The Dallas Mavericks, with their first lottery draft pick in a dozen years firmly in hand, have their eyes on a bigger prize.
Multiple sources have told ESPN.com's Chad Ford the Mavs are likely to shop the pick in hopes of creating the cap space necessary to make a run at Dwight Howard in free agency.
The 13th overall pick has a cap hold of $1,655,300.
One of the Mavs' future first-round picks is already in the possession of the Oklahoma City Thunder. That pick, which is top-20-protected through 2017, was given up in the deal that brought Lamar Odom to Dallas.
If the Mavs hold on to this year's pick, Ford projects them to select Croatian teenage small forward Dario Saric.
Dirk Nowitzki, who said he'd take a "significant pay cut" next summer, plans to join Mark Cuban, president of basketball operations Donnie Nelson and coach Rick Carlisle on the Mavs' recruiting committee this summer.
The hope is to sell Howard or Chris Paul -- who would each have to sacrifice a fifth year on the max contract that he could get from the Lakers and Clippers, respectively -- on the possibility of building a championship contender.
"We'd love to get one of the main guys," Nowitzki said last week. "It's going to be tough to get them out of the situation that they're in. I think that's pretty easy [to see]. I think both are in L.A., where you want to play basketball, and both are in great positions and situations. We'll just have to wait and see."
Howard has not publicly indicated whether he intends to re-sign with the Lakers when he becomes a free agent July 1 or explore opportunities with other teams. He can sign a five-year, $118 million max-level extension to stay in L.A., while the most he could receive if he left is a four-year deal worth $87.6 million.
Multiple sources with knowledge of Howard's thinking have told ESPNLosAngeles.com he is expected to entertain the free-agency process and hear competing offers.
Information from ESPNDallas.com's Tim MacMahon and ESPNLosAngeles.com's Dave McMenamin was used in this report.