The Dallas Mavericks have attempted to land several big fish in free agency over the last few seasons, but have continued to strike out.
The Mavericks, who have an owner committed to winning in Mark Cuban and have no state income tax, seem like a very desirable destination. That’s why this year the Mavericks are once again after a top tier free agent in New York Knicks’ forward Carmelo Antony and although they secured a visit, it doesn’t seem like a realistic option.
Joel Brigham of Basketball Insiders see Ariza and Deng as excellent options for the Mavericks.
That leaves Trevor Ariza and Luol Deng, two very different players that could each brings a measure of respectability to the Mavericks’ starting lineup. Neither is nearly as good as Carmelo, but Ariza would add three-point shooting and Deng would add a solid two-way game for a winning team that has thrived in recent years on the abilities of underrated veterans much like him.
Going this route would mean Marion is gone, and it would make it nearly impossible to bring back both Harris and Carter, but there’s a good opportunity for them to find a solid starting small forward, even if they don’t get Anthony.
The Los Angeles Lakers are also interested in acquiring one of the two. The Los Angeles Clippers, Miami Heat and Phoenix Suns have all shown interest in Ariza and Deng has been connected to nearly half of the teams in the league.
Deng averaged 16.0 points, 5.7 rebounds, 2.9 assists and 1.0 steals per game while shooting 43.1% from the field, 30.2% from three and 79.1% from the charity stripe. Ariza went for 14.4 points, 6.2 rebounds, 2.5 assists and 1.6 steals per game. He shot 45.6% from the field, 40.7% from beyond the arc and 77.2% from the free throw line.