Mavs, Timberwolves still talking Jefferson deal
- The Dallas Mavericks are continuing their pursuit of Minnesota Timberwolves forward Al Jefferson, according to sources, but talks between the teams have stalled due to Dallas' insistence that the Wolves take on contracts other than that of center Erick Dampier.
Sources say the Mavericks want Minnesota to take on the contracts of guards DeShawn Stevenson (set to make $4.1 million next season) and Matt Carroll (who has three years and $11.7 million remaining on his deal), and are reluctant to send Dampier to Minnesota for Jefferson, whom the Wolves have been shopping for several weeks, and who has three years and $42 million left on his deal. But Minnesota has no interest in either player, with point guards Jonny Flynn and Ramon Sessions on the roster, having acquired shooting guard Martell Webster from Portland in a Draft day trade and taking swingman Wes Johnson fourth overall in the first round.
The Wolves also acquired second-year forward Michael Beasley from Miami Thursday night, making their already-crowded frontcourt even more stuffed. Minnesota has already given center Darko Milicic a new four-year, $20 million deal this summer, and plans to bring 6-11 center prospect Nikola Pekovic from overseas to the NBA for next season to try and get minutes on top of forward Kevin Love.
Dampier's contract is valuable because his $13 million salary is not guaranteed for next season; he had to play in at least 70 games or 2,100 minutes last season, and wound up playing only 54 games and 1,280 minutes. The Mavericks aren't completely averse to putting his contract in a deal for Jefferson but would prefer to hold onto to it to use in other potential deals.
The Mavericks have re-signed franchise player Dirk Nowitzki (four years, $80 million) and starting center Brendan Haywood (six years, $55 million) to long-term contracts this summer. If Dallas acquired Jefferson it would have one of the biggest and deepest frontcourts in the league, perhaps capable of matching up with the likes of the Lakers in the playoffs.