12 Worst free agent signings in Mavericks history

Tyler Watts
Dallas Mavericks, Chandler Parsons
Dallas Mavericks, Chandler Parsons / Ronald Martinez/GettyImages
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The Dallas Mavericks kept cap space open to chase free agents for years in the Dirk Nowitzki era. Former general manager and president of basketball operations Donnie Nelson used to keep saying about “keeping the powder dry”, but the strategy never worked out. The Mavs chased the biggest fish on the open market for years, but they could never get a bite.

NBA teams have three avenues to acquire players. The draft allows them to add young talent coming into the league, but a run of 15 playoff appearances in 16 years makes it difficult to find prospects at the back end of the first round. A trade means giving up something to add talent, but each team has a limited asset pool, and free agency allows players to decide where they want to play.

The Mavericks have taken plenty of swings in free agency over their 43 seasons as a franchise, but they have not always worked out. Here are the team’s 12 worst free-agent signings.

12. Derek Fisher

The Mavs were just over one year removed from winning the championship when point guard Darren Collison went down with a finger injury. Dallas had made the playoffs for 12 consecutive seasons, and they needed someone who could step in and start at the one.

Fisher won five championships with the Lakers next to Kobe Bryant, and he had just helped the Oklahoma City Thunder reach the NBA Finals as their backup point guard. The 38-year-old was past his prime, but he was the best available option, so the Mavericks scooped him up and immediately inserted him into the starting five.

The move turned into a total bust as Fisher last just nine games in Dallas before asking for his release. He cited spending more time with his family, but the veteran re-signed with the Thunder later in the season and helped them back to the postseason. Dallas missed the playoffs for the first time since 2000, and there was plenty of bad blood with D-Fish after he returned to play in Oklahoma City.