Stevenson to earn $4.15M in 2010-11

Reserve guard DeShawn Stevenson has exercised his player option to return to the Dallas Mavericks next season, his agent Mark Bartelstein confirmed Monday.

Stevenson will earn $4.15 million next season, a salary he would have been hard-pressed to command on the open market come July 1 had he opted out of the final year of his contract and become an unrestricted free agent.

Acquired during the All-Star break as part of the big trade that sent Josh Howard to Washington in exchange for Caron Butler and Brendan Haywood, Stevenson saw limited action in 24 games with the Mavs. He played a total of six minutes in two playoff games against San Antonio.

His 2.1 scoring average last season, his 10th in the NBA after entering the league out of high school, was his lowest output since his rookie season with Utah.

Stevenson's role as a spot defender isn't likely to change much next season considering Butler, Jason Terry and Rodrigue Beaubois are in front of him at shooting guard.

The Mavs have a couple of expensive pieces at the end of their bench with Stevenson and shooting guard Matt Carroll, who is due $4.3 million next season. Carroll is signed through 2012-13, unlike Stevenson, who can become an unrestricted free agent after next season.

Jeff Caplan covers the Mavericks for ESPNDallas.com. You can follow him on Twitter or leave a question for his weekly mailbag.