Here’s why targeting a max contract player in free agency may be a mistake for the Dallas Mavericks this summer…
The Dallas Mavericks want to believe this will be the summer things change and they can finally sign a max player. In years past, max players have been hesitant to join the aged and talent-starved Mavs, forcing Dallas to settle on a Plan B, or even C or D.
But this year could be different. With the budding young talent of Luka Doncic and Kristaps Porzingis on the roster, players will be more inclined to sign with the Mavs. And perhaps Dallas can finally lock in the object of their affection this summer.
But is that really what we want?
Let’s be clear, Klay Thompson, Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving, and Kawhi Leonard are not realistic targets. Sure, the Dallas Mavericks will probably do their due diligence and place a call and kick the tires, but nobody expects any of these elite free agents to seriously consider an offer from the Mavs. It’s this widely accepted reality which leads me to wonder what really is in the Mavs’ best interests.
According to Marc Stein Kemba Walker is the best player the Mavs have a shot at signing this summer. While Kemba is a fine player (3x All-Star), he’s not a great fit on the Mavs. For starters, the Mavs are rich in ball handlers and anyone that comes in is essentially going to steal opportunities from Luka and the others.
Speaking of Luka, for as great as he is on offense, he’s largely a liability on defense. It’s important the Mavs pair him with a defensive backcourt mate who can pick up Luka’s slack. Kemba isn’t that guy and only makes the defensive shortcomings worse.
Finally, Kemba is going to greatly reduce what the Mavs can do in the future. With Tim Hardaway Jr.’s contract already serving as a multi-year albatross, Walkers deal will be even bigger. That’s a lot of money going to guy who’s likely to be the third best player on the team.
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This isn’t just about Kemba either. It’s about any of the high-priced free agents realistically within reach of Dallas. All of them look like nifty consolation prizes but none are anyone you can get excited about. That’s why it may be in Dallas’ best interest to avoid the top of the market all together.
It seems the Dallas Mavericks can get more bang for the buck by investing in a handful of mid-level free agents.
It would give Rick Carlisle more options to toy with when planning for match-ups and it would also give the team better trade flexibility in the future since they can mix and match packages to fit the needs of a particular trade.
For as attractive as it is having a “Big Three” is, it may not be in the best interest of the team given the quality of player they can sign and the inflexibility he gives the team to adapt down the road.
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What do you think? Would you be happy if the Dallas Mavericks signed a second tier free agent to a max deal this summer or would you rather a handful of solid players playing on deals of various lengths?
- Published on 05/10/2019 at 12:15 PM
- Last updated at 05/10/2019 at 11:13 AM