Originally posted on Pro Sports Daily  |  Last updated 7/12/12

The Dallas Mavericks struck out on free agent priority Deron Williams, a loss that set back the franchise's hopes of contending for another title in the twilight years of Dirk Nowitzki's career.

Then Dallas opted not to match a contract offer the Boston Celtics made to Jason Terry, and days later, Jason Kidd stunned the franchise by passing on the Mavericks' offer to instead join the New York Knicks. Suddenly the NBA champions from just 13 months ago were a shell of their title team.

It took 11 days into the free agency period for Dallas to make a move and begin to recover from the shock of its failed Plan A. Contingency plans started to unfold with the signing of center Chris Kaman to a one-year, $8 million deal. The acquisition appears to have club focused on using the amnesty clause on Brendan Haywood, who is due $8.3 million this season and $27.2 million over the next three.

Needing a starting point guard, the Mavs pulled off a curious sign-and-trade with the Pacers. Dallas sent backup center Ian Mahinmi to the Indiana Pacers in exchange for 24-year-old point guard Darren Collision and defensive-minded wing Dahntay Jones. Collison and Jones both have one year left on their contracts.

The Mavs are also expected to make a strong bid for 76ers amnestied forward Elton Brand, giving Dallas a potential front line of Nowitzki, Kaman and Brand.

It's a start for a franchise that was knocked to the mat in the opening week of free agency and is trying to get back up and into contention in a tough Western Conference.

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