 million. About 80 million or so will be split with other teams and so forth but that’s the extra money they needed with this new luxury tax. There is no way to have competitive balance with free agency.

    • Chris Fiorentino - Dec 9, 2011 at 2:16 PM

      The NFL has free agency and they have about as good of a competitive balance as you can get. Every year 5 or 6 new teams make it to the playoffs. You need a HARD CAP and free agency. Until the NBA gets that, they won’t have competitive balance.

  8. tomtravis76 - Dec 9, 2011 at 2:09 PM

    Jay Z and Beyonce are going to make Dwight Howard the godfather of their kid.

  9. heat256 - Dec 9, 2011 at 2:32 PM

    Still think the Magic are better off getting Lopez, 2 1st round picks for Howard and Hedo’s bad contract. Then amnesty Arenas, draft well, and they’ll be contending again soon. They’ve gotten marquee centers TWICE as No 1 picks. Luck is on their side. Well, except for keeping them there long term.

  10. leearmon - Dec 9, 2011 at 3:11 PM

    Wojo is reporting the Nets are close to signing Nene to a 4 year $65 million deal. If this is true does this effectively take them out of Dwight Howard sweepstakes?

  11. Rakhmat Saleh - Dec 9, 2011 at 4:14 PM

    Reblogged this on Mind Of Mine.

  12. trey14jewels - Dec 9, 2011 at 4:17 PM

    Dear Orlando, Trade him to Da Bulls! They can offer better pieces, better picks, and are the better situation. Plus, no illegal tampering over here :).

  13. nelle - Dec 9, 2011 at 8:23 PM

    If true, this would be the most blatant example of tampering I’ve ever seen. All parties should be dealt with harshly.

    • ravissevens - Dec 9, 2011 at 11:49 PM

      If charges are laid against NJ and they are punished with loss of picks, would the Magic get those picks or are the just abolished?

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