Coveted Orlando Magic star Dwight Howard reportedly met with the New Jersey Nets owner and general manager Thursday, which would violate the NBA’s tampering rules, ESPN’s Chris Broussard reports. The Magic were unaware of the meeting.
The Magic are considering filing tampering charges, which could result in the Nets forfeiting draft picks or being fined up to $5 million.
The meeting comes as Howard is set to request a trade to the New Jersey Nets. The three-time NBA Defensive Player of the Year also may not report to training camp, which is scheduled to begin this afternoon.
Until now, Howard had been non-committal about his intentions to stay with the Magic on a long-term basis. Some had believed that if a trade were to occur with Howard, it would likely come during the season near the trade deadline; however a trade demand would move that timeline up dramatically. Last season Howard averaged 22.9 points, 14.1 rebounds, and 2.4 blocks per game for the Magic, who finished the season with a 52-30 record.