The Dallas Mavericks have been forced to amend their plan to bring back former Mavericks stalwart Devin Harris after X-rays unexpectedly revealed that Harris has a dislocated toe on his left foot, according to sources close to the situation.
The Mavericks remain interested in signing Harris, sources said, but the parties have mutually agreed to shelve the three-year deal worth in excess of $9 million that Harris agreed to over the weekend and was poised to sign this week.
Sources told ESPN.com that Harris is now likely to have surgery on the toe by month's end to put him in line for a return to the court by the start of the NBA's regular season.
Upon learning of Harris' need for surgery, Dallas reached terms Friday on a three-year deal worth at least $25 million to sign Milwaukee Bucks free agent Monta Ellis. The money Dallas is no longer spending on Harris, sources said, has been earmarked for the signing of a big man, with Milwaukee free agent Samuel Dalembert ranking as the Mavericks' clear-cut preference after team officials spent all day Thursday meeting with him in Dallas.
After missing out in the pursuit of top free-agent target Dwight Howard, Dallas quickly struck deals with Harris and Jose Calderon with the idea -- sparked by Harris' success as an off guard in Atlanta -- that the two would start together in the Mavericks' overhauled backcourt.
The Mavs reached terms Saturday to bring Harris back to the city where he began his career as the No. 5 overall pick in the 2004 NBA draft. Dallas actually lost two guards to injury Friday while coming to terms with Ellis because first-round draft pick Shane Larkin suffered a broken ankle in the team's last practice before leaving for summer-league play in Las Vegas. Larkin is expected to miss three months, the Mavericks said.
Harris, 30, averaged 9.9 points and 3.4 assists as a part-time starter last season for the Atlanta Hawks, who were the third team he has played for since the Mavericks made him the centerpiece of a package to acquire Jason Kidd in a blockbuster deal with the then-New Jersey Nets before the 2008 trade deadline. Harris was an Eastern Conference All-Star in his first full season with the Nets.
The Mavericks have explored the possibility of reacquiring Harris numerous times since he left town in the Kidd trade, including trade discussions with the Nets in 2010 before Harris was sent to the Utah Jazz as part of Brooklyn's acquisition of Deron Williams.