A Mavs Tale Of Two Barneses - Featuring The Real Harrison/Warriors Plan Regardless Of Durant Decision

A Mavs Tale Of Two Barneses - Featuring The Real Harrison/Warriors Plan Regardless Of Durant Decision

First, we need to not get distracted from all the Flying Barneses.

The Dallas Mavericks are not, contrary to an ESPN report (that, with all due respect, is almost surely agent-driven), interested in long-time nemesis Matt Barnes. The main reasoning, among others: Dallas is trying to use this next phase of Summer Shopping (after the Mavs' first-phase flop) to add younger talent that fits the "culture.'' 

There is a story to be written here about whether the Mark Cuban-spearheaded attack is "too fine,'' and trying to be "too perfect,'' and is in the end "too picky.'' I'm working on it.

In the meantime, "no'' on Matt Barnes -- but a continuing "yes'' on Harrison Barnes, who fits the young-and-talented profile at age 24, even though the 6-8, 225-pounder hit some sort of psychological wall in his Warriors climb to the NBA Finals.

(Sidebar to the "youth'' issue: I'm told the Mavs might "retain age'' in the form of, say, Deron Williams, but do not want to "take on age.'' Specific to D-Will, I'm told the Mavs "probably'' will try to keep him and the Williams camp is in favor of the same.

One big issue Dallas faces on Harrison Barnes: How could you dislike him and love Chandler Parsons a week ago, and now suddenly completely flip that script to the point you are offer-sheeting Barnes at his four-year, $94-mil max? It all makes the Mavs look a bit silly, frankly, but forge ahead they are, as DB.com reported during dinner time Saturday ... and now at lunch time Sunday we learn another chapter that is about to unfold:

No matter what Kevin Durant does at it involves Golden State -- accept their bid and become a Warrior or spurn their advances to stay in OKC or move elsewhere -- the Mavs will keep the offer sheet intact (to be signed at 11:01 p.m. July 6). The thinking of continuing the Barnes chase if KD goes to Golden State is obvious; the Warriors will be hard-pressed to retain all their talent and will have to let go of some of their ballast.

But this wrinkle is the new one: The Mavs' calculations have them believing that even if Durant doesn't go to the Bay, the Warriors might still let Barnes go unmatched because in whatever event, they might have only, say $18 million to spend on keeping together their rotation ... and they might rather spend that money on multiple little pieces than on Barnes. Once Dallas signs Harrison, that $18 mil goes away if the Warriors match ... meaning they'll have to choose whether to build their bench with Merry Minimums. The Mavs hope they will be in a "precarious'' position.


Of course, it's actually Dallas' position that is "precarious.''

Whether Barnes can actually mature into a star-level player alongside Dirk Nowitzki and under Rick Carlisle is another matter entirely, and whether Dallas can win him and add more winning pieces is another matter still. But for now: Dallas is committed to the idea of getting Harrison Barnes in any event, hopeful that the Warriors will free him in any event, and are disinterested in other people named "Barnes'' in every event.

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