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The Mavericks plan to offer Harrison Barnes a max contract, per report


Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

The Mavericks have plans to offer Warriors forward Harrison Barnes a four-year max offer sheet on July 7, per ESPN's Marc Stein.

Barnes is a restricted free agent, which means the Warriors will have the opportunity to match the offer sheet if Barnes signs it. Dallas can't offer it until July 7, when the NBA's moratorium ends, at which point Golden State will have 72 hours to make a decision. The Mavericks expect the Warriors to match Barnes at that price -- a four year deal worth $94 million -- unless Kevin Durant joins them, per Stein. However, Dallas will likely try it anyway.

In every possible way, this is ridiculous. On Thursday, we all watched as the Mavericks' chilly farewell to Chandler Parsons, with the free agent forward officially signing with the Grizzlies on Friday. Dallas determined Parsons wasn't worth a max contract like he wanted and received from Memphis, so they didn't even sit down to talk with him. Mark Cuban tried to get him to opt into a player option, but after Parsons laughed that idea away, there was essentially no further communication between the two sides.

Parsons has injury concerns and he'll never be a great first option, but Harrison Barnes isn't even close to him. Barnes benefits from being on one of the greatest teams in NBA history, and he's fresh off a terrible postseason where he couldn't even make open shots. Normally, he does -- Barnes is an above average shooter, decent at the rim and can three positions effectively. By all accounts, though, he's nothing more than that. There's some quirks to his game that you could see him tap into as a top scorer, but he simply doesn't have the skills overall to be anything more than a fifth starter.

The Mavericks laughed off a max offer to the first guy, only to plan it for the second. This has to be the most elaborate prank in the history of the NBA. What are you possibly doing right now?

The truth is, the Mavericks clearly completely misjudged this free agency (not the first time), and now they're scrambling to recovery. Dallas missed on Hassan Whiteside, Mike Conley and Nicolas Batum. They haven't signed or even offered any other free agents anything thus far in free agency. They like the idea of snagging a good player that another team is trying to dump so they can get under the salary cap, but in reality, that 1) probably isn't going to happen and 2) probably isn't going to happen for Dallas if it does, since the Mavericks don't really have trade assets.

This move reeks of desperation, which isn't a good look. But Dallas can't tank, because Dirk Nowitzki's still on the roster and not planning to go anywhere, and nearly every other top-30 free agent is off the board. So here we are.