Grading Mavs’ Haul From First 24 Hours of Free Agency

Let's evaluate the three big moves the Dallas Mavericks made so far this offseason.
Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports
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Signing Naji Marshall to a 3-Year, $27 Million Contract

The Mavericks made the rather surprising decision to let Derrick Jones Jr. walk in free agency and replaced him with Naji Marshall. Jones Jr. signed with the Clippers for three years, $30 million, while the Mavericks basically signed Marshall to a similar deal.

Marshall and Jones Jr. are similar players. They are both forwards who can defend multiple positions and have question marks about their shooting. Jones Jr. is a better athlete who can finish above the rim, making him a good fit next to Doncic. But, he is an inconsistent and unwilling three-point shooter. He made a career-high 34.3% from three last season but he is still not respected out there by the opposing defenses, creating spacing issues.

Naji Marshall is not the athlete Jones Jr. is but he is stronger and a better shooter. He made 38.7% of his threes last season for the New Orleans Pelicans while defending at a high level. In the playoffs, he was one of the best defensive options against the Oklahoma City Thunder, playing as the primary defender versus Shai Gilgeous-Alexander for extended minutes.

Investing in three-and-D players with shaky jump shots is a risky proposition. If their shots abandon them, their value can significantly decrease. How real Marshall's three-point shooting was last season will determine the success of this move but it's hard to argue that he is a downgrade over Jones Jr.

Grade: B+