Roundtable: Dallas Mavericks GM For a Day
Marvin Jerome Hanke
Draft: The Mavericks currently possess only one second round pick (No. 46). I think they should purchase another one. It’s unlikely that they will be able to get a first rounder, but the Celtics have 5 picks in the second round and would probably part with one or two of those.
Other teams that have multiple picks in round two include the Bucks, New Orleans, Houston, Atlanta, Orlando, Denver and Utah. Surely one of those teams would be willing to sell a pick to the Mavs.
With their two picks the team should target Caris LeVert, Malcolm Brogdon and Gary Payton II. LeVert has the most upside, if not for injuries, he’d be a lottery pick. Brogdon is a jack-of-all-trades guard who can defend, from Virginia (the same school that Carlisle and Justin Anderson attended). He would be able to contribute immediately.
The same goes for the son of legendary Sonic’s point guard Gary Payton. He will turn 24 during the season and there probably isn’t a lot of room for his growth, but if GP II works on his outside shot, he should be able to be a regular backup in the league as he projects to be a good to potentially elite defender.
Roster: Personally I would let Deron Williams and Zaza Pachulia move on. If possible I would retain Dirk and Parsons for a total of $30 million a year, likely $20 million for four years for CP and $10 million for two or three years for Dirk.
That leaves the Mavericks with about 34 million in cap space with JJ Barea, Devin Harris, Anderson, McGee, Evans, Mejri, Matthews and Powell (assuming he signs the qualifying offer) as well as Dirk and CP under contract. Adding two rookies, say Brogdon and Payton II, creates the following depth chart:
PG-Barea / Harris / Payton II
SG-Matthews / Brogdon
SF-Parsons / Anderson
PF-Dirk / Powell / Evans
C-Mejri / McGee
That’s simply not enough in this league, but with just three roster slots to fill and over 30 million to spend the Mavericks should be able to get a decent bench guy and two starters.
Free Agency: Unfortunately, I don’t think Mike Conley or Al Horford are realistic targets and Dwight Howard and Hassan Whiteside do nothing for me. One is oft-injured, the other too inconsistent. The Mavericks have said that they want to compete while Dirk is still playing and I agree with that strategy, but they should get younger and more athletic.
I think they should throw $15-18 million a year at Festus Ezeli or Bismack Biyombo. The latter is a few years younger and had a breakout campaign in the playoffs and Ezeli hasn’t really impressed in the Warrior’s postseason, but I think he would flourish with the Mavs and would prefer him over Biyombo anyway.
Assuming one of Ezeli or Biyombo sign for $70/4 years that would leave roughly 16 million in cap space. Because the point guard market is pretty weak, I’d look for a stop gap solution. Deron Williams was decent enough for the Mavs, but his injury history scares me. I’d approach Jeremy Lin about a 3-year deal starting at 8 or 9 million.
Lin really knows how to get to the basket which would open up lobs for Ezeli/Biyombo. He’d benefit massively from Dirk’s presence and would easily be the Mavs best penetrator since Monta Ellis. At the same time, Lin, playing with Batum and Kemba Walker, demonstrated the ability to play off the ball, a huge plus considering Parson’s involvement in the offense.
With point guard and the center spot filled, I’d look to get a dependable, versatile defender for bench. Assumin Lin signs a 27$/3 year-deal, that would leave the Mavs with roughly seven million to spend. Solomon Hill and Jared Dudley are my options 1a and 1b. Hill is a restricted free agent, so the Pacers can match, but they might balk at a 25$/3yr offer. Hill is a 6-7 forward that can defend three positions.
With Paul George out last season Hill averaged 9 points and four rebounds a game in 29 minutes. This year his minutes and production fell off, but mostly due to George’s return, not because he regressed. I think he’s worth a gamble. He can play the back-up four for Dirk or take up the small forward position if Parson’s really ends up playing more minutes at power forward this year.
If Hill isn’t available, or the Pacers match, Dudley is my next choice. He is legitimate small-ball-four and can do a lot of things well on the court. As a back-up for both Dirk and CP Dudley would certainly be worth a 20$/3-year offer.
Next: Sam Casey