Dallas Mavericks: Kirk Hinrich

Free-agency preview: Point guards

June, 23, 2014
Jun 23
Shaun LivingstonAP Photo/Frank Franklin IIShaun Livingston, left, can ably fill both guard spots; Greivis Vasquez is a proven assists man.

The Dallas Mavericks' plan is to re-sign Devin Harris as Jose Calderon's change-of-pace backup at point guard for 2014-15.

The mutual interest between the Mavericks and Harris is strong, so there is a high probability that he will return. The negotiations have a natural starting point of a three-year deal worth a little more than $9 million. Harris and the Mavs originally agreed to the offer last summer before the discovery that he needed complicated toe surgery, which led to Harris signing a one-year contract for the veteran’s minimum salary and missing the first half of the season.

The Mavs want Harris back because he’s one of the league’s better backup point guards, is a high-character fit for their culture, has excellent chemistry with his teammates and has corporate knowledge of coach Rick Carlisle’s schemes. However, if for some reason the Mavs can’t hammer out a deal for Harris, there should be several quality backup point guards available with similar or perhaps even lower price tags.

The Mavs, who are pleased with Calderon as their starter, will not be in the market for Toronto’s Kyle Lowry. They’d love to land Phoenix’s Eric Bledsoe, a dynamically athletic 24-year-old with star potential, but the Suns are expected to match any offer the restricted free agent receives.

Some point guards who could be fits for the Mavs if Harris heads elsewhere:

Shaun Livingston: The fourth pick in 2004 has seen his career derailed by a devastating knee injury, but he’s worked his way into being a quality role player, averaging 8.3 points and 3.2 assists in 26 minutes per game for the Brooklyn Nets last season. Like Harris, the 6-foot-7 Livingston, 28, is capable of providing quality minutes at both guard positions.

Steve Blake: The 34-year-old Blake’s intelligence and competitiveness made him a Kobe Bryant favorite during his time with the Los Angeles Lakers, but he’s declined as an athlete. He’s a decent 3-point shooter and passer, but he’s not nearly the off-the-dribble threat that Harris is. Heck, he might not even be the off-the-dribble threat that Calderon is.

Patty Mills: In his fifth NBA season, Mills emerged as a lethal shooter off the Spurs’ bench, playing an important role in their title season. But unless another team overpays him, why wouldn’t Mills re-sign with San Antonio and try to help them repeat for the first time in franchise history?

[+] EnlargeDJ Augustin
AP Photo/Michael DwyerD.J. Augustin, a former Longhorn, likely earned a big raise with last season's performance; Jerryd Bayless, right, brings athleticism but is lacking defensively and as a playmaker.
Mario Chalmers: His Miami tenure might come to an end after he played so poorly in the Finals that he was benched for Game 5. He’s still a solid point guard with career averages of 8.6 points and 3.8 assists in 27.5 minutes per game. Would he accept a reserve role after recently starting for two title teams?

Mo Williams: Williams has career averages of 13.3 points and 4.9 assists per game and has performed well as a sixth man for teams that have made the Western Conference semifinals -- the Clippers and Trail Blazers -- in two of the past three seasons. The 31-year-old is capable of running an offense and playing off the ball. But he’s looking for a raise after declining an option to make $2.8 million in Portland next season.

Kirk Hinrich: He’s a less-athletic, better-perimeter-shooting version of Harris and a smart veteran capable of playing both guard spots. Hinrich averaged 9.1 points and 3.9 assists per game for the Bulls last season, serving primarily as a starter due to Derrick Rose’s injury. He’s earned a reputation as a good defender, but at 33 with a long injury history, how much tread is left on his tires?

Ramon Sessions: Sessions has put up pretty good numbers (11.7 PPG, 4.7 APG) mostly for bad teams throughout his career, having made the playoffs only once in his seven years. The Mavs had discussions with his agent two summers ago but weren’t willing to make more than a one-year offer.

Greivis Vasquez: The 6-foot-6 Vasquez has played for four teams in four seasons despite leading the league in assists in 2012-13, averaging 13.9 points and 9.0 assists per game for a 27-55 New Orleans team. Vasquez, a restricted free agent, has made it clear that he hopes to return to Toronto.

Jordan Farmar: A reserve on the Lakers’ two most recent title teams, Farmar was out of the NBA for a year before returning to L.A. last season and averaging 10.1 points and 4.9 assists in 41 games. He’s a decent defender and has the quickness to create off the dribble plays.

Jerryd Bayless: The 6-foot-3, 200-pound Bayless is a big point guard with explosive athleticism and can occasionally score in bunches, but he’s bounced around to five teams during his six-year career. He’s not much of a playmaker (2.9 assists per game in his career) and doesn’t defend as well as a guard with his physical gifts should.

Brian Roberts: Roberts, a 28-year-old with only two seasons of NBA experience after playing overseas for several years, averaged 9.4 points and 3.3 assists per game as a part-time starter in New Orleans last season. He’s a good spot-up shooter but doesn’t penetrate well and is challenged defensively due to his size (6-foot-1, 180 pounds).

D.J. Augustin: A lottery pick in 2008, the 26-year-old former Texas star rejuvenated his career coming off the Bulls’ bench last season. Averaging 14.9 points and 5.0 assists in 30.4 minutes per game after signing in mid-December, Augustin was one of the league’s best minimum-salary bargains. How big of a raise will he get?

Beno Udrih: The veteran lefty, who turns 32 in July, has come up in trade talks with the Mavs a few times over the years. He averaged 7.9 points in 16.4 minutes per game in the playoffs for the Grizzlies after Nick Calathes’ suspension forced Memphis to give backup minutes to a midseason addition. If the Mavs miss out on other veterans, Udrih could be a fit for the veteran’s minimum.

If Deron Williams doesn't come, who does?

June, 27, 2012
The leading question about the Dallas Mavericks heading into Sunday's start of free agency is, if not Deron Williams, then who?

Well, it's a fine question. In fact, if the Mavs lose out on Williams to the Brooklyn Nets, they could very well be on full alert for a starting and backup point guard. Jason Kidd, also a free agent on Sunday, has spent a lot of time talking about playing with Williams in Dallas or Brooklyn. Kidd led the Nets to two Finals appearances a decade ago and has an affection for New York. He's also talked highly about the club's prospects as it moves to Brooklyn under Russian billionaire owner Mikhail Prokhorov.

So not only could the Mavs be in line to miss out on one of the league's elite point guards, they could also lose their starting point guard from the last four-plus seasons.

In Thursday's draft, the Mavs could certainly pull the trigger on North Carolina point guard Kendall Marshall if he's available when Dallas picks at No. 17. And while trades are always a possibility, the Mavs will look to replenish the point guard position, to whatever extent, in the free-agent market.

The free agent market isn't dripping with game-changers at the point. Here's the top contenders:

Steve Nash, Suns -- The former Mav is 38 and still truckin' at an elite level. He has said he's interested in a multiyear deal and he wants fair market value, no discounts.

Goran Dragic, Rockets -- Stands to get a significant raise from his $2.1 million salary. Broke out last season, his fourth, after Kyle Lowry's injury. Rockets will want to re-sign him.

Andre Miller, Nuggets -- Seems like he's been underrated his entire career, but now at 36 he'd serve as a relatively inexpensive stop-gap in Dallas. Has been reported that Denver wants him back.

Kirk Hinrich, Hawks -- His better days are well behind him. Picking him up as backup would be far more palatable than settling on him as your starter.

Chauncey Billups, Clippers -- One of the most respected players in the league, he's getting long in the tooth and is coming off that awful Achilles' injury. Clips reportedly want him back.

Ramon Sessions -- Turns out he wasn't the Lakers' savior. Sessions has opted out of his deal to test free agency. His playoff performance certainly won't encourage teams to break the bank.



Monta Ellis
20.6 4.7 1.5 33.7
ReboundsT. Chandler 11.5
AssistsM. Ellis 4.7
StealsM. Ellis 1.5
BlocksT. Chandler 1.4