As expected, the Dallas Mavericks are having a quiet free agency.
The biggest story regarding the Mavericks happened to be a non-story. No, they aren’t going after former MVP Derrick Rose, a rumor that lasted maybe a split second on social media sites.
The Mavericks feel good about their depth at point guard. They have high expectations for rookie Dennis Smith Jr., the ninth overall pick out of North Carolina State, and liked what they saw from Yogi Ferrell at the end of last season.
Plus, the Mavericks have veterans in Devin Harris and J.J. Barea. Rose, quite simply, doesn’t make sense for them.
Here are three things that do make sense for the Mavericks, two of which they have already done and one which is expected to happen soon.
Re-sign Dirk Nowitzki
There was no question that Dirk Nowitzki was coming back for a 20th season with the Mavericks. He reached a team-friendly deal Thursday, signing for $5 million in the 2017-18 season. There is a $5 million team option for 2018-19.
This makes sense on both sides even though Nowitzki took a significant pay cut. The Mavericks don’t want to see the most decorated and accomplished player in franchise history end his career elsewhere, and Nowitzki has no desire to suit up for another team, even if it meant he could chase another ring.
Nowitzki’s legacy is set; he’s one of the best players in NBA history. He became just the sixth player in league history with 30,000 career points last season, and is unequivocally the best European player.
Re-sign Nerlens Noel
Noel and the Mavericks appear to be waiting to see who blinks first.
The Mavericks have made it clear that they want to retain Noel, who is a restricted free agent, and would likely match any offer sheet that Noel signs. The holdup?
Noel hasn’t signed an offer sheet yet, and the Mavericks haven’t made an offer he’s willing to sign. Eventually, something will get worked out between the two sides.
Noel is viewed as part of the young core for the Mavericks’ future, along with Harrison Barnes and Smith. The most another team can offer Noel is a four-year, $106.4 million deal, while Dallas could hand him a max contract of five years and $143.55 million.
But the Maverick might be more interested in a deal that they can opt out of after two years. They are positioned to make significant moves in the summer of 2019 with several salaries coming off the books.
Whatever happens, it’s a safe bet that the Mavericks and Noel eventually come to an agreement and he’s with the team next season.
The Mavericks have been monitoring the market, of course, but have only shown to be players on the lower-tiered moves.
They acquired forward Josh McRoberts, a 2023 second-round pick and cash considerations from Miami for center A.J. Hammons. Hammons, a 2016 second-round pick, had a standout college career at Purdue before spending much of last season in the G-league.
Hammons played in only 22 games with the Mavericks, averaging 2.2 points a game.
McRoberts, meanwhile, isn’t expected to become a difference-maker for the Mavericks. The former Duke star has battled through injuries much of his career, and played just 22 games last season. He has averaged 5.0-or-fewer points in the past three seasons, playing a combined 81 games in that span.
But McRoberts is in the final year of his contract and is owed only about $6 million. This type of acquisition won’t have any impact on the 2019 summer when, as stated, the Mavericks can become big-time players in the market.