Devin To Stay With Mavs At Desired Price

A few days ago, DB.com asked Devin Harris about his off-season focal point. 'Besides the contract?' he responded, laughing. One of the Mavs' focal points was sealing a deal with the veteran point guard, and while Devin kidded about money desires, he's about to settle on a below-market price here.



The Dallas Mavericks are working on sealing a deal with Devin Harris, with the likelihood being that he gets the sort of deal (three years and $9 million) that was on the table for him in Dallas before the toe injury was revealed.

That is fair on many levels. Fate robbed Harris of that contract a year ago, causing him to sign a vet's-minimum one-year contract. He has this offseason openly spoken about wanting that total $9-mil opportunity again. ... and a source tells DB.com that is indeed the range here.

It is also a relative bargain, given the recent contracts given to guards Shaun Livingston, Ben Gordon, Patty Mills, Avery Bradley, Jodie Meeks and Darren Collison.

The questions:

*Will this agreement (due to be signed July 10) in any way clog Dallas' pursuit of a big fish like LeBron James?

*Does this mean Dallas is still searching for moves at point guard, including a possible $4-mil salary-dump of Raymond Felton?

*Or, a budget signing of Dallas-based Mo Williams)?

*Are the Mavs better at the point overall if Devin starts in place of the departed Jose Calderon? Or is Harris to be the leader of a second wave off the bench?

(That last idea is optimal, because Devin's chemistry extends beyond Dirk and to Wright and Carter, too. But the roster is in flux; it's not guaranteed that Wright and Carter are on it. And Devin as a backup would mean somebody beating out Devin for the No. 1 spot. We'll see about that.)

*Doesn't this accentuate the Mavs' need to acquire shooters? And not just a backup; a starting small forward who can shoot?

But regardless of all the questions, Harris does provided an important answer for the Mavs, who made him a priority of sorts with their 11:01 p.m. "Dinner With Devin'' on the free-agency-window opening night. His chemistry with Dirk Nowitzki and others is key. He's among the few Mavs with skills as a perimeter defender and a rim attacker. And he's most definitely MFFL, as this deal is about to prove.

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