The Dallas Mavericks snuck into the playoffs this year and gave the San Antonio Spurs all they wanted before losing in game 7.
Now, the focus shifts to a very important offseason for the Mavs. They will have $30 million in cap space to help them revamp into a major contender again.
That starts with re-signing Dirk Nowitzki, who has said that he wants to end his career in Dallas and he will take a pay cut to help the Mavs make some noise in free agency. It's widely assumed Nowitzki will sign a two or three Tim Duncan type deal worth about $10 million a year so that he can stay in Dallas and help the team draw some talent to go further in the postseason.
Shawn Marion, Devin Harris and Vince Carter are also free agents, along with Nowitzki. All three have expressed that they hope to be back in Dallas and the feeling seems to be mutual from the team, but all three also have free agency sutors, and all three don't want ot be underpaid.
The NBA playoffs have officially come to an end for the Dallas Mavericks and Toronto Raptors after both teams were unable to capture a victory in Game 7 of their respective first-round series. Despite being beaten in the first round, the Raptors and Mavs are hoping to come back stronger next season with smarts moves made in the off-season.
According to Marc Stein of ESPN: Carter has proven to have something left in the tank and the Toronto Raptors appear interested in bringing him back.
The Raptors want to bring Carter, 'home', but Carter has been happy in Dallas, too. So it will probably come down to money, and the Raptors will probably be willing to pay more.
Carter started his career in Toronto back in 1998 and instantly made an impact. His above-the-rim game quickly became the face of the Raptors, while turning them into a legitimate contender. Carter became a superstar, especially in Toronto. After six years in Toronto, Carter was traded to the New Jersey Nets in 2004 to play alongside Jason Kidd. Carter bounced around quite a bit after being traded once again on draft day in 2009 to the Orlando Magic. Then he spent a season with the Suns before landing in Dallas. Now entering the twilight of his career, it would be fitting for him to run to his old home.
Devin Harris, who played last year for the league minimum, would also like to stay in Dallas, if the price is right. But apparently the Chicago Bulls would like to make things interesting. Rumor has it that the Bulls are trying to bolster the team, and be prepared to lose Derrick Rose to injury again, if he can't stay healthy. He has had two knee surgeries in two years, and Harris would be a solid veteran to help out.
With the Mavericks this season, Harris averaged 7.9 points per game and 4.5 assists per game while playing 20 minutes per game.
Marion has made it known that winning is more important to him this year than making truck loads of money. The fifteen year vet, like Nowitzki, wants to go out a winner. If the Mavericks can surround him with enough talent, Marion will want to stay and be part of it.