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Every Mavericks 2021 free agency rumor, Part 2

Once more unto the breach, free agency is closing in.

Dallas Mavericks Jason Kidd Press Conference Photo by Glenn James/NBAE via Getty Images

Editor’s note: Our posts only leave the comments on for 30 days after publishing, so we’re republishing our rumors post again so we can continue the comments thread as free agency starts. Click here to hear Josh and Kirk speak on pre-agency.

A pivotal offseason is nearing for the Mavericks. After two straight disappointing playoff exits with Luka Doncic playing like an MVP, Dallas cleaned house, with coach Rick Carlisle and longtime general manager Donnie Nelson leaving the franchise. With that change, expectations rise for new opportunities.

The Mavericks are clearly not OK with the results the two playoffs, so we can possibly expect a raucous free agency. We’ll round up every rumor, much like we’ve done before, so you can bookmark this page or check back often to see every new rumor.

August 2, 12:54 p.m.—Grant Afseth of Dallas Basketball reports that the Mavericks aren’t expect to land either of Kyle Lowry or DeMar DeRozan.

Lowry to Miami has seemed to be almost a done deal for a day or so now, but DeRozan being off the table for the Mavericks is a new development. There were no rumors that the Mavericks and DeRozan were close to a deal, however. Dallas will have to search elsewhere for the secondary ballhandler they need to pair with Luka Doncic.

August 2, 12:00 p.m.—Marc Stein reports that Luka Doncic will not sign his five year, $202 million extension until after his run with the Slovenian national team at the Olympics. Stein also reports that the Mavericks bringing back Boban Marjanovic is “the one certainty about the Mavericks offseason...”

The news regarding Doncic should come as no surprise, as he’s consistently shooed away any questions regarding the Mavericks or the NBA. He’s laser focused on the Olympics right now.

Bringing back Marjanovic makes sense, as he and Doncic are very close, but re-signing him being the only certainty for this Mavericks front office is a little disconcerting, to say the least.

August 2, 8:00 a.m.—Jackie MacMullen of ESPN, while on the Bill Simmons podcast, mentioned that she’s heard Laurie Markkanen wants to come to Dallas to team up with Luka Doncic and Kristaps Porzingis.

The comment is around the 1:05:00 mark of the podcast, and there’s some other Mavericks discussion as well. It’s the first inkling of a connection between Dallas and Markkanen. The fourth year forward out of Arizona averaged 13.6 points and 5.3 rebounds per game last season. He’s only played in more than 52 games once in his career, though, and that was his rookie season when he appeared in 68. The Mavericks would probably be hesitant to bring aboard a player with an injury history like Markkanen unless the contract is a bargain.

August 1, 4:56 — Jake Fischer of Bleacher Report reports Tim Hardaway Jr. is no longer the Mavericks’ first priority heading into free agency

That’s a little jarring considering Stein continuously reported the Mavericks’ two priorities were inking a deal with Lowry and re-signing Hardaway. Something seems up with the front office.

Hardaway is coming off a tremendous year where he averaged 16 points while shooting 39 percent from three, and he was quite literally the only Maverick capable of generating his own bucket aside from Luka Doncic. As a gunner capable of popping off for 30-plus points any given night, the Mavericks better tread carefully. There aren’t many players like Hardaway (even with his flaws) on the market.

However, Fischer also noted the Mavericks were being linked frequently to Richaun Holmes and Kelly Oubre Jr. With the Mavericks picking up Willie Cauley-Stein’s option and likely reaching an agreement with Boban Marjanovic, Holmes would enter a crowded frontcourt. Oubre would represent a desperation free-agent signing.

August 1, 3:00 p.m — Marc Stein reports there is “extreme confidence” Dallas will re-sign Boban Marjanovic

What a bomb. Marjanovic averaged 4.7 points and 3.9 rebounds in only 33 games for the Mavericks last season but averaged 12 points and eight rebounds in four playoff games against the Clippers.

As a team/fan/organization favorite, it’s not a total head-scratching move, but it is a little bewildering this was the first leak to come out regarding the Mavericks’ plans with Lowry all but headed to Miami. The Mavericks’ sights were (and should still be) set much higher than the 13th, 14th or 15th man on the roster at this point.

August 1, 1:20 p.m Miami Heat pick up Goran Dragic’s $19.4 million player option for next season

It was later reported that this was a necessary step for a likely (if not imminent) sign-and-trade between the Heat and Raptors sending Kyle Lowry to Miami. This effectively ends the Mavericks’ pursuit of Lowry.

Of course, things can change, but it seems the player the Mavericks were heavily targeting in free agency is off the board before free agency even began.

July 28, 12:15 p.m — Mavericks expected to offer Kyle Lowry three year, $90 million deal

Speaking on Spotify Greenroom, Marc Stein stated the Mavericks offer to Lowry, but also noted that the Pelicans, who recently made moves to open up cap space, could come in and offer close the $36 million annually. Stein also noted that the Heat and 76ers have long been interested in Lowry, but his comments today sounded like the Mavericks and Pelicans were in an arms race to sign the 35-year-old point guard.

July 27, 12:45 p.m. — Mavericks focusing on retaining Tim Hardaway Jr., landing Kyle Lowry

Marc Stein — one of the media members most connected to the Dallas front office — has noted some changes to the team’s free agency plan in his newsletter. While Dallas was expected to play wait-and-see with Kawhi Leonard, Stein says the Mavericks have scrapped those plans. Instead, the team will now focus their energy on re-signing Tim Hardaway Jr. and also attempt to land veteran point guard Kyle Lowry.

July 27, 10:35 a.m. — Mavericks potentially interested in Goran Dragic

Brian Windhorst from ESPN said during a podcast that Miami Heat guard Goran Dragic has “lots of fans” in front offices of the Mavericks and Pelicans.

There’s been a lot of noise about Dragic and the Mavericks ever since Dallas drafted his Slovenian teammate Luka Doncic in 2018. During free agency in 2019, the Mavericks were thought to have traded for Dragic in what ended up being a botched trade between Miami and Dallas. Dragic and Doncic share the same agent and the Mavericks still need guard help, so the fit makes sense, even at Dragic’s age.

July 27, 10:30 a.m. — Mavericks offering Josh Richardson in trade talks

According to Jake Fischer from Bleacher Report, the Dallas Mavericks are discussing trades with Josh Richardson.

Richardson just finished his first season in Dallas after being acquired last year for Seth Curry. The trade was obviously a disaster, with Richardson shooting a career-worst from three and barely improving in any of his career marks, despite playing next to Luka Doncic and the more open Mavericks offense. Defensively, he wasn’t the difference maker the Mavericks hoped.

Richardson has an $11 million player option that makes sense for him to opt-in to, considering how low his stock is right now. If so, it makes sense for the Mavericks to move on.

July 22, 10:30 a.m. — Mavericks expected to pursue Richaun Holmes

According to Shams Charania of The Athletic, the Dallas Mavericks are expected to pursue Richaun Holmes after two breakout seasons with the Sacramento Kings. Charania also noted that the Charlotte Hornets were also expected to show interest in Holmes.

In his sixth season, Holmes turned in a career year averaging 14.2 points and 8.3 rebounds, 1.7 assists and 1.6 blocks while shooting 64 percent from the field. Holmes could command a deal somewhere between $15-$20 million per year according to The Sacramento Bee.

July 16, 12:30 p.m. — Mavericks not detered by Kawhi Leonard’s surgery; Nico Harrison a hot commodity

NBA reporter Marc Stein dropped some Mavericks-related nuggets in a post to his substack Friday morning. The two Mavs related topics revolved around the Mavericks interest in Kawhi Leonard and how sought after Nico Harrison was across the league.

Stein writes that Leonard’s recent ACL injury and surgery are not deterring the Mavericks interest in pursuing him this summer in free agency.

“Dallas, just to name one expected suitor, will not be dissuaded from pursuing Leonard even if he’s forced to miss all of next season, league sources say,” Stein wrote.

On Harrison, Stein reports that both the Los Angeles Lakers and San Antonio Spurs had great interest in bringing Harrison into their organizations.

July 14, 1:09 p.m. — Mavericks interested in former Mavs great Nerlens Noel

After a successful season with the resurgent New York Knicks, center Nerlens Noel is entering free agency. Several teams will kick the tires on the seven-year veteran, including the Dallas Mavericks, SNYtv’s Ian Begley reports.

According to league sources, Begley says, the Mavericks, Brooklyn Nets, Toronto Raptors, and Charlotte Hornets are all interested in Noel’s talent. This season, he averaged 5.1 points, 6.4 rebounds, 1.1 steals, and 2.2 blocks in 24 minutes per game. Noel appeared in 64 games with the Knicks and started 41.

July 9, 10:08 a.m. — Mavericks interested in Spencer Dinwiddie?

According to The New York Daily News, the Mavericks have shown interest in signing Spencer Dinwiddie. Dinwiddie would be an attempt to solve the secondary ball handler issues that have plagued the Mavericks during the Luka Doncic era.

Dinwiddie does not appear to be a perfect fit with Luka due to his mediocre 3-point shooting. However, his catch and shoot percentages show promise that he could improve if spoon fed the types of looks Luka often gets his teammates. In addition he would most certainly represent an upgrade in pure talent and athleticism for the Mavericks.

July 2, 7:20 a.m. — Mavericks chasing Mike Conley

According to The Athletic’s John Hollinger, the Mavericks appear to be in the market for free agent point guard Mike Conley. Conley just wrapped up a contract he signed with the Grizzlies in 2016, but finished with the Jazz. Utah has been an impressive regular season team the last two seasons, but have failed to reach the conference finals.

“The team to watch with Conley is Dallas, though,” Hollinger told Nate Duncan on a recent episode of Duncan’s podcast. “I mean, they were the team that was after him when he was a free agent last time and he re-signed with Memphis. Yeah, I would definitely keep an eye on Dallas.”

As Hollinger notes, and we wrote about at the time, the Mavericks were very interested in Conley before he re-signed with Memphis back in 2016. It would be very Mavericks to acquire Conley now, at the tail end of his career after failing to grab him closer to his prime, much like what happened with Deron Williams.

July 1, 7:57 a.m. — Mavericks in the hunt for Kawhi Leonard?

Oh boy, here we go. From The Ringer’s Kevin O’Conner’s piece that looks at the Clippers and where they go from here after losing to the Suns in the Western Conference Finals.

But Leonard can exercise his player option and become an unrestricted free agent this summer. No one knows what’s truly going on inside Leonard’s head, but front office executives and agents around the NBA often gossip about the possibility that he leaves since teams are lining up and conspiring to get him.

The Mavericks and Heat plan to make a hard push to acquire Leonard, league sources say. The Knicks will also pursue any superstar that becomes available, and a long list of other suitors would at least make an attempt if he hits the market. Who wouldn’t want a 30-year-old two-time Finals MVP still performing at an All-NBA level?

Dallas is considered by some executives to be the most serious threat to land Kawhi because of Luka Doncic’s presence and the front office’s ability to create maximum cap space or work out a sign-and-trade. During Leonard’s years with Nike, he also developed a good relationship with Nico Harrison, the Mavs’ new general manager and a former longtime executive at the company.

Leonard would obviously be the biggest free agent signing in Mavericks history if they somehow pulled it off, but it seems highly improbable Leonard wants to leave Southern California, after he made such a big stink during his time in San Antonio and even Toronto to make sure he got there. Hell, Leonard threw away a potential dynasty in Toronto just to get back to California. Why would he leave after just two seasons?

Anyway, with how poorly the Mavericks have done in the playoffs with Luka Doncic, expect the Mavericks to be attached to every single name that could be available. The Mavericks are likely hungry for massive upgrades and, well, agents sure do love to use that leverage for their clients.

Here’s the Mavs Moneyball Podcast episode on Pre-Agency. Or go find it in your favorite app. The direct link again if you can’t see the embed below either.