The Dallas Mavericks were hoping to land a big fish in free agency this offseason. Instead, it looks like they may have to once again settle for their backup plan, which is something they did after they lost out on center Dwight Howard to the Houston Rockets last year. This offseason, New York Knicks’ free agent forward Carmelo Anthony was the target.
Although Anthony visited with the Mavericks, their meeting has been classified as a “charade.” The Knicks may now be turning their attention to Cleveland Cavalier’ free agent forward Luol Deng.
However, according to Tim McMahon of ESPN Dallas, the Mavericks don’t want to pay Deng the $12-14 million he desires.
Hayward, who is reportedly meeting with the Charlotte Bobcats and has had extensive talks with the Cavs, is asking for more a deal that starts in the $12-14 million range. The Mavs aren’t likely to get in the bidding for Hayward at that price.
The Mavs also have no intention of paying Deng that much. They have significant concerns about the 29-year-old Deng’s durability after years of him being a workhorse for the Chicago Bulls and dealing with back and Achilles tendon issues recently. They value him as a versatile, tenacious defender with a career scoring average of 16 points per game, but Deng’s subpar 3-point shooting isn’t ideal for a Mavs team that is suddenly short on long-distance threats.
The Atlanta Hawks, who have created plenty of cap space for themselves, would love to land Deng and are pursuit, but $12-14 million seems a little steep for them (or any other team) as well.
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 last season.