The Dallas Mavericks added more potency to their point guard situation Saturday when they agreed to a three-year contract with Devin Harris worth more than $9 million.
Harris, 30, played for the Mavs from 2004 until they included him in a blockbuster trade with the New Jersey Nets on Feb. 19, 2008, that helped land Jason Kidd in Dallas. Harris also played for the Utah Jazz before last season, when he averaged 9.9 points and 3.4 assists while shooting 43.8 percent from the field in 24.5 minutes per game for the Atlanta Hawks.
While adding Harris to their roster is viewed as a bonus, the Mavs lost one of their own point guards Saturday when Darren Collison agreed to a two-year contract with the Los Angeles Clippers. In his lone season with the Mavs, Collison averaged 12 points and 5.1 assists per game.
The agreement with the 6-foot-3 Harris, who also played shooting guard with the Hawks, comes one day after the Mavs came to terms with free-agent point guard Jose Calderon. With rookie Shane Larkin, Israeli pro Gal Mekel, Calderon and Harris, the Mavs have fully addressed their need for a point guard.
Mekel agreed to a three-year, $2.3 million contract with Dallas last week.
The Mavs’ other huge off-season need — a rim protector — has yet to be addressed. After losing out on Dwight Howard, among the players in discussion are Andrew Bynum, Nikola Pekovic and Jermaine O’Neal.
Harris was the No. 5 overall pick by the Washington Wizards in the 2004 draft. The Mavs acquired Jerry Stackhouse, Christian Laettner and the rights to Harris in a draft-day trade that sent Antawn Jamison to Washington.
When the Mavs advanced to the NBA Finals for the first time in 2006, Harris averaged 9.9 points and 3.2 assists in 22.8 minutes per game while having a prominent role as the backup to starting point guard Jason Terry. Harris’ speed has always been one of his most valuable assets, especially his ability to blow by defenders.