As soon as the NBA moratorium was lifted late Wednesday night, Harrison Barnes put his signature on a brand new Dallas Mavericks contract.
Formerly a small forward with the Golden State Warriors, Barnes signed the four-year, $94 million contract in his hometown of Ames, Iowa, where he’s having a youth basketball camp this week. This year, the Mavericks took no chances, camping out at Barnes’ home and made sure he wasn’t going to escape.
Last summer, Los Angeles Clippers free agent center DeAndre Jordan agreed to sign with the Mavericks, but then had second thoughts about that decision. And in the night before the moratorium was lifted, Clippers coach Doc Rivers, owner Steve Ballmer and Clippers players Chris Paul, Blake Griffith, Paul Pierce and J.J. Redick all camped out at Jordan’s home in Houston to make sure the Mavericks couldn’t get to him.
This time, after Barnes signed his contract with the Mavericks, owner Mark Cuban tweeted a funny photo of Barnes handcuffed to president of basketball operations Donnie Nelson while coach Rick Carlisle held and pointed at the signed contract in his hands. Mavericks assistant vice president of basketball operations Michael Finley was also in the photo, which made its rounds on the internet.
I think he brings a lot of character. He brings youth, obviously, and then on top of everything he has a tremendous level of skill, a tremendous IQ.
Mavericks’ Justin Anderson on Harrison Barnes
“It was really cool to see that yesterday — the picture and all of that,” second-year forward Justin Anderson said. “And they got it signed.
“Coach’s expression is always funny, so that’s a good thing.”
On Thursday, the Mavericks also acquired Warriors center Andrew Bogut and a future second-round draft pick for a future conditional second-round draft pick. To clear salary cap space to acquire Bogut, the Mavericks traded forward Jeremy Evans, the rights to guard-forward Emir Preldzic and cash considerations to the Indiana Pacers for the rights to center Stanko Barac.
In addition, the Mavericks signed Argentina small forward Nicolas Brussino to a partially guaranteed three-year contract for the veteran minimum.
Barac (7-foot-1, 280 pounds) is a Croatian who averaged 6.5 points and 3.8 rebounds in 17 games last season while playing for Pallacanestro Olimpia Milano (Italy). He also helped Olimpia win the Italian Cup in 2016, and has played pro ball in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Spain, Turkey and Croatia.
Evans signed with the Mavericks as a free agent last summer and averaged 2.4 points in 8.4 minutes in 30 games last season. He had season-ending surgery on March 17 to repair a torn labrum in his right shoulder.
The Mavericks don’t expect any problems signing Dirk Nowitzki (2 years, $40 million), Dwight Powell (4 years, $37 million), Deron Williams (1 year, $10 million) and Seth Curry (2 years, $6 million).
The 6-9, 220-pound Preldzic last played for Darussafaka Spor Kulubu in Turkey and averaged 6.4 points, 2.2 rebounds and 2.7 assists in 31 games.
Also, Brussino played for Penarol in Argentina last season and is part of the Argentina National Team.
Meanwhile, the Mavericks don’t anticipate any hiccups in signing the contracts from the commitments they received from Dirk Nowitzki (2 years, $40 million), Dwight Powell (4 years, $37 million), Deron Williams (1 year, $10 million) and Seth Curry (2 years, $6 million).
Barnes replaces Chandler Parsons, who left the Mavericks via free agency to sign a four-year, $94 million contract with the Memphis Grizzlies.
“I think he brings a lot of character,” Anderson said of Barnes. “He brings youth, obviously, and then on top of everything he has a tremendous level of skill, a tremendous IQ.
“He’s just another big piece to our puzzle and it’s just going to give us another opportunity to go back and try to make a bigger push in the playoffs this year.”