The Dallas Mavericks’ backcourt is surely going to be one of the biggest priorities for the club this offseason. It’s widely assumed that Monta Ellis will opt out of his deal to seek a bigger contract, while Rajon Rondo is out the door, meaning Dallas is facing another backcourt overhaul.
The point guard position has been a revolving door for Dallas since the departure of Jason Kidd, and to win in the West, a stability at that position is a must. That was part of thinking for bringing Rondo to Dallas, and, although it was a miserable failure, it was something that the Mavs needed to try.
These are a few free agent point guards that could make sense for Dallas. It’s hard to say whether any of these will actually happen, considering a lot of depends on what the Mavs do with their big man situation. It also depends on if they fit with Ellis IF he returns (that’s a big if). For now, let’s pretend Ellis isn’t returning, and figure out if one of these five can finally pull Dallas out of the point guard wilderness.
1. Goran Dragic: This is the dream scenario. Dragic seems like a perfect fit in Dallas, and there will likely be some interest on both sides. Dragic isn’t a great defensive guard, but he’d be great in Rick Carlisle‘s flow offense, and has the ability to space the floor with his shooting and slashing ability. Unfortunately, he’s probably going to wind up staying in Miami. The Suns traded Dragic to the Heat before this season’s trade deadline, and it seems like he’s going to wind up staying there long term. Maybe Dallas can some how convince Dragic to at least consider leaving, but it’d take a heck of a sales pitch.
2. Patrick Beverley: You may hate him, but Beverley makes a lot of sense for the Mavs. He’s not spectacular offensively, but, as we’ve seen during his Houston Rockets tenure, he’s more than capable of helping run an uptempo offense and spacing the floor with his three-point shooting. The big positive with Beverley is what he can do on defense. One of the biggest reasons Dallas brought in Rondo was so guys like Stephen Curry, Russell Westbrook and Chris Paul don’t torch them on a regular basis. Beverley would greatly improve Dallas’ defense at the guard position, and would give them some needed toughness. The downside is that Beverley is a restricted free agent, so it’s going to be hard to pry him away from Houston like Chandler Parsons.
3. Ty Lawson: Lawson isn’t a free agent and is still under contract with the Denver Nuggets, but there are rumors floating around that he’s interested in playing for Dallas. At 5-foot-11, Lawson is undersized, but is a proven point guard in this league at age 27. He could provide the Mavs with explosiveness that they haven’t had at the point guard position in quite some time. Last season, Lawson averaged 15.2 points per game along with 9.6 assists. He shot 43.6 percent from the field to go with a three-point percentage of 34.1. Lawson could be a major offensive weapon for Dallas, but it’s hard to envision him in a Mavs uniform considering the Mavs don’t have anything to trade. Maybe Mark Cuban and Donnie Nelson can pull a rabbit out of a hat, but this is probably the least likely scenario at point guard.
4. Brandon Knight: Another restricted free agent, but another great fit for the Mavs. Knight started last season in Milwaukee and played like an all-star, averaging 17.8 points per game, 5.4 assists and 4.3 rebounds while shooting 40.9 percent from three for a fun Bucks team. He was then traded to the Phoenix Suns where his numbers dropped off to 13.4 points, 4.5 assists, 2.1 rebounds and 35.7 percent from three. Playing with another ball handling guard in Eric Bledsoe probably had something to do with this, but as the lead guard in Dallas, he could easily go back to those Bucks numbers. I’m assuming the Suns will match any offer sheet for Knight, but maybe they decide to dump their two-point guard system and stick with Bledose. Or maybe they re-sign Dragic and try to trade Bledsoe (another great Mavs fit). The likely scenario is giving the Knight/Bledsoe combo one more try, but anything is possible.
5. Jeremy Lin: This isn’t 2012 Linsanity we’re talking about. Lin has fallen back to Earth since then, and is now an average point guard, and probably a backup for a contender. He averaged 11.2 points per game and and 4.6 assists for a pitiful Laker team and is still a solid three-point shooter, and, at 6-foot-4, isn’t undersized. Perhaps this is the most likely scenario for the Mavs. With Devin Harris already in the fold, the Mavs could sign Lin, re-sign J.J. Barea and just have a point guard by committee type thing. It’s not the ideal scenario, but it could be the one that makes the most sense given all the other holes Dallas has to fill. Maybe Lin is gets rejuvenated with a change of scenery and playing with his old Houston buddy Chandler Parsons. Hey, after seeing the mess Rondo made, and watching Darren Collison and Mike James two years ago, anything would be a breath of fresh air.