Dallas Mavericks: Free Agency and the Harrison Barnes effect

(Photo by Hector Vivas/Getty Images)
(Photo by Hector Vivas/Getty Images) /

The Dallas Mavericks have done some work this offseason by signing key players such as Reggie Bullock and Sterling Brown. Both Bullock and Brown are interchangeable at the shooting guard and small forward position. The team also re-signed Tim Hardaway Jr. and traded for Moses Brown.

There is just one big problem though:

The Dallas Mavericks have had trouble signing a marque big name free since overpaying Harrison Barnes.

Back in the summer of July 2016, the Mavs signed Barnes to a four year 94 million dollar deal. For the team, this was a huge deal because they had not over-paid for a free agent in quite some time.

During his time with Dallas, Barnes averaged 18.7 points per game to go along with 5.2 rebounds and a .390 three-point shooting percentage. In just three seasons, most experts would consider this a success. Heck I would even applaud Barnes for his service, if his resume was just based on points. However, not everyone was excited for the work he brought. Some fans even wanted more.

However one main problem was the Mavericks overpaid for the former star.

Go back to the 2014-2015 NBA season and examine the late Kobe Bryant’s contract. That season Bryant pilled up 23,500,000 million dollars. Contrast that with Barnes contract, and well they are basically identical. I am sure there is a list of a ton of other players who are or were All-Stars that received the same amount of pay as Barnes did too.

This where Dallas free agency comes in.

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One, they are afraid to overpay for a player like Barnes. Think about it, the highest paid free agent this offseason was the re-signing of Tim Hardaway Jr. This upcoming NBA year Hardaway Jr. is expected to receive around 18 million. So you are telling me that someone who is Luka Doncic’s right hand man is making less than what Barnes did? One can only hope that Mark Cuban and company will learn to break the bank again.

The second issue ties into the fact that if the team signs another Barnes like player, they want him to be more than just a a scorer. This ties into the reason Bullock was brought. He can shot from beyond the arc and defend the pick and roll if needed. If you examine the team’s current roster, they already have shooters such as Doncic, Kristaps Porzingis and Hardaway Jr. Looking back at the Barnes signing, the reason he shined on the offense was because no one else on the team was able to fill in the shooting void.

While the Barnes signing seems like so long ago, it still lingers on the team’s ability to sign marque free agents.

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Cuban and his team still have a lot of work ahead of them and fans can only hope that their workload this offseason is no where near complete.

The answer now is quite simple: get over the Barnes effect, sign key roles and get Doncic the help he deserves.

  • Published on 08/06/2021 at 13:36 PM
  • Last updated at 08/06/2021 at 13:36 PM