What had been obvious since this morning is now official. The Mavericks have struck out on all three of their top free agency targets, as Mike Conley has re-signed with the Memphis Grizzlies on a five-year, $153 million max contract, the richest ever in NBA history.
The Mavericks were believed to be in play to pry Conley away from their division rivals, but the tide quickly shifted after Hassan Whiteside declined the Mavericks offer and returned to Miami. Later on Friday, Chandler Parsons chose to sign a four-year max deal with the Grizzlies, a deal that Conley helped orchestrate. At that point, there was no chance he wasn't returning to the Grizzlies, especially after they were willing to offer him the full five-year max, nearly $40 million more than Dallas could offer.
At this point, there's really nothing to say. Dallas drastically undervalued this free agency, and believed they could swing Conley, Whiteside or Nicolas Batum with only Dirk Nowitzki and Wesley Matthews on their books. This is the same reason past max players wouldn't sign with them: there wasn't enough on the roster. Free agents make decisions independent of each other, and Dallas spurned the one free agent who would have willingly return in Parsons.
Memphis will be a really good team next year, with health as the one obvious question. But I'd rather gamble on health than on ... nothing? The Mavericks don't really have anything else as of now, and it quickly seems like they're running out of things they could acquire. We'll have plenty more time to process how Dallas' front office screwed this up. Right now, it's official that there's no more true difference makers left on the market that Dallas could obtain.