Update: Harris' deal is structured to give the Mavericks a bit more financial breathing room this summer. It increases incrementally the following two seasons.
Harris' contract is structured to give smallest possible year 1 salary, he'd make $2,870,813 in 2014-15. $3,000,000 and $3,129,187 next 2— Nate Duncan (@NateDuncanNBA) July 5, 2014
Update: Tim McMahon is reporting that Harris will continue to come off of the bench because the Mavs like him and Brandan Wright together. Hopefully this means the Mavs intend to get rid of Felton somehow and sign an actual starting point guard.
Mavericks, I'm told, are closing in on a verbal agreement to bring back point guard Devin Harris. Sides expected to strike three-year deal— Marc Stein (@ESPNSteinLine) July 5, 2014
Good news: the Mavericks will again have a point guard who is not Raymond Felton or Gal Mekel! That's right folks, Devin Harris isn't going anywhere. As usual with Dallas Mavericks, Mark Stein was first to report the two sides had reached an agreement.
With teams signing guards to ridiculous deals left and right, I know a lot of Mavs fans were worried that the price to keep Harris might rise. If Ben Gordon is worth $9 million over two years and Jodie Meeks is worth $19 million over three years, then surely it is going to cost significantly more than initially expected to bring Devin Harris back to Dallas, right? Well, I have even more good news:
That's right. Devin Harris. 3 years. Whatever in the heck Donnie Nelson and the front office is doing is working really well, making other front offices look a little silly. Compared to the deals for Avery Bradley (4 years, $32 million), Darren Collison (3 years, $16 million), and Shaun Livingston (3 years $16 million) Harris seems to be an early steal in free agency.
As the roster stands now, it's hard to predict his role. He's the second best guard on the roster at the moment, so he's probably penciled in as the starter along with Monta Ellis. However, his role as 6th man off the bench last year was vital, particularly when considering his work with both Brandan Wright and Vince Carter. Preferably, Dallas is able to locate another guard in free agency to strengthen the Dallas depth.
Additionally, the Mavericks absolutely have to start signing some shooters. If Devin is the starter, a line up of Harris-Ellis-(SF free agent TBD)-Dirk-Tyson NEEDS serious perimeter shooting in order to run an actual NBA offense. Both Harris and Ellis can hit long range jumpers, but neither is exceptionally consistent from the outside.
The Mavs aren't officially out of the Carmelo Anthony trade yet, but since he reportedly wants the max, it's a safe bet to assume he won't be a Maverick. I'd love to see the Mavericks should do everything they can to pry Chandler Parsons away from Houston. His range would be the perfect addition to a potent Dallas offense. Otherwise, Trevor Ariza is probably the best option at this point, but he will not be cheap.
For now, everyone rejoice that the Mavericks again have a starting-caliber point guard on the roster, and for much cheaper than most feared.
And in case anyone is counting, so far Dallas has signed Dirk Nowitzki to a 3 year, $30 million deal and Devin Harris to a 3 year, approximately $9 million deal. Or as Kirk put it:
What'ever it is you are doing, Donnie Nelson, keep doing it.— Kirk (@KirkSeriousFace) July 5, 2014
The mothership's Ricky O'Donnell reports on the signing.
Tim MacMahon of ESPN Dallas shares his thoughts.