Dallas Mavericks

Aldridge tops Mavericks’ off-season free-agent wish list

Power forward LaMarcus Aldridge has spent his first nine seasons in Portland.
Power forward LaMarcus Aldridge has spent his first nine seasons in Portland. AP

In recent years the Dallas Mavericks took a swing and missed while pursuing free agents Dwight Howard and Deron Williams.

But that won’t stop owner Mark Cuban and Donnie Nelson, the president of basketball operations, from taking more swings in free agency.

“Our standards are very high, Mark’s standards are very high,” coach Rick Carlisle said. “Donnie and I share those, and so it’s another big summer.

“With a lot of free agents, there’s a lot of cap space and there are going to be a lot of decisions. My hope is that we can get as many guys back from this team as possible because there are a lot of terrific players that did a lot of great things.”

Beyond their own top free agents, which includes Tyson Chandler, Monta Ellis (he has a player option), Amar’e Stoudemire, Al-Farouq Aminu, J.J. Barea and Richard Jefferson, the Mavericks will be in hot pursuit of some of the league’s top free agents.

Here are some of the players the Mavericks will probably pursue:

▪ Portland power forward LaMarcus Aldridge: Aldridge has spent his first nine seasons with the Trail Blazers, but might be looking for a new home. The four-time All-Star grew up in nearby Seagoville. The acquisition of Aldridge would allow the Mavericks to bring Dirk Nowitzki off the bench, if that becomes part of their strategy next season.

▪ Memphis center Marc Gasol: If the Mavericks do not re-sign 32-year-old Tyson Chandler, they definitely will pursue the 30-year-old Gasol. A two-time All-Star and 2013 Defensive Player of the Year, Gasol is a fierce defender who averaged 17.4 points, 7.8 rebounds, 3.8 assists and 1.6 blocks per game this season. He also does a good job running the pick-and-roll play.

▪ LA Clippers center DeAndre Jordan: Jordan graduated from Christian Life Center Academy in Humble and played collegiately at Texas A&M, and has a strong desire to play for the Mavericks. This season the athletic Jordan led the NBA in rebounds (15.0) and field goal shooting (71 percent), was fourth in blocks (2.23), tied for third in double-doubles (47), and had a 22-point, 27-rebound game against Dallas.

▪ Detroit PF/C Greg Monroe: An aggressive center who was one of only 14 players to average a double-double this season. Monroe averaged 15.9 points and 10.2 rebounds and is a solid defender. He’s only 24 years old.

▪ Detroit point guard Reggie Jackson: Now 25, Jackson started blossoming as a playmaker while playing behind Oklahoma City’s Russell Westbrook before he was traded to Detroit on Feb. 15. In 27 games as a starter, Jackson averaged 17.6 points, 4.7 rebounds and 9.2 assists per game. He is a restricted free agent, so the Pistons can match any offer Jackson receives.

Dwain Price, 817-390-7760

Twitter: @dwainprice

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