While Al Jefferson already has an offer in his hand from the Charlotte Bobcats, he’s waiting on the Dallas Mavericks, preferring to play there and believing they’ll give him a similar deal, before he commits to one of the worst teams in the NBA.
Just like the others, the Mavs are waiting to see what Dwight Howard decides, and only then will they start looking at other free agents, especially expensive ones like Jefferson. The big man, spending the last three seasons with the Utah Jazz, is hoping to get a four-year deal worth around $60 million, which is something the usually stingy Bobcats are willing to give him.
As for Dallas? According to ESPN, they will turn to Jefferson once and if they’re turned down by Howard, although in all likelihood, Howard is looking closer to either the Rockets or the Warriors, while re-signing with the Lakers or going to Dallas and Atlanta are lower priorities.
There’s no doubt the Mavs, left with eight players signed on for next season (two of them rookies) and none of them capable of starting at center, could make good use of Jefferson, one of the best offensive big men in the NBA, possibly with the widest variety of low post moves. He averaged 17.8 points and 9.2 rebounds last season for the Jazz, and is likely to take a lot of pressure off of Nowitzki if he does sign.
In Charlotte, he’ll obviously be the star of the team, and maybe the highest profile player they’ve had since Gerald Wallace left, or in general since the team’s inaugural season. Jefferson is a known liability on defense, which might hurt him more when playing for Dallas, only having Dirk Nowitzki to start next to him in the frontcourt. In Charlotte, he can enjoy the presence of Bismack Biyombo, slowly developing into an impressive and effective rim protector.
As usual in the NBA, the strong stay strong, while the weak and small, like the Bobcats, are hoping to get a shot at a player that normally wouldn’t come their way, settling for leftovers the big boys don’t want to eat.