Dallas Mavericks

Mavericks use offer sheet to Barnes to get back in free-agent game

The Mavericks offered Warriors forward Harrison Barnes a four-year max contract worth approximately $95 million. But Golden State will have the opportunity to match the deal.
The Mavericks offered Warriors forward Harrison Barnes a four-year max contract worth approximately $95 million. But Golden State will have the opportunity to match the deal. AP

After a titanic disaster on Friday’s opening day of free agency, the Dallas Mavericks are left to pick through whatever credible pieces they can salvage this off-season.

Players still available on the free-agent market who might fit the Mavs’ mold include Golden State forward Harrison Barnes and Chicago center Pau Gasol. And the Mavs have decided to offer Barnes — a restricted free agent — a four-year max contract worth approximately $95 million.

The offer sheet will be signed Thursday, and the Warriors will have three days to match it or allow Barnes to walk away without compensation.

On Friday, a trail of players on the Mavs’ wish list agreed to free agent contracts elsewhere, including Hassan Whiteside, Mike Conley, Nicolas Batum, Evan Fournier, Al Jefferson, Evan Turner, Dwight Howard, Al Horford and Jeremy Lin.

That forced Dallas to huddle up and breathe new life into an off-season that hasn’t gotten off to a great start.

The 6-foot-8, 225-pound Barnes, the seventh overall pick in the 2012 draft, would replace the departed Chandler Parsons at small forward. Barnes is better on the defensive end of the court, while Parsons is a more efficient offensive player, creator and ball handler.

Last season, Barnes averaged 11.7 points and 4.9 rebounds while shooting 46.6 percent from the field and 38.3 percent from 3-point range.

But in the last three games of the NBA Finals, Barnes averaged just five points on 5-of-32 shooting from the field, including 3-of-15 from 3-point territory.

With the Cavs’ defense focused on Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson and Draymond Green, many of Barnes’ misses were wide-open looks.

Meanwhile, San Antonio and Portland appear to have the inside tracks on signing Gasol.

Mavs lose opener

Cameron Payne nailed a 3-pointer with 3.6 seconds to go to give Oklahoma City an 86-85 victory over the Mavericks in the opening game for each in the Orlando Summer League.

Payne led the Thunder with 16 points. The Mavericks got 16 from Andre Dawkins, who shot 5 of 8 from the field, and 15 from Vander Blue, who missed a potential game-winner at the buzzer.

Dwain Price: 817-390-7760, @dwainprice

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