Coming off the first championship in franchise history in 2011, the Dallas Mavericks stay in the 2012 playoffs turned out to be a short one. But with the Mavs expected to be major players when free agency starts, they could turn things around very quickly by starting with a familiar face in Steve Nash.
The prize of the free agent class of 2012 is Brooklyn Nets point guard Deron Williams. But while many viewed Dallas as favorites to land Williams, ESPN's Marc Stein recently reported that the Mavericks actually only have a 50-50 chance of luring Williams back to his hometown.
That brings us to the second biggest prize in Nash, who Dallas may want to turn its focus to anyway.
One thing Dallas can't do is to lose out on both guys so making a hard run at Nash could become the top priority for several reasons.
Who would be the better fit in Dallas next season?
First of all there's the fact that Dirk Nowitzki recently came out and asked for another superstar.
Nash certainly fits that bill, but is also a guy who has a close relationship already with Nowitzki. Taking a run at a championship in the city where the two-time MVP had his first real NBA success back in 2001 would bring Nash's career full circle.
There's also the fact that the two-time MVP is playing at a very high level, even at the age of 38. Nash averaged a solid 12.5 points and finished second in the NBA with 10.7 assists on the season.
Financially Nash also makes sense for Dallas.
It will require some money to sign Nash, but it likely won't take a max contract. If that's the case then Dallas will have the assets to go out and add other significant parts to next season’s team.
It also frees money up down the road as both Nowitzki and Nash will likely be calling it a career around the same time, possibly around three years from now. With both of their contracts coming off the books at or around the same time, it will allow Dallas the opportunity to reload once again.
So while the main prize could be Williams, it's quite possibly that the Mavericks could actually be better off with the familiar face in Nash.