NBA free agency has been officially open for about two weeks. Thus far, the Dallas Mavericks have made upgrades at the small forward and center positions in Chandler Parsons and Tyson Chandler, respectively, and filled some of the roster with serviceable players in Raymond Felton and Richard Jefferson. The front office and the community of Dallas fans should be happy with the way things have unfolded to this point, but it hasn’t come without a price.
The Mavericks have had to bid farewell to two starters from last season’s squad already, as Jose Calderon and Samuel Dalembert were included in the trade that brought Chandler and Felton to the team. The lost chunk of the starting rotation will likely increase to three in the next few days, as Shawn Marion is expected to move on to a situation offering him more money than he can find in Dallas at this point. Vince Carter, the team’s sixth man for the last two years and a vocal leader in the locker room, rounds out the list of major names shipped out of Dallas since the end of the season.
Dallas has done well so far this offseason, but the cost has led them to scrape and claw to regain some semblance of the depth enjoyed by the team during the 2013-14 season. The names of Lance Stephenson and Mo Williams have been kicked around as the next addition to the team, with Williams as the most likely candidate to receive the Mavericks’ cap room exception of about $2.73 million, considering Stephenson’s perceived value is higher than that and his reported character issues. Don’t be confused; if the Mavericks had some shot at landing Stephenson for the price of the cap room exception, they would do it, but it’s almost completely out of the question.
Williams would satisfy much of the need in Dallas as it stands today, with experience, three-point shooting, a scoring charge off the bench and the versatility to play both guard positions. The Mavericks would be happy to have him, and they would be justified in that feeling.
But consider this name: Evan Turner. Turner would give Dallas everything Williams would, plus some things he wouldn’t — the potential to become the starting point guard and great deals of youth and energy, most notably. Turner’s name has been left almost completely out of free-agent discussions in the last two weeks until today. He seems to have flown under the radar, and his monetary value is unclear as a result.
Until being traded to the Indiana Pacers, Turner spent the beginning of his young career with the Philadelphia 76ers, proving that he’s a capable scorer in the NBA. Now, he seems a bit lost in the shuffle, and if he’s available for what the Mavericks have to offer financially, he might represent the best opportunity for Dallas to strike gold with a new sixth man.
It can’t hurt to give it a shot.
And hey, if you can convince Marion to accept it, that wouldn’t be bad either.
Brian Ogle is a Dallas Mavericks columnist for Rant Sports. Follow him on Twitter @TheOgle.