DALLAS - The Dallas Mavericks still are doing due diligence on potential roster upgrades as training camp approaches.
According to The Athletic's Shams Charania, the Mavericks worked out free agent guards Isaiah Thomas, Lance Stephenson, and Monta Ellis on Thursday.
Thomas appeared in just three games last season all as a member of the New Orleans Pelicans. He signed a 10-day contract but did not end up getting signed for the remainder of the season.
Since playing through a hip injury during the Boston Celtics' playoff run in 2017, Thomas hasn't managed to get back to his All-Star level of play. He averaged an impressive 28.9 points and 5.9 assists during his last All-Star campaign.
Since 2018-19, Stephenson has not been able to land a spot on an NBA roster. He was most recently a member of the Los Angeles Lakers but was not retained after averaging 7.2 points and 3.2 rebounds off the bench.
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Stephenson was close to receiving a deal with the Indiana Pacers before the NBA shutdown occurred last March. He most recently earned $4 million from Liaoning of the Chinese Basketball Association before almost joining the Pacers.
Ellis has been long removed from an NBA roster as he hasn't played since the 2016-17 season. He last averaged 8.5 points and 3.2 assists as a member of the Indiana Pacers but was waived using the stretch provision during the final year of his contract.
After being waived, Ellis was paid just over $2.2 million per year for the last four years. The 2020-21 season was the final year his payments from the Pacers came... so a comeback may not be all that unexpected when putting those pieces together.
None of these veteran players is an answer for the Mavericks' secondary ball-handler needs. If the team seeks 'one with size' as previous comments alluded to, Stephenson, at 6-foot-6, most closely fits that mold.
There is still reason for focus to be placed on Goran Dragic as he enters training camp still a member of the Toronto Raptors. The Mavericks attempted to trade for him earlier in the offseason but were rebuffed in those efforts.
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