The Mavericks might not have put up any pleading billboards around town, but it’s no secret that their recruiting pitch to Dwight Howard scheduled for Tuesday in L.A. is the franchise’s top priority for the first few days of free agency.
But Mark Cuban certainly wasn’t going to miss out on the action when the free agency frenzy opened at a minute past midnight Eastern time.
“Getting ready to make some phone calls ! Lets go Mavs ! #MFFL !” Cuban tweeted 10 minutes before the madness officially began.
Cuban’s bank account is basically frozen until the Dwight Decision comes down, but the Mavs’ front office spent the late-night and early-morning hours putting out feelers and attempting to get a feel for what the market might bear.
Howard is Priority A, but B is addressing the point guard position, a problem all of last season. Anyone who considered the Mavs declining to make a qualifying offer to would-be restricted free agent Darren Collison to be newsworthy apparently missed him losing his starting job to a 37-year-old who was unemployed for the first half of the season.
It’s no surprise then that the Mavs are among several teams to express interest in point guards Jose Calderon and Mo Williams, according to a league source. The Mavs have long been intrigued by Calderon, who they discussed trading for last season. Calderon is also drawing interest from Detroit, Houston, Atlanta and New York among other teams.
The Mavs were also reportedly among several teams to reach out to small forwards Andre Iguodala and Chase Budinger and shooting guard Kevin Martin. One team source considers Iguodala to be the third-best player in this free-agency crop, behind only Howard and Chris Paul, who has already committed to re-sign with the Clippers.
The Mavs have interest in re-signing O.J. Mayo and Brandan Wright, depending on the markets for each player. At this point, it appears likely that Mayo will be out of the Mavs’ target price range, with USA Today reporting his likely suitors will include the Jazz, Bucks, Timberwolves, Clippers, Trail Blazers, Bobcats and Bulls. Mayo, who will hold all of his meetings in Los Angeles, said during Dirk Nowitzki’s Heroes Celebrity Baseball Game on Saturday that he’d like to return to Dallas but is clearly looking for a big payday after playing last season on a one-year, $4 million deal.
There are surely several other free agents the Mavs have expressed interest in as Cuban and Co. begin the no-stone-unturned process of trying to rebuild a championship contender over the next two offseasons.