Mavs Free Agency: Don't Chase Devin Harris

A lot of fairly mediocre guards (and Shaun Livingston) have gotten paid some unexpectedly hefty contracts early in this free agency. While I think Livingston is unquestionably worth his 3 year, $16 million contract, who saw Jodie Meeks getting 3 years and $19 million? Even more absurdly, the Orlando Magic traded away Arron Afflalo and then inexplicably signed the much worse Ben Gordan to 2 year, $9 million deal.

C.J. Miles got 4 years and $18 million.

Avery Bradley got 4 years and $32 million.

All of these guards getting overpaid have Mavs fans worried about Devin Harris‘s price going up. And for Mavs fans who really want Harris back, this is a legitimate concern. Unfortunately for those fans, I have to be the voice of reason here. The Mavs absolutely should not overpay to keep the fan favorite point guard in Dallas.

Devin Harris has been quoted as saying that the 3 year, $9 million deal he was offered last offseason (before a toe injury shrunk that to a 1 year deal at the veteran minimum) would be a good starting point in negotiations with the Mavericks. That’s fine, but I would caution the Mavs front office from going too much higher than that deal. If it’s me, I’m not giving Harris more than 3 years and $15 million. And I would prefer it be less.

Yes, I realize that means Harris would be making less money than admittedly worse players like Jodie Meeks and CJ Miles. But the Mavs shouldn’t let other teams signing stupid contracts force their hands.

I love Devin Harris. I was a fan back in 2006, and I was so excited when he came back to Dallas last season. But this is a business after all, and with Jose Calderon gone, Harris is not a very good fit for the Mavs anymore. More than anything, the Mavs need a guard who can play defense and knock down threes next to Monta Ellis. Devin Harris isn’t terrible at those things, but he isn’t great at them either. His natural role is too similar to Monta’s. Harris makes much more sense as a backup in Dallas, but the presence of Raymond Felton (who is also not great at defense and perimeter shooting) makes that unlikely.

If Harris really wants to stay in Dallas and is willing to stay fairly close to that 3 year, $9 million, then welcome back. Too much higher, and I think it is in everyone’s best interest to let Devin walk.

Tags: Dallas Mavericks Devin Harris

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