The Mavericks missed out on another center with multiple All-Star appearances.
The Mavs had shown interest in the 34-year-old O'Neal, who was a four-time All-Star while playing for Rick Carlisle in Indiana last decade, as a low-cost backup center. He averaged 8.3 points and 5.3 rebounds in 55 games for the Suns last season.
Sources with knowledge of the team's thinking said O'Neal was not one of the team's upper-echelon priorities in free agency. The Mavs had been in talks with O'Neal, sources said, but were not ready to commit while they continue to negotiate with several other free agents.