It appears Mavericks backup center Ian Mahinmi is on his way out of Dallas. In the opening 90 minutes of free agency, seven teams contacted the 6-foot-11 Frenchman. The Mavs were not one of them.
According to a source with knowledge of the situation, Mahinmi has a top-three wish list among the the seven teams interested. Years and dollars will be discussed over the next couple of days. Asked if his time in Dallas has come to an end, the source said, "Yeah, I guess so."
Until Dallas gets an answer from Deron Williams, they are mostly handcuffed to add salary.
Mahinmi, 25, spent the last two seasons with Dallas, moving from third-string center on the 2011 championship team to the backup role behind Brendan Haywood last season. Mahinmi got off to a strong start but tailed off during the middle of the season and saw his playing time and production suffer.
The lanky, 6-foot-10 Brandan Wright, whose team option was picked up and will return next season for about $1 million, ate into Mahinmi's playing time.
However, in the four-game first-round sweep to the Oklahoma City Thunder, coach Rick Carlisle rarely turned to Wright as Mahinmi averaged 7.3 points and 4.5 rebounds in 17.5 minutes a game to lead the team's three centers in all three categories.
The Mavs have Brendan Haywood under contract for the next three seasons at about $27 million, although he is a top amnesty candidate if Williams agrees to sign with the Mavs in the coming days. Dallas will have to amnesty Haywood or Shawn Marion to create enough cap space to add Williams at a max contract.
Mahinmi averaged career highs of 5.8 points and 4.7 rebounds in 18.7 minutes a game, a spike of 10 minutes a game more than his first season in Dallas when Tyson Chandler was the starting center with Haywood serving as the backup.