Rumors are swirling around Jalen Brunson leaving the Dallas Mavericks in free agency and joining the New York Knicks. Although nothing is certain until pen hits paper, it looks increasingly likely that Brunson will depart Dallas. Some may say that leaving Dallas is foolish due to the fact that the Mavericks just made the conference finals, but all players have their own motivation for making certain moves. Should Brunson leave, there will be ways for Dallas to ease the burden of losing him.
How the Dallas Mavericks Can Replace Jalen Brunson
Options on the Roster
Spencer Dinwiddie will be of the utmost importance. The question, however, will be if Dinwiddie becomes a starter or remains on the bench. He can certainly thrive alongside Luka Doncic in the starting line-up, but Dinwiddie is exceptional when it comes to leading the bench unit. Either way, his usage will surely rise.
Christian Wood is a new offensive weapon added to the Mavericks. He can definitely average at least 20 points per game on this offense. Former Mavericks centers weren’t actual offensive weapons, but Wood changes the dynamic. Expect him to be a major part of the offense.
There’s also Tim Hardaway Jr. His presence may have been somewhat forgotten after his injury cost him to miss half the regular season as well as the entire postseason run. Hardaway Jr. is an offensive flamethrower and his contributions will be welcomed with open arms.
Jaden Hardy may see opportunity quicker than expected. Hardy has all the tools to become a draft steal. He was also, coincidentally, drafted around the same range as Brunson was for the Mavericks in 2018. Expectations for the rookie should not be inflated, although he can certainly contribute.
Free Agent Options
The guard options in free agency won’t overly excite Mavericks fans, especially considering what Dallas can afford.
The best option on paper looks to be Dennis Schroder. He can help ease the offensive burden with Brunson gone, however. Goran Dragic is also enticing due to his Slovenian connection with Doncic, although he’s past his prime. If Dallas wants to prioritize defense, Gary Payton II is a stellar option.
The Trade Market
Again, the Mavericks won’t have a ton of flexibility. There will, however, be options available for trade.
The most enticing option is Malcolm Brogdon. Garnering the pieces for him will be difficult, however.
There’s also a veteran option in Mike Conley, if, of course, the Utah Jazz aim to really shake things up. Conley is a solid stopgap option. Another veteran is Terrence Ross of the Orlando Magic. His playing style is completely different than that of Brunson, but Ross can still play the two. He’s also more of a stopgap option, but he has the talent to thrive in Dallas.
Options aren’t extremely limited, but it remains to be seen what the Mavericks can pull off.