Before DeShawn Stevenson got a little carried away in celebration of that NBA championship, he put together a pretty respectable season coming off the bench down in Dallas. He appeared in 72 games for the Mavs, averaged a handful of points, seemed to do okay with the whole teamwork thing, and really excelled on the defensive end of the floor – particularly in the playoffs. He defended guys like Kobe, LeBron, Durant, and Westbrook pretty well during the postseason, and even upped his regular season 38% shooting mark from three point range to nearly 40% from deep over the 21 games it took Dallas to capture the NBA title. Not too bad for a guy with Abe Lincoln tattooed on his neck.
The marriage between Mark Cuban’s Mavericks and Soulja Boy’s favorite baller seemed to end on Draft night though, when the Mavericks traded for the younger, wing-playing Rudy Fernandez. Stevenson’s Agent, Mark Bartelestein, said yesterday that this assumption may be a bit premature however. According to Bartelstein, Mavericks President of Basketball Operations Donnie Nelson says he wants his 30-year old free agent client back in Big-D next season. This according to an ESPN Dallas report yesterday:
“I spoke to Donnie after the trade and he said that’s not the case at all,” Bartelstein said. “He made it very clear that he’s somebody they want back.”
Bartelstein went on to add that Stevenson wants to re-sign with Dallas too, offering the following statement to that effect:
“No question,” Bartelstein said, while acknowledging it is impossible to determine a market during the lockout. “He would love to be back in Dallas and defend the title.”
The issue for Dallas is not necessarily who to bring back though, but who they’ll be allowed to pay. Not until the collective bargaining agreement is resolved will anybody know exactly where the salary cap threshold will sit, but it stands to reason that if there is one the Mavericks are already pretty close to it. They have $62 million out in contracts right now, and in addition to Stevenson, Tyson Chandler, Caron Butler, and JJ Barrea are all free agents as well. One would have to think those three guys would be more of a priority than DeShawn, but only time will tell how much money will be left for number 92.