The Dallas Mavericks lost Chandler Parsons, and now struck out on his potential replacement. Free agent small forward Nicolas Batum has agreed to remain in Charlotte for a 5-year, $120 million deal, according to The Vertical's Shams Charania.
On Friday morning, Hassan Whiteside also announced he was staying in Miami. Dallas lost out on two of the three top free agent targets just like that.
Batum tweeted Thursday that he was heading to Dallas, but not officially to meet with Mark Cuban. His agency is based out in Dallas, and while he was reportedly supposed to meet with the Mavericks, it appears in hindsight that it was an afterthought based on proximity. With "no chance" of Parsons returning to Dallas, Batum seemed like he could be an easy replacement. But he won't be that guy, as the extra year and extra money seemed to be too good for the Charlotte playmaker to pass up.
Batum isn't a max player by production standards, but his value increases by the current state of the NBA alone. He's also the same type of player Parsons is, only a better defender and somewhat more trustworthy playmaker, averaging six assists last year in Charlotte. After spending seven seasons in Portland, the Trail Blazers traded him to Charlotte and gave the Hornets a much-needed multi-dimensional weapon on the wing. His presence was instrumental in Charlotte's postseason run and taking the Miami Heat to seven games in the first round.
Given his success in Charlotte and being a perfect fit in Steve Clifford's system, it's no surprise to see the Hornets retain Batum and attempt a deeper playoff run than this year.
Dallas seemed confident before in making Justin Anderson the full-time starter at small forward with Parsons' eventual exit looming, and that's not necessarily a bad thing. But in terms of an immediate upgrade and production, the Mavs struck out on this one again.