Dallas Mavericks

Kemba Walker, Al Horford highlight the Dallas Mavericks’ top free agent targets

Three points on Kemba Walker’s free agency

Charlotte Hornet's Kemba Walker becomes an unrestricted free agent on June 30th.
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Charlotte Hornet's Kemba Walker becomes an unrestricted free agent on June 30th.

Are you ready?

If not, we advise you to buckle up.

When the clock strikes 5 p.m. CT on June 30 it will signal a time in the NBA that is rivaling the excitement of the season itself: The start of free agency.

While Kawhi Leonard, Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving will capture the most headlines this summer, don’t anticipate the Dallas Mavericks to land any of those coveted superstars.

Instead, focus on these names while keeping in mind that the Mavs will have around $30 million in projected cap space to play with; that’s within the top 10 most cap space of any team this off-season.

These are the top 5 free agent targets for the Mavs

1. Kemba Walker: The Charlotte Hornets guard will be in high demand but, according to the New York Times’ Marc Stein, the Mavs and Boston Celtics have emerged as the front-runners for the All-Star. He would be the perfect fit to pair in the backcourt with Luka Doncic. However, Walker has said that staying in Charlotte was his first priority and that he would be willing to take less than the supermax to stay.

2. Al Horford: The thought of the pick-and-pop game between the Boston Celtics post and Doncic should have #MFFL salivating, and it appears to be a real possibility. Horford declined his player option for the 2019-20 season, which means that he will likely not be returning to Boston. He would compliment Porzingis well given his ability to play outside or bang down low. he doesn’t need the ball to make an impact and would be the consummate professional, which you can never have enough of., especially with Dirk Nowitzki no longer on the roster. There’s a thought, though, that Horford could get a four-year deal worth in excess of $110 million. Would Dallas be willing to pay that for this 33-year-old?

3. Patrick Beverley: This Los Angeles Clippers guard and defensive gnat is the type of player that you love to hate... unless he is on your team. The Mavs need a point guard to play alongside Doncic and could use the help defensively on the perimeter as well. There are rumors of the two sides having mutual interest and then there is also what Beverley told NBA.com back in May on the prospects of playing alongside Doncic: “Of course. He’s ball dominant, makes the right plays. If that does come, it would be me, Luka, Tim Hardaway Jr., (Kristaps) Porzingis, Coutrney Less. It’s tough when you actually think about it.”

4. Khris Middleton: The Milwaukee Bucks All-Star is coming off by far his best season of his career. Reports came out last week that he was going to decline his $13 million player option, but there is still a chance that he could re-sign with a team that was two wins away from an NBA Finals appearance. That said, Dallas makes a lot of sense for the former Texas A&M Aggie. The Mavs need perimeter shooting, which Middleton does extremely well, and he could pair up with two of the more intriguing young stars in the game. But when it comes down to brass tacks, he can seek a five-year max deal from Milwaukee and only get a four-year max deal elsewhere.

5. Nikola Mirotic: This Milwaukee Bucks stretch-four isn’t the most attractive name on this list, but he warrants consideration because of his ability to shoot from the outside. He averaged 15.2 points and 7.4 rebounds per game last season between New Orleans and Milwaukee. Worth noting that he, Beverley and Doncic all have the same agent in Bill Duffy.

Dallas Mavericks rookie Luka Doncic recorded his second triple but Toronto Raptors win 123-120

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Sports editor William Wilkerson is back for his second stint with the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. He first worked at the paper after graduating from the University of Texas at Austin. He most recently was the Executive Editor of College-Team Sites for CBS Interactive/247Sports and has also worked at ESPN, Scout.com and the Austin American-Statesman.