Report: Dallas to target Khris Middleton, Kemba Walker in free agency

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Priority No. 1 for the Dallas Mavericks this summer: Lock up Kristaps Porzingis.

Priority No. 2: Get more athleticism and shooting to go around Porzingis and Luka Doncic. Dallas will have the space to add a max contract.

Which brings us to a comment from Marc Stein in his latest New York Times newsletter. Stein had said previously that while rumors were out there Dallas would target Orlando center Nikola Vucevic this summer, he threw out other names and priorities.

Shooters, athleticism and veterans are said to be Dallas’ priorities to supply the budding star tandem of Luka Doncic and Kristaps Porzingis with some been-there wisdom…

But league sources say that the Mavericks intend to fling themselves into the chase for Khris Middleton and/or Kemba Walker with gusto in hopes that they have a shot at one of them.

Vucevic is a good center who is going to get paid handsomely this summer (very possibly by the Magic to keep him), but he would be less of a fit than the players Stein mentions. Dallas needs more shooting. Middleton would make a lot of sense as an All-Star player who can space the floor, create a little, defend, and just fit in with what Rick Carlisle is designing. That said the Bucks are on the rise, want to keep him, and are expected to max him out, making it less likely he leaves. Walker would be another great fit as a shot creator, although he will have a lot of suitors from coast to coast, if he decides to leave Charlotte at all.

Tobias Harris is another name Dallas has been rumored to have interest in, and he would make sense for the same reasons Middleton does. Farther down the list of potentials, but still interesting, is the Pacers’ Bojan Bogdanovic.

Dallas may strike out on all of that — there are a lot of teams with money to spend. Even with that, they will be a team to watch next season with KP and Doncic. However, land one of those guys and things get interesting in Big D.