DALLAS — Dallas Mavericks guard Devin Harris will become a free agent Tuesday.He’ll be one of six Mavericks who will become free agents, joining Dirk Nowitzki, DeJuan Blair, Vince Carter, Shawn Marion and Bernard James.Players can not sign free-agent contracts until July 10, when the league salary cap is set.Harris, 31, is in his second stint with the Mavericks. He averaged 7.9 points and 4.5 assists last season and had some big moments in the first-round loss to the eventual champion San Antonio Spurs.Harris, who recently returned from vacation, has played nine seasons in the league with four teams, including his first stint with the Mavericks from 2004-2008.Last off-season, Harris had agreed to a three-year deal worth more than $9 million, but that was before a physical revealed a toe injury that required surgery.Instead, he signed a one-year, $1.3 million deal.Now he’s back on the market for the second consecutive season, but he would prefer to stay with the Mavericks.“This is where I want to be,” Harris said. “If it works out, that’s obviously what we would want to do.”Harris recently participated in Dirk Nowitzki’s Heroes Celebrity Baseball Game in Frisco and the Mavericks Summer Hoop Camp at Richland College in Dallas. What’s the most important thing when you’re going through your contract negotiations? Years. Stability. Do you still feel good about the possibility of being back with the Mavericks? I do. What do you think are some things the fans don’t really know and they should know about the NBA and business? Business takes precedent over personal every day of the week. Sometimes with negotiations, they can get a little nasty, but you’ve just got to try to take a clear head and try to do what’s best for you in any type of situation. Dallas traded for Tyson Chandler and Raymond Felton. Even though you’re not for sure about your return status, what’s your thoughts on the trade? I think the move for Tyson was big on Dallas’ part just because I think he had his best year under Dirk. I think he fits what Dirk needs as a back-front court mate and just the defense that he brings. He’s not a guy you need to throw the ball to in the post. He’s a consistent roller. He knows what to look for. He can be a defensive backbone. All those things fit well with I think a guy like Dirk. What do you think the trade does for the Mavericks’ chances of reeling in one of the big-name free agents? I think it definitely helps moving forward. You definitely have a defensive type player in Tyson, obviously a perennial All-Star and Hall of Famer with Dirk, and if we can add some pieces around there, I think it becomes more attractive than say 24 hours ago. You took (San Antonio) to a seventh game and then they won it all. Did that make you feel better? No. We still lost like everybody else. It just took a little bit longer to get there, but they’re a great team. And obviously, they played well. They played like a team on a mission. I think we kind of woke them up a little bit, and from there, they really came out and played extremely well. Where was vacation this year? Little of everywhere. I went to Italy for a little while. I was in Costa Rica a couple of days, surfing. Just bounced around a little bit. How’s the surf? Very well, actually. It’s fun. The water’s great over there.
Here’s a look at the Dallas players who became free agents Tuesday:
1. Dirk Nowitzki: The Big German will never wear another team’s uniform and has already said he’ll take a significant pay cut to free up money so the Mavericks can sign other free agents.
2. Shawn Marion: For the past five years — sans three seasons ago when Tyson Chandler held the honor — Marion has proven to be the Mavericks’ best defender. He’ll be back at a considerable discount from the $9.3 million he made last season.
3. Vince Carter: The San Antonio Spurs, Portland Trailblazers and Toronto Raptors are among the teams that are pursuing Carter who, even at age 37, was a reliable contributor to the Mavericks’ success this past season. He’ll be back.
4. Devin Harris: Harris will return, and the negotiations will begin with that 3-year, $9 million contract the Mavericks pulled off the table last summer when they discovered he had an injured foot.
5. DeJuan Blair: If nothing else, Blair proved in the playoff series against San Antonio that he can be effective against most teams. But it’s unlikely he’ll return next season.
6. Bernard James: In his second season this past year, James was the fourth center on what was a three-man rotation in the middle, so it’s iffy it’ll he’ll be brought back.