Dwight Howard's agent: No tampering

Dan Fegan, the agent for Magic center Dwight Howard, dismissed reports that his client had illegal contact with the Nets, saying Howard had received permission to explore potential trades.

Magic general manager Otis Smith confirmed to ESPN the Magazine on Friday night that he granted permission to Fegan to speak to the Nets about a deal involving Howard.

Fegan read the following prepared statement over the phone to The Magazine: "I read reports today of a meeting between Dwight Howard, his representatives and the New Jersey Nets which claimed, according to the story's anonymous sources, that such a meeting violated the NBA's tampering policies. This story is clearly inaccurate with respect to tampering claims and other facts. Tampering doesn't apply once a team grants permission for a player and/or his representatives to make contact with another team. The Magic have given us permission to have contact with several teams in order for Dwight to explore his options. I most definitely had contact with the teams I was granted permission to speak with. Since we had permission to have contact with several teams the report of possible tampering is undeniably false.

"In addition, the report that Dwight was supposed to be traded today is also inaccurate. In fact, so many of the facts reported in today's story are inaccurate, it is difficult to separate the facts from fiction, so I'm not even going to bother to address the other inaccuracies."

Fegan said both he and Howard have spoken by phone with the Nets but no face-to-face meeting has occurred.