Step to Dallas Mavericks becoming title contenders: 4. Use MLE on 3-and-D wing
The Mavs should have their $9.53 million mid-level exception to use after signing an All-Star and making a trade. They need to use it on a 3-and-D wing. Dallas must find someone that can knock down shots, defend on the perimeter, and does not command the ball. Here is a look at their options in a relatively shallow market.
Nicolas Batum had a bounce-back season with the LA Clippers after being bought out by the Charlotte Hornets. He shot over 40 percent from 3-point range and is a versatile defender. Batum also offers some ball-handling and playmaking ability. He would be the perfect fit on the new-look Mavericks.
Danny Green has been targeted by Dallas several times over the years. They were close to signing him as a free agent in 2019 before he chose the Lakers. Green is a 3-and-D wing that has won three NBA championships. His experience would be massive on the Mavs.
Josh Hart is a restricted free agent with some question marks on both ends of the floor. The 26-year-old is a career 34.8 percent 3-point shooter. He is an outstanding rebounder that produced some of the worst advanced defensive metrics of his NBA career. Hart could thrive next to Luka Doncic by hitting threes and defending well on the perimeter.
The Dallas Mavericks should sign one of those three players with their mid-level exception before filling out their roster.
Next: Step 5