The Dallas Mavericks were clinging to a hope - or maybe it was just the Mavs fan base doing the clinging - that rumors connecting DeMar DeRozan to Big D were in some way backed in fact.
But on Tuesday, the second day of NBA free agency shopping, DeRozan conducted a meeting with the Los Angeles Clippers and then finalized a deal to join the Chicago Bulls.
And the Mavs were seemingly not very much in the picture.
The Bulls deal with DeRozan will come in the form of a sign-and-trade with the San Antonio Spurs, and will send from Chicago a future first-round pick plus Thaddeus Young and Al-Farouq Aminu.
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DeRozan will reportedly be signing a three-year, $85 million deal.
The Mavs were left in the dust on this one, though maybe the connection to DeRozan was more of a figment of the media's imagination that it was a true possibility - still, the fact that the Bulls could pull off such a thing causes the critic to wonder why Dallas couldn't do the same.
The Mavs can still swing deals in the coming days and weeks, and they do not have to be for players who are free agents, as trades can be in play under the new management featuring GM Nico Harrison and coach Jason Kidd. Additionally, Dallas has been active on a second-tier level by not only retaining Tim Hardaway Jr. but also by trading for Moses Brown and then by signing via free agency Reggie Bullock ("a perfect fit'') and Sterling Brown. Boban is also scheduled to return, and the pursuit of Goran Dragic, just dealt from Miami to Toronto, is the epitome of a "Luka Doncic-friendly'' concept and figures as part of a hopeful blueprint.