Mitchell Robinson could be perfect investment for Dallas Mavericks
There is absolutely no point in my chiming in on the frustrations surrounding guys like Kristaps Porzingis and Josh Richardson. Everything that can be said about Luka Doncic’s co-star’s lackluster performance in 2021 has already been dished ad nauseam.
To put it simply, the Mavericks cannot bank on moving Porzingis. Unless Dallas can fleece some team willing to give up valuable pieces for the same risk the Mavericks took three years too late, Kristaps Porzingis will be a Maverick through the 2023-2024 season. Josh Richardson has an $11.6 million player option he will without question opt in to because nobody is going to offer him near that based on his dismal slide in 2021.
Outside of Tim Hardaway Jr. and Richardson, the Mavericks have a bunch of serviceable role guys, and nothing more. Dorian Finney-Smith is a scrappy, tough wing that can get hot from beyond the arc. He played a significant defensive role in the postseason, but he has got to find ways to be better at both ends of the floor. Jalen Brunson is a nice spark plug off the bench, but whenever he’s given the responsibility of creating offense without Luka on the floor, he looks overmatched.
If Dallas is going to acquire Robinson by outbidding for his services, they will have to invest at least $15 million per season. They can probably lock him up to a two-year, $30 million-ish deal that can go one of two ways. Either, he establishes himself as one of the key pieces of Luka Doncic’s dynasty in Dallas, or he fails to pan out. Even in the worst case, the team is not stuck in a long-term investment with a declining player, much like the fear surrounding Porzingis.
Furthermore, there are plenty of guys available in an offseason that could be described as under-the-radar. Kawhi Leonard is the only mega-star that could move this summer, and there’s not any reason to believe that he will decline his player option and head away from being an MVP-caliber guy in Los Angeles. However, DeMar DeRozan, Kyle Lowry, and Chris Paul are all hitting the market and could be fantastic additions alongside Robinson for the Dallas Mavericks.
There are moves to be made that allow Robinson to be an acquisition this offseason rather than the only one. A sign-and-trade can create cap space that would near the range of what Robinson would get offered. It is not certain that Hardaway Jr. will return. On the off chance that he doesn’t, that’s $20 million a year plus out the door. Dallas doesn’t have to throw the kitchen sink for this guy, and there are other options to make him a contributing star rather than the number two guy.
Next: Is Robinson the answer?