Despite him fielding more offers to coach than play in 2018-19, the Dallas Mavericks elected to bring Devin Harris back for another season. And despite my eyebrow raising at the move, Harris acquitted himself well in his fifteenth season.
Harris played 68 games, averaged just under 16 minutes a game while chipping in just over 6 points and just under two rebounds and assists per game. While Harris played consistently throughout the year, his role changed as the Mavericks dealt first with injury to J.J. Barea, then as the team’s makeup changed with the trades of most of the initial starting line up he helped fill in the gaps.
Harris still can’t shoot well from distance or from anywhere, really, yet the 35 year old guard found himself at the line twice a game despite his limited minutes. Devin Harris may not be especially good compared to the player he once was, but he still played as hard as possible when given the chance. On a team populated with rookies and role players, that sort of thing mattered in an often maddening 33 win season.
Harris finished a one year deal and will be a free agent in July.
Much like myself, I assume Harris has considered hanging it up repeatedly. But why would he when this whole thing might finally be fun for a whole season? Harris has indicated as much when talking to reporters for exit interviews. But are the Mavericks interested in bringing back Harris, a player in their record books, tied for seventh all time in games played in a Dallas uniform (with J.J. Barea)?
They’ll say yes, for now. But even end of bench spots start to matter and when faced with interest from both Barea and Harris, the Mavericks may have to make a choice. Battle tested veterans matter to any team, but the thought of paying two players who perhaps should retire may not be the best idea.
But it’s still April. And both Harris and the Mavericks may end up changing what they want in the season to come.