Thing Dallas Mavericks can learn from Josh Richardson trade: 2. One perimeter option can’t fix defense
The Mavs wanted to improve their defense in the 2020 offseason. Acquiring Josh Richardson was the key piece in accomplishing the goal. They had a defensive rating of 111.2, which ranked 18th in the NBA in 2020. Dallas dipped to 112.3 this season and finished 21st.
J-Rich did not perform up to expectations. The Mavericks thought they were acquiring a stout perimeter defender that was going to guard the opposition’s lead ball-handler every night. Richardson was not up to that task.
Other factors played into the Mavs decline in defensive rating. Kristaps Porzingis and Maxi Kleber both took a step back on the defensive end of the floor with injuries playing a part. The team struggled for the second straight year.
The flaw was the Dallas Mavericks thinking that adding one elite perimeter defender was going to vault them into a top ten defense. Even if they got the best version of J-Rich, that alone was not going to be enough to significantly improve their defense. The Mavs need to make multiple upgrades this offseason if they want to have a top ten defense in 2022. Adding one elite perimeter defense would be a start, but more moves must follow.
Next: No. 1