The Mavs don’t plan to spend big money on a point guard this summer.
Yes, they’re searching for a starter after the Rajon Rondo experiment blew up in their faces, but they only have so much cap space. Center and shooting guard are the priority positions.
That means the Mavs must be thrifty in trying to fill the starting point guard spot. They’re essentially looking to find a point guard to split time with Devin Harris, who the Mavs would prefer to keep as part of their second unit.
Don’t expect the Mavs to get in on the bidding for Goran Dragic, who is expected to get a near-max contract to stay in Miami. Restricted free agents such as Brandon Knight, Reggie Jackson and Patrick Beverley will all also probably be too rich for the Mavs’ blood.
Dallas would have liked to address this position in the draft. However, the pair of point guards they liked at No. 21 – Jerian Grant and Delon Wright – were selected with the two picks just before the Mavs went on the clock. The Mavs would like to bring back J.J. Barea as a fourth guard again, but they still need to scour the bargain bins in free agency for point guard help.
Some potential fits:
Mo Williams: He lives in suburban Dallas and expresses interest in playing for the Mavs seemingly every summer. The Mavs should have signed him last summer, when he likely would have accepted the cap-room exception they gave to Jameer Nelson instead of signing with Minnesota for $1 million more. Williams, who averaged 14.2 points and 6.2 assists for the Timberwolves and Bobcats last season, would be a great value for the cap-room exception this summer. But he’s reportedly interested in rejoining LeBron James in Cleveland.
Jeremy Lin: The Linsanity days are long gone, but his ability to create could help the Mavs. He has also improved as a 3-point shooter, hitting a career-best 36.9 percent for the Lakers last season, when he averaged 11.2 points and 4.6 assists per game. His friendship with former Rockets teammate Chandler Parsons could help the Mavs in the recruiting process.
Aaron Brooks: Brooks was a minimum-salary bargain for the Bulls last season, averaging 11.6 points and 3.2 assists in 23 minutes per game. He has a Barea-esque game – can create off the dribble, particularly as a pick-and-roll ballhandler, but his size presents problems defensively.
Nate Robinson: Another Barea type. Hasn’t been the same player since tearing the ACL in his left knee in January 2014. Soreness in that knee was one of the reasons Robinson was unemployed late last season. But Robinson has shown the ability to score in bunches during his career. A team might not have to guarantee his contract to sign him.
Cory Joseph: The 23-year-old Joseph is a restricted free agent who developed into a solid backup for the Spurs. He made $2 million last season. Would San Antonio match for much more than that?
C.J. Watson: A solid pro who shot 40 percent from 3-point range while averaging 10.0 points and 3.6 assists as the Pacers’ backup last season. Made $ 2 million in 2014-15.
Norris Cole: Restricted free agent with career averages of 6.6 points and 2.6 assists per game. The analytics aren’t pretty for him.
Donald Sloan: Sloan, who played at Seagoville High with LaMarcus Aldridge, has yet to earn a regular rotation spot in the NBA. But the Mavs were surely impressed during Sloan’s last visit to the American Airlines Center, when he scored 29 points on 10-of-14 shooting to lead an injury-ravaged Indiana team to a win.