Piece the Dallas Mavericks need around Luka Doncic: 3. Stout perimeter defender
The ideal backcourt partner for Luka is a stout perimeter defender that can guard the plethora of elite point guards in the NBA. Mavs fans know Doncic is not drawing the toughest defensive assignment. The 22-year-old has improved on that end of the floor, but he must conserve energy to carry his massive offensive workload.
To the Mavericks’ credit, they have attempted to add this piece in each of the last two seasons. They viewed Delon Wright as the answer in 2019, but he ended up starting just five games before falling out of the rotation in the playoffs. Dallas traded him to Detroit in the 2020 offseason. They also swapped Seth Curry for Josh Richardson thinking he could be the stout defender next to Luka. JRich also fell out of the rotation in the playoffs after a down season.
The Mavericks are still searching for the answer. Defense and a player’s contributions are always difficult to quantify. Scheme, gameplan, shot variance, and so much more go into stopping an individual player. Expect Dallas to take another bite at the apple this summer because they need a strong perimeter defender next to Luka Doncic to take the next step.
Next: No. 2