Over the last couple of years, the Dallas Mavericks have had big plans in free agency.
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They took apart a large portion of their 2011 title team in order to make a run at big name free agents over the last few seasons. They first pursued former Utah Jazz and current Brooklyn Nets’ point guard Deron Williams to return to Texas where he played high school basketball, but he remained with the Nets. Last year, they hoped to get into the mix for former Orlando Magic and Los Angeles Lakers’ center Dwight Howard, but he signed with the Houston Rockets instead. The Mavericks did add a few nice pieces like Jose Calderon and Monta Ellis, which helped them get back into the postseason, but it clearly wasn’t enough to turn them back into a contender.
This year, the Mavericks are expected to be active again (and they already have been, acquiring center Tyson Chandler from the New York Knicks) and will pursue stars like New York Knicks’ forward Carmelo Anthony.
However, according to Mitch Lawrence of The New York Daily News, the Mavericks may believe their best chance at landing a free agent is Cleveland Cavaliers’ forward Luol Deng.
"The Mavs will court Carmelo Anthony, but it wouldn’t surprise me if they go into free agency thinking their best shot is to get Luol Deng. He’s a better fit for Rick Carlisle, with his willingness to play defense and the fact that he doesn’t need the ball. Dirk Nowitzki won’t even look at other teams when he becomes free. I’ve got to think Deng is also on Chicago’s radar if the Bulls can’t get Melo"
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.