The Dallas Mavericks entered the offseason with some of the most cap space in the league. Dallas has chased the “big fish” signing for years, but their plans never come to fruition. This summer, however, they played the waiting game and focused on building a roster around Luka Dončić and newly acquired star Kristaps Porzingis. It seems as if the Mavericks were in no rush to add a third big name, and instead are focused on growing a team.
Grading the Dallas Mavericks Offseason
Kristaps Porzingis: Five Years, $158 Million
Securing Porzingis for at least the next five years was a major win for the Mavericks. Porzingis is recovering from a long-term injury but has been with the Mavericks since January. His entire contract is guaranteed, signaling that the Mavericks staff is confident that Porzingis has fully recovered. Before he went down in 2018, Porzingis was averaging around 23 points, 7 rebounds, and 2.5 blocks per game. He’s also only 23 and well on his way into developing into an NBA star. His commitment to the franchise is clear and he is the ideal replacement for legend Dirk Nowitzki.
Dwight Powell: Three-Year, $33 Million Extension
Dwight Powell isn’t flashy and his extension will not kick in until next season. It’s clear, however, that head coach Rick Carlisle loves what Powell brings to the table. Powell was a “throw in” in the Mavericks’ Rajon Rondo trade a few years ago, but coincidentally became the Mavericks’ best acquisition in the move. He thrives in the pick-and-roll and is a very solid defensive contributor. The Mavericks did not have to overpay to keep an important piece.
Seth Curry: Four Years, $32 Million
A former fan favorite returns to Dallas after a year away in Portland. Seth Curry is one of the best three-point shooters in the league and should receive plenty of open looks with Dončić and Porzingis on the floor. He’s also an overlooked defender, something that will bode well in a conference full of elite guards. At first glance, Curry may not seem like a starter. His best season in his career, however, was under Carlisle and if he starts he wouldn’t be relied on as the primary ball handler with Dončić on the floor. This contract is great value for a 28-year old elite shooter.
Maxi Kleber: Four Years, $35 Million
Dallas made it a priority to keep Maxi Kleber this offseason and did it wisely with another great value contract. Besides Dončić, Kleber might have been the Maverick’s second most important player last season. He’s an elite shot-blocker and can play both the four and five. In addition, he has a solid three-point shot so he can stretch the floor very well. He was one of the most underrated players in the league last season and it was an easy decision to bring him back. Expect Kleber to be the Mavericks’ most important bench option next season.
JJ Barea: One Year, Veteran’s Minimum
JJ Barea is coming off a torn Achilles injury as an aging, undersized guard. It wouldn’t have been a surprise to see him retire after last season. The Mavericks, however, are known for having a great medical staff, so much so that a 35-year-old Barea is willing to give it another go. Barea was actually one of the Mavericks’ best performing players early on in the season before his injury. Even if he doesn’t see the floor much next year, there was very little risk to this deal. Barea is a fan-favorite, long-time Maverick, and a veteran NBA champion.
Dorian Finney-Smith, three years/$12 million
This was another great value deal for the Mavericks. Dorian Finney-Smith is a very solid defender and is growing as a three-point shooter. Last season he had plenty of flashes of developing into a great “three-and-D” option off the bench. Another underrated aspect of Finney-Smith’s game is his offensive rebounding, something that will surely help the Mavericks who are still in need of more rebounding help. There’s nothing to dislike about this deal.
Boban Marjanovic: Two Years, $7 Million
Boban Marjanovic is one of the most well-liked guys around the entire NBA. The Mavericks believe a strong locker room is vital, and Boban will definitely contribute to this. Besides that, he’s another solid big off the bench. In 12 minutes per game last season, he averaged around 7 points and 5 rebounds per game. His 7’3″ and 290-pound frame makes him a huge presence in the paint on both offense and defense. In addition, adding Boban means the Mavericks have the two tallest players in the league with him and Porzingis.
Mavericks Offseason Grade So Far: B
All the player deals finished with high grades. They were all smart pickups for good value. The team’s grade, however, is slightly lower as the Mavericks were unable to jump into playoff consideration just yet. As this team stands, in a stacked Western Conference, they are just outside playoff contention.
There are still high-quality free agents left on the board. If the Mavericks can manage to pick up more important pieces with their leftover cap space, such as Danny Green, Marcus Morris, or both, their grade will improve.
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