Dallas Mavericks offseason analysis: How much better are they now?

Luka Doncic #77 of the Dallas Mavericks (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
Luka Doncic #77 of the Dallas Mavericks (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images) /

The Dallas Mavericks made several acquisitions and transactions over the shortened offseason; how much did these moves upgrade the roster?

The condensed 2020 NBA offseason kicked off with several big names being traded to championship contenders. Not too long after, a grand total of two days, the NBA draft transpired remotely. That Friday, NBA teams were allowed to start talking with free agents in order to sign their contracts the following Sunday. It has been a while since a week has been that action-packed for the NBA, but these weird times called for some weird things.

To recap the most relevant moves for Dallas, the team re-signed Trey Burke to a three-year/$10 million deal after his breakout performance against the Clippers in the first round of the playoffs. Not too long after this signing, the Mavericks selected Arizona SG/SF Josh Green and Stanford PG Tyrell Terry with their picks. In an attempt to get even better defensively, Dallas shipped fan-favorite SG Seth Curry to the Philadelphia 76ers for SG/SF Josh Richardson and the 36th pick which turned into combo forward Tyler Bey from Colorado.

However, the transactions didn’t end there. Dallas managed to sign Baylor big man Freddie Gillespie as an undrafted free agent to a two-way contract. The team brought back Willie Cauley-Stein on a two-year/$8.2 million deal and Tim Hardaway Jr decided to accept his $19 million player option. One major transaction that doesn’t seem to get talked enough about is Dallas unloading Delon Wright and Justin Jackson and earning SF James Johnson.

While Dallas, as expected, did not sign any big-name free agents, this offseason has been a big win. After having the most prolific offense in NBA history last season, there was a clear need on the defensive side after the team had one of the worse clutch-time records in the league. (.321 close-game win percentage)

Trey Burke and Tim Hardaway Jr aren’t necessarily elite defenders, but Josh Richardson, Josh Green, and Tyler Bey were all acquired for their defensive prowess. Even Willie Cauley-Stein has been a solid rim protector at times. The James Johnson acquisition gives the team a much-needed enforcer, a role that was clearly needed after the abuse All-Star Luka Doncic took against the Los Angeles Clippers.

I get the feeling MFFLs will see a lot of James Johnson memes as the season progress with him being a second-degree black belt in MMA, but that might just be me.

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Now, Dallas has not only recognized their biggest weakness from the previous season, but also now they have built a squad seemingly lacking any weakness. The unfortunate reality with losing Seth Curry is that Dallas won’t have an elite shooter on the team, however, in years past Josh Richardson has been a near elite 3-and-D type wing while Tyrell Terry was an undersized guard with serious offensive potential.

This also doesn’t account for first round pick Josh Green so is an elite athlete with a silky smooth jumpshot that resulted in 36 percent from behind the three point line!

The Dallas Mavericks went from a fringe playoff team to a possible Western Conference finals contender all in the course of one offseason. Most importantly, they did this the year before one of the best free agent classes fans will ever get to experience in 2021.

Next. Dallas Mavericks: 3 Things to be Thankful for. dark

To answer the original question: how much better did the Dallas Mavericks get over the offseason. The most reasonable answer seems to be, a whole lot!

  • Published on 11/28/2020 at 13:01 PM
  • Last updated at 11/28/2020 at 11:55 AM