Top Mavericks free agent target Hassan Whiteside has never made more than the league minimum. In line for a max contract for the first time, Whiteside wants to make his decision as soon as possible, planning to decide his team on July 1, according to ESPN's Michael Wallace.
If Whiteside does decide on the first day of free agency, it's great for the Mavericks. Dallas plans to pursue Whiteside along with Mike Conley as their top two free agents, and the biggest danger to their plan is that other free agents will sign elsewhere while they wait on Whiteside's decision. That happened last season, albeit under extreme circumstances when DeAndre Jordan initially agreed verbally before backing out days later.
Let's say Whiteside says yes to the Mavericks on July 1. If he does, Dallas now has another bargaining chip for Mike Conley, or flexibility to move on and attempt to retain Chandler Parsons or sign another wing. Like Wesley Matthews initially swayed Jordan last July, Whiteside could be the move that free agents want to see before committing to Dallas.
And if Whiteside says no, as long as it's on July 1, the Mavericks can immediately pivot. They can quickly get in on the Ian Mahinmi or Bismack Biyombo sweepstakes, or start courting Parsons once again, since they know they'll have the money even if Conley accepts. They can wait out Dwight Howard and see if his price falls. Either way, the flexibility of pursuing a top free agent who plans to make his decision almost immediately is very good for Dallas, even if Whiteside worries you as a player.
The Mavericks had nothing to do with this stroke of good fortune, but here we are. Perhaps this is the type of luck Dallas needs to finally strike free agency gold in the July rush that's quickly approaching.