If you thought the Chris Paul stuff was a mess, you should get a hold of what’s happening in Orlando. Dwight Howard’s agent (along with Magic GM Otis Smith) say the superstar center had been given permission to seek a trade from the New Jersey Nets, among other teams. But according to the Magic’s CEO, Alex Martins, no such permission had been granted. My head hurts:

“Magic GM 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. An agent not affiliated with Fegan or his agency, LaGardere Unlimited, said such contact between stars and potential trade partners is standard before such deals are consummated. ‘No team would think of acquiring a star of Dwight’s magnitude without talking to him first,’ the agent said, who asked to remain anonymous. Sources said New Orleans Hornets guard Chris Paul had such conversations with both the Lakers and Clippers, two teams interested in acquiring him, in the last week.”

“While the agent for Orlando center Dwight Howard told reporters Friday night that his client was given permission to speak with other teams about possible trades, Magic CEO Alex Martins told SI.com that the team was still considering filing tampering charges regarding an alleged meeting with New Jersey officials. With indications growing that Howard would ask for a trade to the Nets this week, sources told SI.com on Friday morning that the Magic were investigating the alleged meeting between New Jersey owner Mikhail Prokhorov and Orlando’s franchise player on Thursday in Miami. NBA.com first reported that the Magic were considering tampering charges against two unnamed teams, and ESPN.com later reported that Nets general manager Billy King and business associates were also at the alleged meeting. Because teams are not authorized to speak with another team’s players without permission, any such meeting would be considered tampering and the Nets could be subject to fines and the loss of draft picks. Martins, reached via phone late Friday night, said the alleged meeting was still being investigated and reiterated that the matter would be taken seriously. ‘They did not have permission to talk to him,’ Martins told SI.com. ‘We’re continuing to gather the information based on the stories, and we’ll evaluate whether we’re going to take any action once we have all of our information.’”