Dallas Mavericks need to begin looking for third ball handler

Dallas Mavericks Bradley Beal Copyright 2018 NBAE (Photo by Glenn James/NBAE via Getty Images)
Dallas Mavericks Bradley Beal Copyright 2018 NBAE (Photo by Glenn James/NBAE via Getty Images) /

The Dallas Mavericks have two cornerstones, but with Harrison Barnes entering a contract year, the Mavs need to begin looking for a third ball handler.

The Dallas Mavericks are finding their rhythm. As good as Luka Doncic has been so far in his rookie season, Dennis Smith Jr. has been somewhat disappointing in his sophomore season. The Mavs’ offense is slowly beginning to take shape in what has been an up and down beginning to their 2018-2019 campaign.

Harrison Barnes is an extremely valuable piece for a team a little bit closer to a championship. While he did perform particularly well in the two years the Warriors went to the finals with him, he was still an effective role player in the starting lineup.

Need for a third ball handler

The Mavs offense can begin to elevate to levels unseen if they can find a third ball handler to help loosen things up. Right now, Dennis Smith Jr. is being asked to do more than he needs to for the offense. Smith often looks unsure of himself, and somewhat compromised by his frequent inability to get all the way to the rim without losing his handle of the ball.

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The Mavs will likely not be able to address this deficiency in their offense in next year’s draft, given the first round pick that they shipped to the Atlanta Hawks for Luka Doncic. Free agency has been terribly unkind to the Mavs in recent years, and much of their money for next year will likely go towards re-signing DeAndre Jordan.

Trade for Beal?

Bradley Beal‘s name has been circulated in NBA trade rumors. While the Mavs may not have the assets that some other potential suitors have, they should take a good look at the star shooting guard.

While it is far from a certainty that Beal would commit to re-signing long-term in Dallas, the Mavericks would be bringing him to a team with plenty of young talent to go around and an exciting future. Adding Beal would make the Mavs offense absolutely lethal with Smith Jr. and Doncic attacking the goal relentlessly.

A potential package would almost certainly include Harrison Barnes, as well as at least one other asset that the Mavs have in their stable. Dorian Finney-Smith shouldn’t be touched, as he is becoming a more athletic version of Trevor Ariza. Finney-Smith’s defense and 3-point shooting have overshadowed his ability to crash the offensive glass this season.

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While the Mavs may not be in as good a position to deal for Beal as some of the other teams around the league, they are certainly better-prepared pull something off as they have been in the past. Adding Beal could help unlock the Mavs’ offense and push it to one of the better units in the league.