What could turn out to be one of the biggest days in Dallas Mavericks history will occur Wednesday when representatives from the organization meet with free agent small forward Carmelo Anthony.
The top prospect on the Mavs’ shopping list this summer this side of LeBron James, Anthony met with the Chicago Bulls on Tuesday. The 11-year veteran who spent the last 31/2 seasons with the New York Knicks will meet with the Houston Rockets on Wednesday morning, with the Mavs on Wednesday afternoon, and with the Los Angeles Lakers and Knicks next week.
When the free agent clock started ticking late Monday night, Mavs owner Mark Cuban had dinner with one of his own free agents — guard Devin Harris. The Mavs already have a gentlemen’s agreement with Dirk Nowitzki, who is set to agree to a contract that will pay him much less than the $22.7 million he earned last season.
The 36-year old Nowitzki knows if he waits to sign his contract after the Mavs can secure Anthony or another top free agent, it will give Dallas maximum flexibility.
On Tuesday, the Mavs also had contact with representatives of free agents Luol Deng, Chandler Parsons, Vince Carter and Shawn Marion. They also have interest in Al-Faroug Aminu, Trevor Ariza, Chris Andersen, D.J. Augustin and Isaiah Thomas. If the Mavs can’t get Anthony, Parsons — a restricted free agent — is the player Dallas desires the most.
The Mavs clearly want to sign a premier player so they can make Nowitzki the team’s No. 2 option on offense. Regarding the possibility of acquiring Anthony, Nowitzki recently said: “He’s one of the most explosive scorers that we have in this league. Do I think it’s realistic [that the Mavs will sign Anthony]?
“No, but you’ve got to definitely explore all your options. I learned with Mark and [president of basketball operations] Donnie [Nelson] that anything is possible.”