Rumors: Dallas Mavericks not pursuing elite defensive-minded forward in free agency

Toronto Raptors v Charlotte Hornets
Toronto Raptors v Charlotte Hornets / Jared C. Tilton/GettyImages

The Dallas Mavericks have made a handful of moves in free agency, such as re-signing superstar point guard Kyrie Irving and signing Grant Williams through a sign-and-trade, but more work still needs to be done.

Dallas still needs a starting big man, and they need to move both Tim Hardaway Jr. and JaVale McGee. There have been rumors that Dallas is trying to trade them both, but no deal has gone through yet. The Mavs would reportedly even go to the extent of waiving McGee to get off his contract.

Hardaway Jr., on the other hand, holds some trade value, and the Mavs will hopefully find a trade partner for him to open up minutes for second-year guard Jaden Hardy and newly-signed sharpshooter Seth Curry.

Rumors: Dallas Mavericks not pursuing elite forward in free agency

Since Dallas still has their mid-level exception, fans have been speculating who they can use it on. The Mavs first tried to use it on two-time NBA All-Defensive Team second team wing Matisse Thybulle, but the Trailblazers matched Dallas' offer sheet.

Now fans have rotated their focus to P.J. Washington.

Washington grew up in Dallas, and Mavericks' Twitter has been buzzing about how the Mavs can land the 6-foot-7 forward. He would fit perfectly in the front court next to Williams and give the Mavs an elite defensive starting lineup.

But some news came out this weekend that would leave some fans disappointed. Marc Stein was on his weekly radio show, "Saturday Sportsworld with Marc Stein," on "97.1 The Freak" on Saturday and answered some questions regarding Washington.

Stein said that he was "reliably informed" that the Mavs haven't pursued Washington and thinks that a sign-and-trade of Washington to Dallas is unrealistic.

Washington is a restricted free agent, and the Hornets would likely match any offer sheet that Dallas threw his way. The only way to get Washington to Dallas would be through a sign and trade, and Stein said there has been no real talk of that happening.

This is unfortunate for Mavs' fans as everyone on Mavericks' Twitter seems to want Washington. Sign-and-trading for Washington would allow him to play back in Dallas, where he grew up, and give the Mavericks another young player to add to their core. He fits what they want to do and would be an excellent signing if they can get their hands on him.

But getting him to Dallas is easier said than done, and there seems to be no traction with the Mavs and Washington, according to Stein. There have even been rumors that Washington could sign his qualifying offer with the Hornets and become an unrestricted free agent next summer.

If Charlotte thinks he will leave next summer, they should consider moving him through a sign-and-trade. If not, they could risk losing him for nothing.

Stay tuned to see if the Mavs pursue Washington through a sign-and-trade. We'll have you covered with all the free agency news and rumors surrounding the Mavericks.