NBA Free Agency: Dallas Mavericks Sign Harrison Barnes To Max Deal, Trade For Andrew Bogut

The Dallas Mavericks spent much of the first few days of NBA free agency coming up empty as the team looked to improve upon a 2015-16 season that saw them finish with a 42-40 record and the No. 6 seed in the Western Conference. Unfortunately, their third leading scorer, Chandler Parsons, opted out of his contract, and Zaza Pachulia and Dirk Nowitzki became free agents.

With so many questions to answer, the Mavericks were having a hard time getting free agents to come to Dallas. The team went hard after Hassan Whiteside just as free agency began early Friday morning, but the big man chose to re-sign with the Miami Heat. Dallas then turned its attention to point guard Mike Conley, but Conley ended up spurning the Mavericks to stay with the Memphis Grizzlies.

Running out of options, the Dallas Mavericks signed Golden State Warriors restricted free agent Harrison Barnes to a max offer sheet over the weekend worth $94 million over four years. It was expected that the Warriors would match any offer sheet for Barnes, but on Monday, Kevin Durant made the surprising decision to sign with Golden State, which instantly led to the Warriors letting Barnes walk and sign with the Mavericks.

The 24-year-old Barnes was a huge piece of the Warriors’ championship run in 2015, but couldn’t find his shot in the 2016 NBA Finals against the Cleveland Cavaliers. During the regular season, the former North Carolina product averaged 11.7 points, 1.8 assists, and 4.9 rebounds as the fourth or fifth option on any given night.

With the Dallas Mavericks, Barnes will instantly become one of the top options on offense. Dallas Mavericks leading scorer Dirk Nowitzki is expected to return, but he’s 38-years-old, and second-leading scorer Deron Williams is coming off of a season marred by injuries. Barnes should instantly step into the role vacated by Parsons for the Mavericks and should have an opportunity to put up some big numbers.

In addition to adding Barnes, Dallas will benefit twice from Durant choosing the Warriors as the two teams have reportedly agreed to a trade involving center Andrew Bogut. The deal is nothing more than a salary cap dump for the Warriors, but would be a coup for the Mavericks as the team has been looking for a starting center since Zaza Pachulia became a free agent.

The 31-year-old Bogut won’t offer much in the way of offense for Dallas, but he’s one of the best defensive big men in the NBA. In addition to his defensive prowess, Bogut’s expiring contract is also enticing to the Mavericks, who will likely turn their attention to the 2017 offseason after whiffing on all the major stars once again this offseason.

Adding Barnes and Bogut may not be enough for the Mavericks to make noise in the Western Conference next season. A number of teams in the West did a nice job of improving their rosters. The Utah Jazz look to be much improved, as do the Memphis Grizzlies, Minnesota Timberwolves, and New Orleans Pelicans, which could make it difficult for Dallas to even sniff the playoffs in 2016-17.

That being said, Mavericks owner Mark Cuban and general manager Donnie Nelson did the best they could with what was available. Unfortunately, another failed offseason likely will mean missing the playoffs for the Dallas Mavericks, and that will infuriate Cuban.

[Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images]