Suns swoop in and steal buyout target from Dallas Mavericks to add to rivalry

Dallas Mavericks, Luka Doncic
Dallas Mavericks, Luka Doncic / Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

The Dallas Mavericks have never had luck in free agency. They preserved cap space for years in hopes of landing a marquee target, but the Mavs were left with a string of free-agency failures. From Deron Williams to Dwight Howard to DeAndre Jordan, Dallas never landed their desired target on the open market.

Those failures made Sunday’s late-night move sting that much more as Terrence Ross spurned the Mavericks to join the rival Phoenix Suns. It was a whirlwind of events, so let us recap.

Early on Feb. 11, there were two different rumors linking the Mavericks' interest in Ross, including by Marc Stein, who is the most plugged-in reported on the Mavs. Then, Adrian Wojnarowski reported he was being bought out by the Orlando Magic before mentioning the Mavs as the “frontrunners” to sign him when he cleared waivers. It appeared Dallas has found their wing upgrade only Woj to announce Ross changed course and was headed to Phoenix just moments before midnight. Here are three lessons before pivoting to what is next for the Mavericks.

Suns swoop in and steal buyout target from Dallas Mavericks to add to the rivalry

Mavs fans know that a signing is never done until the pen is put on the paper. It brought back some memories of 2015 when DeAndre Jordan agreed to sign in Dallas before reversing course during the moratorium and returning to the Clippers. Ross appears to have made a similar move as he looks to chase a ring in Phoenix over Dallas.

The Mavericks are not the favorite to land players in the buyout market. General manager Nico Harrison said the team is searching for wing help, but the Suns are clearly ahead of them in the pecking order after trading for Kevin Durant.

Ross heading to Phoenix only added to the team’s rivalry. The Suns are still mad that Dallas ended their season in the second round of the playoffs in 2022. Durant will square off against former teammate Kyrie Irving and the Mavericks on March 5, and it will be a cannot miss contest. Does Terrence Ross make an impact in that game? Does he become a key rotation player for the Suns down the stretch? Stay tuned to find out.

The Dallas Mavericks still have an open roster spot and multiple names will come up in the buyout market. Can they add an impactful rotation piece before March 1? If so, who ends up in Dallas? It won’t be Terrence Ross but expect the Mavs front office to stay aggressive. The Mavs will fill that spot before the playoff. The only question is which player signs the deal? Stay tuned to find out.

Next. 5 buyout candidates the Mavs should target. dark