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Mavs swap Howard, Gooden to Wizards for Butler, Haywood

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

Howard, the 29th overall pick in 2003, was in his seventh season with Dallas. Gooden, signed by Dallas last summer, will be going to his eighth team in eight NBA seasons. Butler, a two-time All-Star, averaged 16.9 points and 6.7 rebounds in 47 games this season.

It is a significant move for the Southwest Division-leading Mavs (32-20). "It makes us significantly better," owner Mark Cuban said. For the Wizards (17-33), the trade appears to signal the breaking up of a team that was expected to contend for a playoff spot.

The Mavs also get guard DeShawn Stevenson and cash considerations. James Singleton and Quinton Ross go to the Wizards to round out the deal. - AP

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