The Dallas Mavericks roster is set so let’s take one last look at their free agent signings, and assess their summer from a MFFL’s perspective.
With the big names on the move and over twenty million in cap space many Mavs fans were felling let down when free agency came to a close. But even though the Dallas Mavericks may not have landed a big fish, I’ll explain why they might landed the right fish.
To give a fair grade on the Mavs free agency period we have to go back to January 31st. The day the Dallas Mavericks brought a unicorn to witness the final days of a GOAT. The timing of the trade might have been happenstance but it couldn’t have been better for the Mavs.
The Mavericks being able to bring in Kristaps Porzingis a half a year early might not seem like a big deal. However having KP here to witness the respect and admiration bestowed on Dirk for his years of loyal service were priceless.
Although this might look like a no-brainer, Mark Cuban and the Mavs front office took a risk on this trade. Not only is Porzingis coming off of an ACL tear sustained nearly a year to the day prior to the trade, Porzingis was also in the last year of his contract making the trade even more of a gamble. The Mavs doubled down on the bet by signing Porzingas to a five-year $158 million max contract.
If this KP wager pays off, Dallas is definitely one of the big winners of this year’s free agency. Looking at the Dallas Mavericks’ timetable and team make up, Porzingas is the best free agent possibility for the Mavs.
I understand that adding one of the bigger names seems like a dream come true. But if this free agency taught us anything, it taught us that this era’s top players are extremely fickle. I’d hate for their idea of loyalty to rub off on KP and Luka Doncic. Porzingis also makes the most sense because of his age (23) and skill set. Adding a 7’3″ guy that can protect the rim, rebound at a respectable rate, and stretch the floor with his shooting to go along with Luka is a match made in heaven.
Seth Curry is a signing that, for the most part, went under the radar. But in my opinion is the second most important of the year. Curry averaged 8 points per game while shooting a super efficient 45.6% from field goal range and 45% from behind the arc.
In Seth you have a deadly weapon as a starter next to Luka and off the bench with Jalen Brunson. With Seth’s ability to move without the ball and knock down open threes makes him deadly on a team with two high IQ point guards. Seth’s on a four year $32 million contract making this signing a big win.
Delon Wright is seen as the consolation prize for Danny Green, but at nearly six million dollars less, and around five years younger, it’s a good move for the Mavs. Wright might not be a consistent shooter but he’s good at attacking and finishing around the basket. Most importantly, he’s a really good defender.
With Wright on the wing, coach Rick Carlisle will have more flexibility with his guard rotations. Having such a good defender at one of the guard spots makes up for Luka’s defensive shortcomings and it also makes up for Brunson and Curry just being short.
If you haven’t learned by now the Mavericks coaching staff has a way of getting the most out of second and third tier centers. Boban Marjanovic could follow in the footsteps of Mavs bigs like Erick Dampier, and the near All-Star Zaza Pachulia.
Just the fact that we could run a line up with a 6’8″ point guard and two 7’3″ guys is crazy. If Boban and Porzingas stood fingertip to fingertip with their arms extended they would reach from the baseline just past the free thow line.
Boban will most likely play a limited role but he’s more than just a novelty. Boban has great touch around the rim a decent jumper and he’s a very good passer. At 3.5 million Boban is another quality signing.
The Mavericks used the remainder of this year’s free agency inking Dwight Powell, Dorian Finney-Smith, and Maxi Kleber to contract extensions. These signings should be seen as a sign that the Dallas Mavericks rebuilding plans included using a few old parts. This is great in my opinion because it hopefully marks the end of the Revolving Door Era Dallas was getting a reputation for.
Powell, Finney-Smith, and Kleber have shown improvement each year since joining the Mavs. Powell is the only good thing that came from the Rondo trade. He played extremely well after the All-Star break last year will most likely be the Mavs’ starting center in 2019-20.
Powell’s rim rolling ability should fit well with Luka and Porzingis. However Powell has a hard time staying in front of more physical centers and he’s not the best rim protector – two things that will need to be addressed if he wants to see quality minutes.
Finney-Smith is possibly our best wing defender aside from Wright, but he lacks the confidence on the offensive side to be a true two-way guy.
Kleber was the Mavs best rim protector last year. He plays with a high motor that makes up for his lack of athletic ability. Kleber is a good shooter that can stretch the floor at the center position. However Kleber can’t create his own shot and he’s not a great lob threat. If one or more of these guys take their next step this season the Mavs depth will definitely be a problem for the more top heavy teams in the league.
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Although the Mavericks weren’t able to net a big name, they were able to get young quality players on team-friendly deals. And they were also able to set a solid core in place around Luka and Kristaps (possibly the hardest thing to do with such unique talents).
However the mishandling of the potential trade with the Heat has to count against the Mavs. I didn’t like the trade to begin with and Wright is a better team fit, but it was sloppy management and it has to be considered.
It’s also hard to believe that with over 20 million to spend we weren’t able to land a bigger name than Delon Wright, or Seth Curry which adds to the narrative that Dallas isn’t an attractive free agency destination. However this is a very deep team that should shoot the ball well and cause match-up problems for most teams.
Final MFFL grade: B-
The Mavericks have hopefully laid the foundation for a team similar to the 2011 team. Where you use overall team depth to make up for the lack of big names but in todays NBA will a team full of good players be able to compete with a team of three to four all-stars? I guess will have to wait and see.
- Published on 08/31/2019 at 11:01 AM
- Last updated at 08/30/2019 at 07:01 AM