The Dallas Mavericks will have a plethora of offseason targets to monitor after surprising the NBA and making it all the way to the Western Conference Finals. Dallas already made a major trade to acquire Christian Wood, majorly improving the frontcourt. In addition, Dallas added a possible steal in Jaden Hardy through the 2022 NBA Draft. A couple of moves here and there will have Luka Doncic and the Mavericks highlighted as a legitimate contender.
Dallas Mavericks: Top Offseason Targets
Keeping One Major Free Agent
The top priority on the Mavericks’ offseason to-do list needs to be re-signing guard Jalen Brunson. Although Jake Fischer of Bleacher Report mentioned that Brunson believes he’s set to return to Dallas, it’s no secret that the New York Knicks have been showing heavy interest. It’s a common theme in free agency, especially for the Mavericks, to have players switch up at the last minute. Nothing is a guarantee until the pen is put on paper.
Last season, Brunson had the best regular season of his career averaging about 16 points, five assists, and four rebounds per game. He then turned it up in the playoffs against even better competition. In the postseason, Brunson averaged about 22 points, five boards, and four assists per game. He proved that he can legitimately be a second option alongside Doncic. In the first-round series victory over the Utah Jazz, Brunson emerged as a star while Doncic was out injured.
He’s as reliable as they come and an efficient scorer. The chemistry is also there. Perhaps Brunson can emerge as a future All-Star in Dallas. Even if that’s not the case, Dallas knows that his fit with Doncic just works. It’s not worth letting Brunson walk away simply in hopes of something better.
Dallas will be scouring the market hoping to use their Taxpayer Midlevel Exception to acquire a difference-maker and rotational piece. There will be a number available.
The top target is Otto Porter Jr. Of course, he has a championship pedigree now. Simply put, Porter Jr. has the ability to switch defensively on multiple positions (which bodes well with players such as Dorian Finney-Smith, Reggie Bullock, and Maxi Kleber) and will find his spot offensively to hit open shots. The same goes for another possible target in P.J. Tucker. He shares a lot of similar traits to Porter Jr., as well as having experience in a number of deep playoff runs. The style of these players will both greatly benefit Dallas, although Porter Jr.’s Mavericks ceiling looks to be a little higher.
Another somewhat similar player is Nicolas Batum. The veteran can provide an instant impact on a one-year deal with Dallas.
Although Wood is likely to start at center for Dallas, he has certain defensive deficiencies and the Mavericks can add defensive depth in the frontcourt. This need was apparent in the playoffs as well.