The Dallas Mavericks entered the offseason with high hopes. With New York Knicks’ forward Carmelo Anthony and the Miami Heat’s big three of forward LeBron James, guard Dwyane Wade and big man Chris Bosh all opting out of their contracts to become free agents, the Mavericks believed they’d be in the running to acquire a superstar to join their own free agent star, forward Dirk Nowitzki (who has already agreed to re-sign with the Mavericks for $30 million over three years).
Although they received a visit from Anthony, that visit has been called a “charade” and it would be a shock to see Anthony sign with the Mavericks. The Mavericks have turned their attention to other small forwards, a pair of unrestricted free agents in Trevor Ariza of the Washington Wizards and Luol Deng of the Cleveland Cavaliers and a pair of restricted free agents, Chandler Parsons of the Houston Rockets and Gordon Hayward of the Utah Jazz.
Tim McMahon of ESPN Dallas believes Ariza is the most likely “plan B” to sign with the Mavericks and also considers him the best fit among those they are looking to acquire.
Of the Mavs’ four Plan B targets, Trevor Ariza is arguably the best fit, considering his 3-point shooting and defense. He’s also likely to be the most affordable.
Ariza, 29, is asking for a four-year contract with a starting salary in in the $9-11 million range. That’s less than what Luol Deng wants – and one source expects Deng to get the deal he’s seeking from the Atlanta Hawks. It’s probably less than what it would take to get restricted free agents Chandler Parsons or Gordon Hayward, given their current teams’ right to match any offer.
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.