After bringing back Tyson Chandler, the expectations for the Dallas Mavericks in free agency drastically increased. Yet, we are now a week into free agency, and there isn’t much to show for it.
The team has brought back Dirk Nowitzki – no surprise – for three more seasons. They’ve also re-signed Devin Harris to a very respectable 3-year, $9 million contract. And, that’s it for the Mavs to this point.
Much of their lack of
activity agreements is due to Carmelo Anthony; the market is on freeze till he decides where he’ll be playing. It’s safe to assume that they believe they’re out of the Anthony hunt, after all, reports surfaced of the team could be pushing on an offer sheet with Chandler Parsons.
Stealing Parsons from the Houston Rockets would be huge. He’s already proven he can co-exist with big time players – Dwight Howard and James Harden – which should result in him fitting in nicely with Monta Ellis and Nowitzki. Issue is there’s no guarantee he’s actually obtainable. Reports constantly remind us that the Rockets are inclined to match any offer for their starting small forward. For the Mavs to nab him, it’ll take perfect timing and some luck.
Thankfully if the Mavs miss out on Parsons, Luol Deng and Trevor Ariza are still out there. But as each moment passes, the likely hood that one of them lands in Dallas lessens. It’s been rumored that both are seeking over $10 million annually, and with the market set in place where Channing Frye and Avery Bradley are getting $8 mil and someone like Ben Gordon landed $4.5 mil, that $10 mil they’re asking for could easily become $12 or even $14 million.
Is it worth it to spend that much on aging small forwards who’ll be the third or fourth best player on the roster? That’s a tough sell, but the Mavs have to do something, and overpaying for a small forward may be it, especially when you consider the other options. Paul Pierce is out there, but he’s seeking $8-$10 mil. Evan Turner, Caron Butler, Al-Farouq Aminu and P.J. Tucker are still floating around. The team could always bring back Shawn Marion or dare I say it, start Jae Crowder.
Like the small forward spot, this team needs to find shooting. The team traded away Jose Calderon and Wayne Ellington, who both shot over 40% from behind the arc. Their expected meeting with Mo Williams shouldn’t come as a surprise. Williams shot 36.9% from three last year. The only current Mavs to have shot higher than that mark are Nowitzki and Vince Carter (assuming he re-signs).
The team’s point guard situation is currently an iffy one. Harris, Raymond Felton, and Gal Mekel currently occupy the position. Williams would help in the depth and shooting department. Other names to consider on the market are Mario Chalmers, Kirk Hinrich, and Jameer Nelson. There is no clear indication if Felton will stay a Mav when the season opens. If he’s moved, the Mavs could and will most likely make a play to bring in another point guard, who is not Williams, to take over the starting duties.
Finally, the team has reportedly changed their stance on Lance Stephenson. Stephenson has been rumored to have turned down a 5-years, $44 million deal from the Indiana Pacers and has turned to the open market to find a better deal. I have never been a huge fan of Stephenson to Dallas, mostly due to his antics and price tag. But if he’s obtainable for $8-10 million, then that’s a bargain, especially in this market. He can drive you crazy with his over-dribbling, shot selection, and behavior, but he’s a triple-double threat who can defend.
Yeah, the Mavs currently have Ellis at the two-guard, but if Lance is the best name available and a bargain, then you may have no choice but to bring him in. Rick Carlisle is a top three NBA coach for a reason, give him the opportunity to make it work.
Once Anthony and Lebron James makes their decisions, the rest of the dominoes are expected to fall. Expect the Mavs to move fast and fill out the rest of their roster amidst the frenzy.