Mavericks allow Darren Collison to become unrestricted free agent

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Darren Collison might have played himself out of a contract offer from the Mavericks.

Collison – by averaging 41 starts or 2,000 minutes in the last two seasons of his rookie-scale contract (he actually did both) – increased his qualifying offer from $3,342,175 to $4,531,459, and the Mavericks declined to extend that higher offer by the June 30 deadline, according to Marc Spears of Yahoo! Sports. That makes Collison an unrestricted free agent.

If the Mavericks had extended the qualifying offer, Collison would have had the right to match any offer to Collison, an advantage they surely would have liked to hold. But the risk would have been Collison immediately accepting the qualifying offer and turning it into a one-year, $4,531,459 contract.

With the Mavericks all in for Dwight Howard and trying to clear cap space to make that happen, extending Collison a qualifying offer was a risk they couldn’t take.

This won’t stop the Mavericks from re-signing Collison, and they still hold his bird rights.