Going after Howard would certainly be a massive risk, but it's a risk that the Mavericks desperately need to make. The first issue the Mavericks must address is the lack of valuable talent they have to offer the Orlando Magic in return for Howard.
The most tradable talent the Mavericks have are the young prospects who they just drafted—Jared Cunningham, Bernard James and Jae Crowder.
The problem with those players is that while they have a lot of potential, they have yet to prove anything in the NBA. Trading such a talented player in Howard for those players would be a major mistake for the Magic to make.
In terms of tradable assets, the most valuable commodities the Mavericks can offer the Magic for D12 are future draft picks in addition to the young players they have on their roster.
One thing the Mavericks do have in their favor when it comes to making an offer for Howard, is that they have a fair amount of cap space to work with, meaning that they could feasibly trade for Howard, and take on Hedo Turkoglu's overpriced contract as well.
While that's enticing for both teams, it's a precarious situation for the Mavericks to be in, especially if they are hoping that Howard will want to be a member of the Mavericks for the long term.
A major reason why trying to trade for Howard is such a risk for the Mavericks is because Howard has already come out and said that if he doesn't get traded to a certain team—speculated as the Brooklyn Nets—he will just play out the year and then enter free agency.
Should the Mavericks continue to pursue Dwight Howard after failing to land Deron Williams?
Based on Howard's intentions, it's clear that even if the Mavericks were able to trade for him, it would be a one-year commitment for him, which is why a trade for Howard isn't valuable enough for the Mavericks to pursue.
If the Mavericks want to have Howard as their center for the start of the 2012-13 season, they'll have to give away the future talent that they have on their roster, and with the threat of Howard leaving at the end of next season, that's a very risky move to make.
A potential trade that the Mavericks could offer the Magic that works financially for the Mavericks would be to offer the Magic Rodrigue Beaubois, Brandan Wright, Jared Cunningham, Brendan Haywood and their 2013 and 2014 first-round pick in exchange for Dwight Howard and Hedo Turkoglu
The Mavericks would have amnesty a player like Shawn Marion, who's due $19 million over the next two seasons, and they'd also have to use the trade exception they received when they traded Lamar Odom.
The big question now is whether that is enough to get the Magic to trade away arguably the best center in the game.
While it might not be enough for the Magic to bite on, if the Magic don't get a lot of reasonable offers from other teams, the talent the Mavericks can offer is better than receiving nothing in return if Howard leaves at the end of the 2012-13 season.