Source: Mavs won't deal Haywood

Updated: July 6, 2010, 11:34 PM ET
By Jeff Caplan | ESPNDallas.com

The Dallas Mavericks are not interested in signing Brendan Haywood to trade him.

A league source said the Mavs remain in contract negotiations to make the unrestricted free agent their starting center next season. However, if the two sides are to come to terms, it probably won't happen until after the top free agents choose their teams.

A report in the Miami Herald on Tuesday, citing one player and a separate agent, said the Miami Heat have broached the Mavs about a possible sign-and-trade involving Haywood for unrestricted free-agent center Jermaine O'Neal and possibly forward Michael Beasley.

The source said the Mavs are not interested in getting involved in a sign-and-trade. Dallas acquired Haywood, a 30-year-old, nine-year veteran, in February along with Caron Butler for Josh Howard. Mavs president of basketball operations Donnie Nelson has called re-signing Haywood a top priority after re-signing Dirk Nowitzki.

Haywood met with Miami president Pat Riley over the weekend at his home in North Carolina. If the Heat re-sign Wade and add power forward Chris Bosh, joining such a tandem could be enticing for Haywood. Other Eastern Conference teams such as New York, Chicago, Boston and Cleveland have also expressed interest in Haywood.

If teams with cap space such as Miami, New York or Chicago make Haywood an offer that the Mavs deem too rich, they could reconsider the possibility of a sign-and-trade in order to avoid losing the 7-foot Haywood for nothing.

Haywood made $6 million last season. He could be in line for an annual salary of $8 million to $10 million.

O'Neal, 31, is an unrestricted free agent who played for Mavs coach Rick Carlisle at Indiana. The 6-11, 14-year veteran could also draw interest from the Mavs with all or part of their mid-level exception.

Jeff Caplan covers the Mavericks for ESPNDallas.com. You can follow him on Twitter or leave a question for his weekly mailbag.

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