The Dallas Mavericks are headed into another offseason where they’re looking to add a “big fish” free agent. This offseason isn’t short of talent either, with superstars Carmelo Anthony and LeBron James opting out of their contracts.
Free agency doesn’t start until July, so teams can’t make any pitches yet, but when that window does open the Mavericks are already on Carmelo Anthony’s short list of teams.
From ESPN’s Chris Broussard:
Carmelo Anthony has decided to visit the Houston Rockets, Dallas Mavericks and Chicago Bulls once teams are allowed to meet with free agents on July 1, according to league sources.
The Mavericks made a move ahead of free agency as well, trading Jose Calderon, Shane Larkin, Samuel Dalembert and two second round picks in Thursday nights NBA Draft for New York Knicks center Tyson Chandler and guard Raymond Felton. Adding a pair of Knicks players ahead of meeting with Anthony is a smart and savvy move.
Chandler also fills a big void for the Mavericks at a position of need for the team. In addition to that, Chandler likely has a direct line of communication to Carmelo and being familiar with the Mavericks from his 2010-2011 championship winning season, can sell the Mavericks as well as anyone. Players can talk to one another, but teams can’t talk to players until July.
Chandler could be the Mavericks pitch-man to Anthony in the mean time.
ESPN Dallas’ Tim MacMahon also cited a source saying Chandler’s arrival makes them legitimate contenders for either Anthony or LeBron.
“It makes us real players for LeBron [or] Carmelo,” a team source told ESPNDallas.com after completing the trade that brought center Tyson Chandler back to Dallas.
Nevertheless optimism is abound around the Mavericks’ front office after a big splash on Wednesday. They’re just hoping this offseason goes better than their previous ventures into the free agency bidding war.