Mavericks’ Free Agency Activity Already Improving


The Mavericks have become a bit of a laughingstock across the league over the last ten years when it comes to free agency. It all began when Mark Cuban famously broke up the 2011 championship team in pursuit of Deron Williams, only to then skip town during the free agency meeting to film an episode of Shark Tank. Unsurprisingly, Williams chose to sign elsewhere.

Then there was Dwight Howard. Then Carmelo Anthony. Then Deandre Jordan. Then Mike Conley and Hassan Whiteside. Then Kemba Walker. The Mavericks seemingly have never actually come down with their top target. Which is not to say they haven’t made impactful if tier-two additions in the past. Jose Calderon, Monta Ellis, Deandre Jordan, Harrison Barnes, Wesley Matthews, Chandler Parsons, and Seth Curry all signed once the bigger fish took their talents elsewhere.

But now with Donnie Nelson and Rick Carlisle gone, there have been a couple of encouraging signs as the new frenzy approaches at the beginning of August. In the past, the Mavericks have constantly been reported to be “confident in their chances to sign X”, which of course, means next to nothing. In fact, that exact verbiage was used earlier this very offseason, when the Mavericks were reported to be “confident” in their chances of re-signing Tim Hardaway Jr.

But on the open market, that type of reporting seems to have changed. Shams Charania reported the Mavericks “could be a suitor” for Chris Paul, and “could have interest” in fellow free agent point guard Dennis Schroeder. These types of nuggets offer some insight into not only the kinds of players the Mavericks will be pursuing, but the possibilities they have to actually sign them in the meantime. Being connected to these individual players doesn’t mean they will be able to sign any of them necessarily, but it does suggest the team is finally not just being used as leverage to boost the value of other players.

Nico Harrison and Jason Kidd are, without a shadow of a doubt, going to be more appealing to outside players than Rick Carlisle and Donnie Nelson were. Mark Cuban seems to have hired the two of them for precisely that reason. Going forward, the two of them have immense pressure to follow through on that mandate, and in the case of Kidd, actually develop Josh Green, Tyler Bey, Tyrell Terry, and other young players the team brings in in order to get the most of every player on the roster. The Mavericks will likely add a flashier name or two than usual this offseason, but until they begin to improve the roster one player at a time, Harrison and Kidd have a lot to prove.

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