Will the Mavericks strike out in the 2019 NBA free agency?
The Dallas Mavericks’ main priority in the 2019 NBA offseason is to convince Kristaps Porzingis, who they acquired from the New York Knicks before the February NBA trade deadline, to sign a contract extension. Porzingis is yet to play a single game as a Maverick, but he seems to be very interested in staying long-term in Dallas. The Mavericks’ offseason won’t end in re-signing Porzingis as they are also expected to chase big names on the free agency market.
In a recent appearance on Ben & Skin Show on 105.3 The Fan, as quoted by The Dallas Morning News, Marc Stein of the New York Times talked about the Mavericks’ plan in the summer of 2019. Stein revealed that Kemba Walker of the Charlotte Hornets and Khris Middleton of the Milwaukee Bucks will be on the top of the list of Mavericks’ free-agent targets. However, Stein also said that he doesn’t see any of them heading to Dallas in July.
“I’m here to exclusively reveal that they will not sign Kemba Walker and Khris Middleton. I can promise you that right now. If they can get one of them, I’ll try and let Ben and Skin emcee a parade. It’s the Mavs. They’re going to try. They’re always going to put their hat in the ring and scoff when media guys like me say ‘you don’t have a chance at that guy.’ Middleton and Walker are at the top of the list, but to be very clear, their fantasy/dream would be getting one of them.”
As Stein noted, the Mavericks are “legitimately intrigued” by Kemba Walker, and he expects Dallas to get a chance to make their free agency pitch to the All-Star point guard. However, the Mavericks won’t be Walker’s only suitor this summer. If Walker decides to part ways with the Hornets, some people see him signing with his hometown New York Knicks in free agency. In the past few months, there were also rumors that the Los Angeles Lakers would consider Walker as their “Plan B” if they fail to acquire their top targets on the free agency market.
Khris Middleton would undeniably be a great fit with Luka Doncic and Kristaps Porzingis, but Stein revealed that he’s highly expected to stay put in Milwaukee in the 2019 NBA free agency. Stein said that the only way Middleton would become available on the market is if something seriously goes wrong with the Bucks this summer.
Meanwhile, even without talking to league sources, Stein believes that the Mavericks have “zero chance” of signing the likes of Kyrie Irving, Kevin Durant, Kawhi Leonard, and Klay Thompson in the 2019 NBA free agency. However, knowing Mavericks owner Mark Cuban, they will at least try to call all those big names when free agency hits in July.