Dallas Mavericks: Who Should Stay and Who Should Go?
By Kohl Rast
The Dallas Mavericks are going to have to make some roster decisions before next season. With only a handful of players locked down, which players should be returning for the Mavs?
The list of Dallas Mavericks players that are under contract for the upcoming season is pretty short. Harrison Barnes, Dennis Smith Jr., J.J. Barea, and Dwight Powell are the only four players that are guaranteed to be under contract next season.
After that, things get a little more murky. Players like Dorian Finney-Smith, Maxi Kleber, and Kyle Collinsworth have unguaranteed contracts with the Mavs and don’t necessarily have to be brought back next year.
Doug McDermott, Yogi Ferrell, Seth Curry, Salah Mejri, and Nerlens Noel will all become unrestricted free agents. Wesley Matthews has a player option for next year and Dirk Nowitzki has a team option.
From this baseline, we can guess on a few things.
One, as of now, Dirk will be back for likely the same contract to finish up his last year. Two, Wesley Matthews would be crazy to decline his player option. This would give us a guaranteed roster for next year of Barnes, Dennis, Barea, Powell, Dirk, and Matthews.
So, which direction should the Mavericks go with the rest of the guys?
Yogi Ferrell: Yogi has been one of the most electric players for the Mavericks over the last season and a half. He has found a great spot in Dallas with Coach Carlisle and his style of play fits perfectly with others like Barnes and Dennis. With someone Yogi’s size, you would normally be concerned about defense, but he is a very good defender and has proven that this season.
Doug McDermott: The sharpshooting of McDermott was on full display as soon as he got to Dallas and it is clear that this guy really knows how to play basketball. It would be a shame to lose him after this short rental player but the pairing of him and Dallas seems to good to let go for either party.
Seth Curry: After a no-show season from the former Duke star, Curry will want to use next season to get his name back out there. A short contract with Dallas in order to get suitors interested could be a possibility. However, he should not be prioritized over either Yogi or Doug.
Dorian Finney-Smith: It is nice to have a good wing defender and Dorian’s three-point shot looked to be improved during his limited action this season. Finney-Smith won’t warrant a very big price tag either, so it seems like he should be back next year.
Salah Mejri: Salah has had an interesting season with Dallas and, although he has proven to be effective at times, it is clear that his niche isn’t necessary for the Mavs anymore. Hopefully Dallas will be alright cutting ties with Salah.
Nerlens Noel: Not worth the headache anymore. No matter how talented he could be, he hasn’t proven it. Time to let him walk.
Maxi Kleber: Maxi has done well for us this year and showed major improvements throughout the season, but his skill level is just not quite to where it needs to be to fully compete in the NBA. It doesn’t mean it can’t get there, but a year in the G-League might be helpful for the young German.
Kyle Collinsworth: This one hurts me as I have become a huge fan of Collinsworth, but there is just no room for another guard, especially one that doesn’t score particularly well. His defense is very good and he’s an excellently rounded player, but just needs to figure out that shot first. If the Mavs do end up with an extra roster spot, Collinsworth would be my pick to get it.
Next: Mavericks Best, Worst, and Most Realistic Draft Scenarios
There are a lot of things that need to happen this offseason and testing the free agency market is on that list. Luckily, most of these players will still be around if Dallas strikes out in that regard. Either way, expect a new look team for the Mavs next year.