An Interesting Summer Awaits For the Mavericks
As I’m writing this, the Mavericks have a commanding lead in game 4 which will give the Warriors still a good 3-1 lead in the series. Although anything can happen, I don’t believe the Mavs will come down from a 3-0 deficit in a series. Which brings me to writing about what the Mavs need to do this summer to make it past the WCF next season and to help their young star Luka Doncic. As the team is built today it is entirely up to Luka Doncic and Jalen Brunson to make all of the plays and all of the big shots, there isn’t one guy on the team other than them that I trust consistently to make a big shot. So, first I think the Mavericks should sign a consistent wing shooter that can also play defense. Some guys that will be available this summer that they can look at that won’t come at a high price are Jeremy Lamb and Pat Connaughton. Lamb is a guy who could fit in really well with the Mavs. He had a breakout season in his 2018-19 campaign averaging 15.3 points per game and shooting 34 % from three, which is good but not elite. I believe if they can get some of that from Lamb it could be a low risk-high reward signing. Next, Connaughton is a very good role player who can shoot and play defense. He will give them energy off the bench and hopefully break out playing next to a guy like Luka. Although he won’t score much he has shot 36 percent from three over his career which is steady and consistent. He also has a player option so he will most likely decline it if he feels that he is worth more than 5.3 million. He won’t cost a lot of money, probably in the 8-10 million range so this will be another low risk-high reward signing for the Mavs, my only problem is that the Bucks will most likely want him back as he is a great role player for them. Next, the Mavericks need to re-sign Jalen Brunson. Brunson has been a very good compliment to Luka, as he had a career season this year averaging 16.3 points per game, shooting 37 percent from 3, and increased his assists per game by 1 from last year. It was reported that the Mavericks had multiple chances to sign Brunson on a 4 year 55 million dollar contract, but they wanted to wait. As they waited Brunson had outplayed that number and now they may be looking at a 4 year 80 million dollar contract. I believe Brunson is going to get that contract as he has earned it this season. The only way I don’t see the Mavs doing this deal is if a mega star falls into their lap. Some of those mega stars could include James Harden, Bradley Beal, and Kyrie Irving who all have player options. Another star they will definitely look at is Zach Lavine. It’s already been reported that Lavine is going to leave the Bulls most likely, and I think the Mavericks would be a solid fit. A player like Luka needs an explosive playmaker like Lavine. Also, no shot to Brunson but he can’t take a game over like Lavine can and Luka needs that from a sidekick. Overall, Lavine will bring that much needed wing presence and athleticism that is needed badly. Lastly, although I like that the Mavs spread the floor with their big men and have a nice shooter in Maxi Kleber, I believe they need a solid big man who can rim protect but also get rebounds. As we saw in game 1 and 2 against the Warriors, their defense down low was horrendous and Kevon Looney had a career high in points in game 2 . A guy that I can see working with the Mavs is Jusuf Nurkic. Nurkic is coming off a great bounce back season after the injuries, averaging a double double, but had a down season when it came to blocks per game. But, I believe with his presence in the paint it will increase the play of their defense but also give them something to lean on, on offesne when they aren’t shooting well from three. These are just some of the moves that I would look into if I was in charge of the Mavs. Hopefully they can provide Luka with the right supporting cast next season and get the man some help!!
Written by: Stephanos Mavroides