The Dallas Mavericks are heading into free agency looking to make a major splash. Mark Cuban has always been known for his aggressive offseason moves and he is hoping to make one at the center position. Last offseason, the Mavericks thought they had DeAndre Jordan locked up, but he changed his mind and ended up re-signing with the Los Angeles Clippers.
Looking ahead at the upcoming free agency period, there are a couple names that would make sense in the front-court for the Mavericks. There is one in particular that would take the Mavericks back into contention in the Western Conference.
According to a report from Alex Kennedy of Basketball Insiders, the Mavericks will meet with Hassan Whiteside in free agency soon after it opens at 12:01 tomorrow morning.
Whiteside would be a huge difference maker for the Mavericks if they end up signing him. He would make one of the NBA’s toughest front-court duos alongside Dirk Nowitzki assuming the German giant re-signs.
Last season with the Miami Heat, Whiteside ended up averaging 14.2 points, 11.8 rebounds, and 3.7 blocks per game. He shot 60.6 percent from the field overall and knocked down 65.0 percent from the foul line. Adding those numbers to the lineup would make the Mavericks a much better team.
Cuban can pitch a much larger offensive role to Whiteside, just like he did with Jordan. Miami didn’t use their star big man much on the offensive end of the court. He could be an absolutely dominant post scorer if he is used properly and the Mavericks have experience with success in their front-court.
At 27 years old, Whiteside would be a big long-term pickup for the Mavericks as well. After Nowitzki decides to retire, Whiteside could end up being the face of the franchise. That may very well be a draw for him as well.
Looking at the other teams interested in signing Whiteside that he will meet with, Dallas could be the best fit for him. Miami would offer him the same role that he has had over the last couple of years and he simply hasn’t played up to his full potential. Portland would be an intriguing fit, although they will be run by their back-court of Damian Lillard and C.J. McCollum.
Needless to say, the upcoming NBA offseason is going to be extremely entertaining for the fans. There hasn’t been an offseason in recent years with the kind of money that is available to be spent with the talent that is on the market.
Dallas certainly seems like a serious contender for Whiteside, although many believe that he will end up heading back to Miami.
Expect to hear plenty of rumors in the coming hours about both the Mavericks and Whiteside as free agency gets underway. It sounds like Whiteside is the No. 1 target for the Mavericks and he is the key to their entire offseason. Cuban will have to make the sales pitch of his life in order to snag Whiteside, which he is more than capable of doing.
Miami and New York both make sense for Whiteside as well and it sounds like he would like to make a decision early on in free agency. He likely would’t mind wrapping free agency up on the first or second day if possible. Seeing his list of meetings is already trimmed down to three shows he has a good idea of what he wants and where he wants to play the next chapter of his career.
Do you think the Dallas Mavericks are the best landing spot for Hassan Whiteside in free agency? Would he power them back to the upper half of the Western Conference? Let us know your thoughts in the comment box below!
[AP Photo/Joe Skipper]