Within the same weekend, the Dallas Mavericks lost out on the Dwight Howard sweepstakes and watched Darren Collison bolt for Hollywood and sign with the Los Angeles Clippers. Needless to say, Mavs fans were as low as they’ve ever been, especially after the disappointing seasons the team has suffered through over the last two years. But the 2011 NBA champs got some fantastic news on Sunday when Devin Harris agreed to a three-year deal to return to Dallas.
Mavericks fans remember Harris, who was arguably the main reason why the team advanced to its first NBA Finals appearance in 2006 while riding the hot hand of the then-sophomore point guard. Harris earned a starting role in those Finals, in which Dallas came up short of bringing home the title and was then shipped to the Brooklyn Nets (then New Jersey Nets) two years later. Now an 11-year veteran, Harris is returning to his NBA roots at just the right time.
The Mavericks are in desperate need of a point guard and somebody to take part of the load off Dirk Nowitzki and although Harris isn’t a superstar, he’s certainly better than any of the other options in Dallas right now. For pessimistic Mavs fans who were absolutely deflated when Howard chose the Houston Rockets as his new team, this is a step in the right direction.
Those specific fans have been extremely unhappy with Mavs owner Mark Cuban for “blowing up” the title team after the 2010-11 NBA season, and they were even more unhappy when he signed a bunch of washed up stars to one-year deals right after that. Not only did Cuban bring Harris back, but he signed the 30-year-old to a three-year deal, meaning he’s not just a rental.
The Mavs still have a long way to go to get their team back to title contention before Nowitzki’s career ends, but the Harris signing is a huge step for this franchise, and especially its fan base.