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2 people familiar with deal: Mavericks bringing back PG Devin Harris, possibly in larger role

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The Dallas Mavericks are bringing back Devin Harris in what could be a more prominent role for the point guard.

Two people familiar with the deal told The Associated Press on Saturday that Harris and the Mavericks have agreed on a new contract. The people spoke on condition of anonymity because the team hadn't announced the deal.

The 31-year-old Harris played for Dallas on a one-year, $3 million deal last season, missing the first half of the year after off-season toe surgery. He originally had a three-year contract worth $9 million, but the deal was scuttled by the toe injury.

The new deal is reportedly similar in value to last year's three-year contract.

The deal with Harris came two days after Dirk Nowitzki agreed to terms on a three-year, $30 million contract with a player option in the final season of the deal.

The Mavericks struck both deals while still waiting for word from free agent Carmelo Anthony, who visited Dallas last week. If Anthony signs elsewhere, Dallas will be in the market for a small forward to play alongside Nowitzki.

Harris was the backup to Jose Calderon last season, but the Mavericks traded Calderon to the New York Knicks when they acquired Tyson Chandler the day before the draft. Dallas got Knicks point guard Raymond Felton in the deal, but he's coming off an unproductive year that included trouble off the court.

In his first season back with Dallas after starting his career there, Harris averaged 7.9 points and 4.5 assists in 40 games. But he shot a career-low 38 per cent from the field, including just 31 per cent from 3-point range.

Acquired by the Mavericks as the No. 5 overall pick in a draft-night trade in 2004, Harris is the highest draft choice for Dallas since owner Mark Cuban bought the team in 2000.

Harris was on the first Dallas team to reach the NBA Finals in 2006 — a six-game loss to Miami — before going to New Jersey in a trade that brought Jason Kidd to the Mavericks in 2008. He also played in Utah and Atlanta.

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