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NBA: Dallas trades Howard to get Butler

DALLAS — The Mavericks traded forward Josh Howard and Drew Gooden to the Washington Wizards on Saturday in a seven-player deal that sends Caron Butler and Brendan Haywood to Dallas.

Howard was in his seventh season with Dallas, a span filled with promise and disappointment since being the 29th overall pick in 2003. Gooden, signed by Dallas last summer, will be going to his eighth team in eight NBA seasons.

It is a significant move for the Southwest Division-leading Mavericks (32-20), a deal announced just before the start of the Saturday night All-Star activities in their home arena.

Dallas lost five of its seven games before the All-Star break, and play four games in five nights starting Tuesday in Oklahoma City.

For the Wizards (17-33), the trade means more moves for the team that has already lost Gilbert Arenas and Javaris Crittenton. Both were suspended last month by the NBA for the rest of the season after both admitted to bringing a gun into the locker room after a dispute stemming from a card game on a team flight.

The Mavericks also get former Jazz guard DeShawn Stevenson and cash considerations from Washington. James Singleton and Quinton Ross go to the Wizards to round out the deal.

BOBCATS TO BE SOLD? NBA commissioner David Stern expects the Charlotte Bobcats to be sold within 60 days. He's just not ready to say if Michael Jordan will be the buyer.

At his midseason news conference Saturday night at All-Star weekend, Stern seemed certain that owner Bob Johnson will unload the money-losing franchise soon.

Jordan, a minority investor in the team, has run the Bobcats' basketball operations since 2006 and has the right of first refusal on any sale. But it's unclear if the Hall of Famer has an ownership group in place or will agree with Johnson on a price.