The Dallas Mavericks are expected to be on the hunt for a variety of players this summer, how big of a priority is finding a premier center?
Obviously the Dallas Mavericks need to add a center this summer. Heck, they probably need to add a couple. But do they need to throw the bulk of their free agent dollars at the five or would they be better served to find a platoon of affordable players?
I argue the latter of those options.
Many Mavs fans have fallen for Nikola Vucevic. But for as much as he’d potentially upgrade the center position, I can’t get over his fit on the Mavs and how much his game would overlap with Kristaps Porzingis. Both players like the ball in their hands and like to space the floor. Now Vooch can rebound (which Kristaps…cannot) and that certainly has value, but at cost of a max deal? I’m gonna give that a hard pass.
A platoon of affordable role players may not strike fear in the hearts of opponents, but it would give someone like Rick Carlisle a chess set to play with when searching for favorable match-ups. It would also clearly save the franchise money to spend elsewhere – like possibly some defensive-minded guards and wings who can shoot from deep?
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Brook Lopez may not be the sexy pick Vucevic is but he comes at a fraction of the cost and has a track record of success without needing the ball in his hands. We’ll discuss the Lopez option next week, for now my intention is to float the idea an affordable platoon may not just save money, but ultimately provide Rick Carlisle with a means to apply some strategy.
The Dallas Mavericks are already testing these waters. They’ve expressed a desire to re-sign 4/5 Dwight Powell to a new multi-year deal. They also seem to be interested in retaining Maxi Kleber for the right money. Hey, and no one’s ruled out Mej coming back for another stint in Big D.
Assuming the premium elite free agents are out of reach, players like Khris Middleton and Kemba Walker may be max-contract alternatives to Vooch. Middleton, specifically, offers something the Mavs need on the wing with his versatile and well-rounded game that would pair quite nicely with Luka Doncic.
Let this be my argument for investing in the wing over investing at center. As we’ve seen this postseason, centers get eliminated through savvy match-ups. It’s the long wing players that are tough to neutralize and versatile enough to plan with.
The Dallas Mavericks can go many different directions this summer in free agency but they aren’t obligated to spend big at center if they see better options elsewhere. And I, for one, see better options elsewhere. If you were in charge, who would you target in free agency this summer?
- Published on 05/02/2019 at 12:00 PM
- Last updated at 05/02/2019 at 11:09 AM