The champion Dallas Mavericks may be losing their starting shooting guard. DeShawn Stevenson is a free agent is reportedly looking for his pay day.
Mavericks' head of basketball operations Donnie Nelson told ESPN radio, With D-Steve, he's been an integral part of what we've done here, and so absolutely we'd like to have him back in the fold.
However, Nelson added, The price of poker sometimes goes up [for title teams].
Nelson comment suggests that negotiations with Stevenson may not be going well and that the shooting guard might be asking for too much from the Mavericks.
The Mavericks have another key free agent in small forward Caron Butler. Butler was injured and didn't make the playoff run with the team, but he was an integral part of their regular season play.
Butler's influence on the team was so great that after he was injured earlier this year, the team decided to dedicate the playoff run to Butler, which ended in a championship.
Another factor to think about in Stevenson's free agency is the fact that the Mavericks made a draft day trade with the Portland Trailblazers that brought Rudy Fernandez to the team.
The Mavericks now have a log jam at the shooting guard positions with six players able to play the position including Stevenson and Jason Terry, who was instrumental in the playoffs.
If the Mavericks decide not to bring back Stevenson, they will likely focus their efforts on resigning Butler since the team still needs depth at that position.