Magic, Mavericks talk about Dwight Howard deal, but it’s unlikely. At best.

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If you want to know why the Orlando Magic are holding out, waiting for a better offer to come their way for Dwight Howard, it is in part because they know other offers will come. Other teams will at least probe the talks.

Like, the Dallas Mavericks.

Dallas has had conversations with Orlando about a Dwight Howard trade in the last week, the Magic GM confirmed to Mike Fisher at FoxSportsSouthwest.com. But he adds that you shouldn’t bet on a deal actually happening.

Mavs GM Donnie Nelson and Magic GM Orlando GM Rob Hennigan visited last week about a Dwight Howard trade and “will probably talk again,” Nelson tells FOXSportsSouthwest.com….

“There’s just not much there (in terms of a Mavs-Magic trade to be done in 2012),” Nelson tells us.

Nelson suggests that there are offers on the table for Dwight that “trump” what Dallas can present now or in the near future, which includes expiring contracts, the promise of cap space, and maybe the willingness to take back contract ballast.

The most likely way Dallas lands Howard is he becomes a free agent next summer and comes to Dallas. That would come about because Orlando doesn’t trade him or does send him to a place he will not sign an extension beyond next season. Most likely Howard will get traded, it’s just where that is up in the air.

We know about a couple proposed deals. There is the one where the Lakers land Howard and offer up Andrew Bynum as the key piece going out, either to Orlando directly or to a third team (Cleveland or Houston) that would send picks and/or young players to Orlando. Then there is talk of a direct Houston deal with Orlando that would send picks and young players to Orlando for a rental of Howard (the center has said he would not sign a new deal to stay in Houston beyond this season).

Neither of those deals was good enough for Orlando to pull the trigger.

So we go around in circles, and the Magic wait to see if other teams will jump in. Dallas did, but like most teams they don’t have more to offer than the teams already in the game.