The Dallas Mavericks are making another run at adding a significant contributor in free agency. This is a common strategy for the organization, and it has not always worked out. The Mavs struck out plenty (subscription required) during Dirk Nowitzki’s prime, but they built a championship team in 2011.
Dallas has a new regime in place, but the goal is building a title team around Luka Doncic. The 22-year-old has earned two straight first-team All-NBA honors and is already a top-five player in the NBA, but the Mavericks have made two consecutive first-round playoff exits. Doncic averaged 35.7 points, 10.3 assists, and 7.9 rebounds per game in an otherworldly performance against the Clippers in the postseason, but his supporting cast was not good enough to see Dallas advance.
The Mavericks are facing a crucial offseason. Luka is expected to sign a supermax extension that will jump his salary to $40 million per year in the 2022-2023 season. They have cap space this summer and must improve the talent around Doncic before their financial flexibility goes away. Who should the Mavs be targeting?
5 realistic free agent targets for the Dallas Mavericks
The Mavericks can create $34 million in cap space if they renounce the rights to their free agents and decline Willie Cauley-Stein’s team option. They traded Josh Richardson to the Celtics for an exception on July 30 to clear some extra room. Dallas will free up more space if they need it to land a marquee talent.
Kawhi Leonard, Chris Paul, and John Collins are among the top free agents available. The Mavs should avoid chasing Kawhi and CP3. Both players are likely staying put and other free agents will sign as Dallas is waiting for their answers. John Collins leads a strong list of restricted free agents, but the Mavericks should avoid them all. Waiting for a team to match could leave Dallas without the needed help around Luka Doncic.
Here are five realistic free agent targets for the Dallas Mavericks in 2021.
Next: No. 5