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Will the Dallas Mavericks ever get their guy in free agency?

Dallas Mavericks, Jalen Brunson
Dallas Mavericks, Jalen Brunson / Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
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The Dallas Mavericks made re-signing Jalen Brunson their top offseason priority. He was coming off a breakout season that saw him become a starter and the team’s second-leading scorer as the Mavs reached the Western Conference Finals. It seemed like a foregone conclusion that Brunson would be back in Dallas heading into the offseason, but things did not go as planned.

The Mavericks made multiple mistakes from allowing JB to be an unrestricted free agent because of the way his rookie contract was structured to not offering him an extension at the start of last season, but ultimately, the result was another free agent heartbreak for Dallas as he chose to join the New York Knicks.

This one stung a bit extra because Brunson was a homegrown player that left. It is one thing when Kyle Lowry, Dwight Howard, or Deron Williams decides not to join the Mavericks, but losing a player they drafted and developed hurts. Brunson went from second-round pick to leaving for a $100 million contract. Free-agent heartbreak comes with being an MFFL, but will it ever change?

Will the Dallas Mavericks ever sign their guy in free agency?

Fans know the Mavericks have a lengthy history of striking out on their top target on the open market. This dates back to Dirk Nowitzki’s prime, and despite having the best young superstar in the league in Luka Doncic, things have not changed.

Will Dallas ever land their top target? Here is a look at their past heartbreaks before examining this year’s debacle and what the Mavs can do better moving forward.