Dallas has limited funds to offer, but sources told ESPN.com that Lin is giving the Mavericks strong consideration even though he can likely make more money elsewhere.
Lin's relationship with Mavericks forward Chandler Parsons from their days as teammates in Houston, sources said, has kept Dallas in the race despite its lack of financial flexibility. Parsons, of course, had a huge hand in the recruiting of DeAndre Jordan to the Mavericks in the richest free-agent score in team history.
Dallas has a huge hole at point guard after the free-agent departures of Monta Ellis (to Indiana) and Rajon Rondo (to Sacramento). The Mavericks willingly let those players go to create the needed salary-cap space to strike deals with Jordan and Wes Matthews, but they now need a starting point guard.
The Mavericks are close to striking a deal to re-sign veteran guard J.J. Barea and still have Raymond Felton on the books, but Lin has emerged as Dallas' top free-agent priority at this point after the team landed Jordan and Matthews.
One possibility, sources said, is that the Mavericks could waive-and-stretch Felton's contract if they get a commitment from Lin to create a salary slot of $2.6 million.
The Mavs also have the room exception of $2.8 million available, a slot that could go to Lin or Barea.
ESPN.com's Tim MacMahon contributed to this report.