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Mavericks’ reported Plan A: Mike Conley and Hassan Whiteside

Miami Heat v Dallas Mavericks

DALLAS, TX - FEBRUARY 03: Hassan Whiteside #21 of the Miami Heat takes a shot against JaVale McGee #11 of the Dallas Mavericks in the first half at American Airlines Center on February 3, 2016 in Dallas, Texas. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)

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The Mavericks, upon agreeing to terms with DeAndre Jordan last summer, believed they situated themselves as a legitimate contender to sign Kevin Durant.


Jordan returned to the Clippers, and Dallas rode a hastily assembled roster as far as it could (to a first-round loss). That probably won’t sway Durant.

Assuming it doesn’t, Dallas has a new more realistic plan: Mike Conley and Hassan Whiteside.

Tim MacMahon and Marc Stein of ESPN:

The Dallas Mavericks expect to be granted a meeting in the opening hours of free agency with Miami Heat center Hassan Whiteside, one of the Mavericks’ two primary targets this summer, sources told

Memphis Grizzlies point guard Mike Conley is the other top target for the Mavs, according to sources, as Dallas attempts to construct a core that will allow the franchise to be competitive during veteran Dirk Nowitzki’s twilight and beyond.

That’d be a fantastic coup for Dallas. Conley, Wesley Matthews, Dirk Nowitzki and Whiteside would be about as good a core as the Mavericks can get. That’s how you maximize Nowitzki’s remaining years.

And it might actually be realistic.

The Heat don’t have Whiteside’s Bird Rights, and they also want to re-sign Dwyane Wade. It won’t be easy managing that.

The Grizzlies are reportedly concerned about Conley leaving. That’s a change in tone.

Signing Conley and Whiteside to max deals – surely what it’d take to land them – would leave about $13 million to sign Nowitzki and a small forward. Justin Anderson might be ready for a bigger role, but Dallas would likely also target a safer choice to provide insurance.

With that roster, a decent veteran would probably be tempted by the cap space Nowitzki doesn’t want. Then, Dallas would be rolling.

Of course, there’s a lot of wishful thinking here. Plan A might work, but it probably won’t. What’s Plan B?