Mavs, Devin Harris Share Interest In Return

Point guard Devin Harris demonstrated his value to the Mavs in their seven-game challenge of the Spurs, scoring 11.4 points in 25.1 minutes per game and nailing 44.0% of his three-point attempts. That no doubt plays a role in his inclusion as part of Tim McMahon’s short list on of Mavs free agents with whom the team has mutual interest.

Harris returned to Dallas, where he had played his first three and a half seasons, on a one-year contract for the minimum salary this past summer. It was supposed to be a three-year, $9MM pact, but a toe injury scuttled those plans and kept him out until January 18th. He returned to a role that was his most marginalized on an NBA team since his rookie season, scoring 7.9 points in 20.5 minutes per game with career-worst 37.8% shooting from the floor. The 10th-year veteran nonetheless compiled his best assists-to-turnover ratio, averaging 4.5 dimes and 1.5 turnovers per game.

McMahon reported the Mavs’ mutual interest with Shawn Marion last week, and Marion said this weekend that he would indeed like to come back to Dallas, though he added that he’s “weighing my options,” as fellow scribe Bryan Gutierrez observes. The other Mav on McMahon’s list is Vince Carter, and Dallas GM Donnie Nelson said a month ago that he wants Carter back. Marc Stein of emphasizes Carter’s contentment in Dallas in passing along that the Raptors are considering the idea of pursuing the 37-year-old Carter in the offseason.

Harris probably won’t attract too much attention on the free agent market given his regular season numbers, but Dallas has his Non-Bird rights to trump any minimum-salary suitors. The Mavs can give him a contract of up to four years, with a starting salary of $1,526,735, or 120% of his pay this season. That’s only slightly more than the minimum, but it does provide for higher raises than a straight minimum-salary arrangement would, which might prove a key selling point for the Excel Sports Management client.

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