Sources: Mavs, Corey Brewer close

Updated: March 3, 2011, 2:38 PM ET
By Marc Stein | ESPN.com

Free-agent swingman Corey Brewer is closing in on a deal with the Dallas Mavericks, according to sources briefed on the discussions.

Brewer was pursued by several teams after negotiating his release Monday from the New York Knicks, but sources said that the Mavericks have offered a multiyear deal to Brewer that starts in the $2 million range.

Two sources said that the deal, barring an unexpected late snag, was on course to be agreed to in principle later Wednesday. The Mavericks tweeted on Thursday that Brewer officially cleared waivers, making him eligible to sign with the team.

Brewer was taken No. 7 overall in the 2007 draft by Minnesota and bought out earlier this week by the Knicks. He's expected to land a three-year deal worth between $7 million and $8 million with the Mavericks and will join the recently signed Peja Stojakovic to fill the void created by the loss of Caron Butler, who suffered a season-ending knee injury on Jan. 1.

The Mavs, still possessing all of their midlevel exception from last summer, had the ability to outspend their longtime rivals in San Antonio as well as the Boston Celtics, who along with the Spurs made hard pitches to Brewer in hopes of landing the defensive specialist.

Brewer will instantly become Dallas' best perimeter defender and close up a hole that the Mavericks were unable to fill before last week's trading deadline, when the Detroit Pistons resisted the last in a weeks-long series of attempts by Mavs owner Mark Cuban and team president Donnie Nelson to acquire Tayshaun Prince.

With Stojakovic's shooting, Brewer's length and defensive skills and the recent return to the lineup of explosive scoring guard Roddy Beaubois, Dallas wants to believe that it has replaced Butler about as thoroughly as it could. Butler, meanwhile, keeps insisting that he thinks he can make it back for the playoffs, although team officials continue to operate under the assumption that Butler can't get back in time.

Marc Stein is a senior NBA writer for ESPN.com.

Marc Stein | email

Senior Writer, ESPN.com
• Senior NBA writer for ESPN.com
• Began covering the NBA in 1993-94
• Also covered soccer, tennis and the Olympics

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