First, let’s be clear Dirk Nowitzki will re-sign with the Mavs. There’s no doubt about it.
The only question that remains is, for how much.
With that in mind, this list is built on who would be the best available backups after we sign Dirk. In the unfortunate event we don’t resign Dirk and the world for the Mavericks collapses then… wait, never mind. Trust me, 100% that just will not happen. Here are the top 10 free agent options at power forward.
1. Dirk Nowitzki | Mavericks (Unrestricted)
21.7 PTS 2.7 AST 6.2 REB
He is the Dallas Mavericks. Conventional wisdom and early rumors say Dirk will sign in the $8-10 million range, leaving room for the Mavs to sign another big time free agent possibly Carmelo Anthony who will reportedly opt out.
After that, the Mavs will focus on signing a solid back up who won’t take up too much money on the salary cap, while providing the Mavs a player who can give Dirk ample rest during the regular season.
2. DeJuan Blair | Mavericks (Unrestricted)
6.4 PTS 0.9 AST 4.7 REB
He’s a familiar name with a familiar foe in the San Antonio Spurs. The Spurs proved once again they are the team to beat in the West and Blair provides the Mavericks with the best option at the backup power forward position because of his energy, his ability to play at the 4 and 5 and most importantly, his desire to get revenge against his former NBA team, the San Antonio Spurs.
3. Boris Diaw | Spurs (Unrestricted)
9.1 PTS 2.8 AST 4.1 REB
At 6’8”, 250 pounds Diaw is now a world champion. He’s a veteran of 10 years in the league, but at 32 years old the Frenchman would be the perfect complement to Dirk. He’s a great rebounder and passer at 3.7 assists per game in his career with a high basketball IQ, who can play almost any position and knock down the three ball with consistency.
4. Jordan Hill | Lakers (Unrestricted)
9.7 PTS 0.8 AST 7.4 REB
After 4 years in the league, Hill has been a mixed bag of results. He’s a former lottery pick (No. 8 in 2009) who has finally showed some promise after playing the past couple of seasons with consistent minutes with the LA Lakers. He has a huge NBA body at 6’10”, 235 pounds and is probably a more natural fit at the center position, but lacks low post moves. He could be a great fit for the Mavs long term at only 27 years old, but after making $3.5 million last year his price tag may be too high.
5. Josh McRoberts | Hornets (Unrestricted)
8.5 PTS 4.3 AST 4.8 REB
He’s a supremely athletic big man, who’s only 27. In 6 years in the league, McRoberts has bounced around the NBA. He can give the Mavs valuable energy off the bench, respectable rebounding and defense, but has little to offer in terms of offensive skill.
6. Glen Davis | Clippers (Unrestricted)
9.4 PTS 1.1 AST 5.2 REB
“Big Baby” is a skilled big man who can consistently knock down mid-range jumpers. He’s athletic for his size and weight, but has struggled recently with his conditioning at 6’9”, 289 pounds.
Davis is young, but has struggled to stay healthy the past few seasons. He was bought out of his contract mid-season from the Orlando Magic before joining the LA Clippers. There have also been rumors he lacks a desire to work hard.
7. Drew Gooden | Wizards (Unrestricted)
8.3 PTS 0.7 AST 5.2 REB
Gooden has played for 10 NBA teams in his 12 year career and played with the Mavs back in 2009-10 before being traded to the Washington Wizards.
In his short, 46 game stint with the Mavs he became a fan favorite for his positive attitude and high energy. Still at 32, the former Jayhawk can re-up with the Mavs for cheap and provide excellent hustle, rebounding and a decent low-post scoring while backing up Dirk.
8. Al Harrington | Wizards (Unrestricted)
6.6 PTS 0.8 AST 2.4 REB
Now 34, Harrington and the Mavs had mutual interest back in 2010 before he ultimately signed with the Denver Nuggets and essentially began the downhill slide of his career after averaging 17.7 points per game the previous year.
At this point in his career, Harrington is nothing more than a role player who can provide below average defense and rebounding, but can consistently hit three pointers (35.2% for his career).
9. Elton Brand | Hawks (Unrestricted)
5.7 PTS 1.2 AST 4.9 REB
After 14 years in the league and an extensive injury history, Brand has little left in the tank. However, he’s a high character player that is familiar with Rick Carlisle and the Mavs system after playing with them in 2012-13 (7.2 points, 6.0 rebounds, 1.0 assists).
He can also backup the center position, although he’s slightly undersized, but can provide great rebounding and leadership for the veteran’s minimum.
10. Kenyon Martin | Knicks (Unrestricted)
4.3 PTS 0.8 AST 4.2 REB
At 36, “K-Mart” is a strong, athletic big man who plays with a ton of energy and intensity. The Dallas native lacks a low-post game and relies exclusively on pick and rolls to get his points.
He’s significantly past his prime, but can provide adequate defense in a limited role. He would likely command only the veteran’s minimum on a one-year deal.
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