Dallas Mavericks: Next step in Mavs rebuild is to add shooting

Dallas Mavericks Dennis Smith Jr. Harrison Barnes Copyright 2017 NBAE (Photo by Adam Pantozzi/NBAE via Getty Images)
Dallas Mavericks Dennis Smith Jr. Harrison Barnes Copyright 2017 NBAE (Photo by Adam Pantozzi/NBAE via Getty Images) /

The Dallas Mavericks figure to have themselves a significantly better team this coming season than the last two years. The arrivals of Luka Doncic and Deandre Jordan will push the Mavs back towards the playoffs, but going forward the team will need to add shooters to make themselves title contenders.

The Dallas Mavericks‘ starting lineup at the moment figures to be Dennis Smith Jr., Luka Doncic, Harrison Barnes, Wesley Matthews, and DeAndre Jordan. The bench will feature Dirk Nowitzki, J.J. Barea, Jalen Brunson, Devin Harris, and Dwight Powell.

The Mavs’ expensive signing of Jordan handicapped their ability to retain two of their own free agents who both inked deals elsewhere.

Seth Curry, who became one of the best 3-point shooters in the NBA during his lone season (hit 48.1 percent) on the court with the Mavs, signed with the Trailblazers after missing all of last season with a stress fracture.

Doug McDermott, who Dallas traded for from the New York Knicks, signed a hefty contract with the Indiana Pacers who found room for him along with newly inked Tyreke Evans.

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Need for shooters

At the moment, the Mavs don’t possess much shooting at all on their roster, and it will undoubtedly have to be a focal point for the front office going forward if they want to round out what is currently a thin roster.

The team’s best shooters at the current time are Harrison Barnes and Wesley Matthews. Matthews is coming off of a season-ending injury and shot 38.1 percent from behind the line a year ago. Barnes, now 26, shot just 35.7 percent from 3-point range.

Luka Doncic and Dennis Smith Jr. are much more comfortable attacking the basket instead of stepping out for long-range bombs, and Nowitzki is the team’s only big man who can step out and hit an outside shot.

The Mavs will not have a first round pick next year due to the trade they made with the Atlanta Hawks to move up and grab Doncic. That move forces the Mavs to scour the draft landscape in both the second round and the undrafted free agency to find some diamonds in the rough who can supplement the offense with outside shooting.

As always, free agency will be an opportunity for Dallas to add to their roster. While 2019 free agency is the furthest thing from anybody’s mind at the moment, the Mavs could entertain several players who could complement their core of Dennis Smith Jr., Luka Doncic, Harrison Barnes, and Deandre Jordan.

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For now, the Mavs are still trying to find their place in the over-saturated Western Conference. But before too long, they will have to begin to fill in some outside holes on their roster to make themselves contenders again.