Mar 30, 2014; Cleveland, OH, USA; Cleveland Cavaliers forward Luol Deng (9) runs during a game against the Indiana Pacers at Quicken Loans Arena. Cleveland won 90-76. Mandatory Credit: David Richard-USA TODAY Sports

NBA Rumors: Mavericks’ best shot at a free agent is Luol Deng?

The Dallas Mavericks are eager for free agency and the thought of going on a shopping spree and bringing in a new free agent to rejuvenate their championship aspirations. They already took one step in trading for New York Knicks center Tyson Chandler and have a meeting set up with his former teammate Carmelo Anthony.

The Mavericks might still be long shots to land Anthony, but they’ve been focusing on a back up plan and apparently that includes Cleveland Cavaliers forward Luol Deng.

From Mitch Lawrence of The New York Daily News:

The Mavs will court Carmelo Anthony, but it wouldn’t surprise me if they go into free agency thinking their best shot is to get Luol Deng. He’s a better fit for Rick Carlisle, with his willingness to play defense and the fact that he doesn’t need the ball. Dirk Nowitzki won’t even look at other teams when he becomes free. I’ve got to think Deng is also on Chicago’s radar if the Bulls can’t get Melo.

Deng averaged 16.0 points, 5.7 rebounds, 2.9 assists and 1.0 steals per game. He also shot 43.1% from the field, 30.2% from three and 79.1% from the free-throw line.

If history is any indication, the Mavericks will come up short pursuing a big fish free agent again, but this year’s back up plan might be better than in year’s past. The Mavericks have also been linked to Trevor Ariza, Pau Gasol and Chandler Parsons.

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