Dallas Mavericks: Who to take if Mavs have to choose between Dorian Finney-Smith and Maxi Kleber?

Dallas Mavericks Maxi Kleber Dorian Finney-Smith (Photo by Hans Gutknecht/Digital First Media/Los Angeles Daily News via Getty Images)
Dallas Mavericks Maxi Kleber Dorian Finney-Smith (Photo by Hans Gutknecht/Digital First Media/Los Angeles Daily News via Getty Images) /

The Dallas Mavericks have three restricted free agents from the team this year and all three of them were major contributors throughout the season. Who should the Mavs choose to re-sign if they can’t have them all?

Part of playing the free agency game in the NBA is recognizing when it is smart to bring a player back or let them go off of a restricted free agent deal. With the player holding a lot of power, but the Dallas Mavericks having the final say on whether he returns or not, we have seen many instances where a team decides not to match an offer.

The Dallas Mavericks have been on the receiving end of two of these RFA deals. When the team bought Chandler Parsons away from the Houston Rockets, many viewed it as a great get based on his previous seasons. Then, a few years later, the Mavs replaced Parsons with another RFA in Harrison Barnes, signing him away from the Warriors as Kevin Durant took his place.

Kristaps Porzingis is a restricted free agent this summer and is already a considerably better player than either Parsons or Barnes were when they were brought in. Even if another team did try to sign KP away from the Mavs, it wouldn’t work. Mark Cuban is ready to give Porzingis max money and be done with that conversation.

If the Mavs were unable to bring back all of their restricted free agents, you can count on the fact that Porzingis would be the first to get a deal from Dallas. The big question is, if the team had to pick between Maxi Kleber and Dorian Finney-Smith, who would they choose? And who should they choose?

Let’s make a case for each.

Dorian Finney-Smith

Finney has developed into a really nice player for the Mavs. After going undrafted out of Florida in the 2016 NBA Draft, Dorian found his way to the Mavs and then immediately onto the roster where he played in 81 games his rookie year. His skillset was still taking time to develop, but things were looking good for Dodo.

After a big setback in his 2nd year with some injuries, Finney-Smith came back to the team this year ready to shine. He showed off an improved three-point shot and some quicker feet on the defensive end right away. There is still a lot of improvement left for Dodo, but we did get to see the energy he can bring to a court.

The main knock to Dorian right now is that there are a lot of guys in the league that can do his job. He has been a really nice piece, but if his price tag goes up too high, it would be tough to justify bringing him back.

Maxi Kleber

Maxi has been a real stud for the Mavericks over the past two years. His first season showed that he could keep up with the NBA game without a problem. His second season showed that he could compete with almost anyone in the league.

Much like Dodo, Maxi has proven to be a defensive specialist that can shoot the ball well. He is an adept shot blocker and brings an energy to the court that really is special to watch. He has dealt with some inconsistency, but his game has proven to be really helpful to a Mavs team with an iffy bench.

If there is a weakness to Maxi’s game, it is probably in the fact that he is already 27 years old and he is a bit of an in-betweener with his position. He would be a great fit at the 5 for Dallas, but he doesn’t have quite enough size to really slow down the big men of the league.

My Choice

If I had to make a pick, it would probably be based on who I think the Mavs can retain at the most reasonable price. My gut says that Dodo will get a better contract offer on the open market than Maxi would. I would love to be able to keep both of them because I think they bolster the bench really well, but I am not sure that would be an option.

If the price tags are the same, I think I lean Maxi because his shot has proven to be a nice weapon and he is a big that can switch on to guards pretty well, something really important to the current league. Dorian would be nice because he is a few years younger than Maxi, but that isn’t a good enough reason to me.

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Essentially, I want to keep all of our restricted free agents for next year. I think they all play an important role in the future of the team. That said, if Dallas can only pick one of the undrafted guys from the past few years, my pick would be Maxi Kleber.