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NBA Free Agency 2012: Magic Say Dwight Howard Needs To Sign Extension Soon

While Deron Williams is the Mavericks top target this summer, Dwight Howard is still the biggest domino league-wide.

Howard, a three-time Defensive Player of the Year, is the best center in a league that is becoming increasingly perimeter-oriented. However, after a bizarre season where he put in a trade request before rescinding it and signing a one-year extension with the Orlando Magic, his future is still completely unknown.

The Magic apparently do not want to go through the same opera again in 2013, as team CEO Alex Martins told a local TV station that his franchise center needed to sign a contract extension this summer:

Dallas' best case scenario was always getting Howard in free agency, as they don't have any trade assets Orlando would want in a possible deal.

Their biggest concern is the Magic getting so fed up that they deal him before Williams decides on a free-agent destination, as New Jersey's best chance of keeping the All-NBA PG is convincing him that he could team up with Howard in their new Brooklyn stadium.

The good news is, after Howard's indecision last season, Williams is unlikely to agree to any long-term plan contingent on where Howard is going to play.

For all the latest news, rumors and analysis about the Mavericks plans in the summer of 2012, stay tuned to the SB Nation Dallas storystream and head over to Mavs Moneyball.

Photographs by jamesbrandon, jdtornow, phlezk, flygraphix, mcdlttx, tomasland, and literalbarrage used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.