Dallas Mavericks: Players the Mavs protect in an expansion draft

Dallas Mavericks (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
Dallas Mavericks (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images) /

In the possible scenario where an expansion team comes to the NBA, current teams are only allowed to keep eight players, and the rest will be in the expansion draft. What players would the Dallas Mavericks keep?

Though it had not been a conversation heavily talked around in the NBA, a new team is bound to come around soon. It was even hinted by commissioner Adam Silver, who also believed it would be coming soon, but no firm timetable is in place for when exactly it would be or what city the team would occupy.

Silver did mention that if there were to be a possibility of a new team coming soon, that Seattle would be one of the cities in contention for that spot. Seattle was the previous home to the SuperSonics, a team with legendary players including Gary Payton, Shawn Kemp, Ray Allen, and Rashard Lewis. However, after the 2007-08 season, the Sonics were relocated to Oklahoma City to be known as it is today as the Thunder.

When the NBA introduced the last expansion franchise, the Charlotte Bobcats, they had the 2004 Expansion Draft. League rules stated that each team could have a maximum of eight players to protect from the expansion. Such players could be those under contract or restricted free agents.

Assuming the rules stay the same even today, that means only eight of the 15 current Dallas Mavericks under contract this season can definitely remain with the team, while the rest have the possibility of moving to the new franchise. So who would stay and who would go? Players under two-way contracts got excluded.

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The Obvious

Harrison Barnes

Dennis Smith Jr.

Luka Doncic

Dirk Nowitzki

DeAndre Jordan

These five names go on this list without a doubt. Jordan seemed a little questionable considering his age and the fact that his contract only lasts a year, but it seems more likely than not that he resigns next season.

Harrison Barnes is more of a leader on the team with highest points and rebounds per game last season than anyone else on the roster.

DSJ and Luka go on this list because they’re the young core that would dominate in just a matter of years.

Dirk’s comedy speaks for itself:

…..oh yeah and also the fact that he’s a Mavericks legend, but that’s not important.

The Role Players

Jalen Brunson

JJ Barea

Dwight Powell

Just like Smith Jr. and Doncic, draft steal is written all over Jalen Brunson. There is a lot of Sixth Man of the Year in him.

Barea was tough, but in the end, it seems fair to keep the veteran. Expect to see him play until the 2020 season.

Powell was the man on the edge. The end of last season did see him improve, but his contract was iffy. There could be plenty of other players like him that could play for less. Nevertheless, he does have a potential to average around ten boards per game in the upcoming years.

Didn’t make the cut

Devin Harris

Wesley Matthews

Dorian Finney-Smith

Maxi Kleber

Salah Mejri

Ray Spalding

Ryan Broekhoff

Devin Harris may as well announce retirement after this season. His half-court buzzer beaters were terrific, but it may be time to call it a career.

Wesley Matthews seemed likely to departure following this season. His age is starting to catch up with him and expect to see the 3-and-D player get traded midway through this season.

Dorian Finney-Smith, unfortunately, couldn’t make the list mostly because his shooting needs improvement. His defense is astounding, but the Mavericks need better 3-point shooters.

Kleber and Mejri had obvious reasons. Both players most likely do not make the rotation. Salah is also not likely to return after signing for the league minimum, and other teams could use his Dikembe Mutombo like blocks.

Spalding and Broekhoff’s arrival wasn’t big in the news. The Mavericks can end up getting another stretch big man via free agency or draft. Ryan Broekhoff did not have as much potential as the other players who made the cut.

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With the eight players on the roster set, it looks like the Mavericks have a young team paired with veteran mentors. It is an exciting and experienced core. All that’s left is to watch and see.