Grading the Dallas Mavericks 2021 offseason: Sign Frank Ntilikina
The Mavs latest move was signing Frank Nitlikina to round out their training camp roster at 20. Ntilikina spent his first four seasons with the Knicks, but his minutes decreased every year. Dallas was rumored to be interested in him in the 2017 NBA Draft, but the 6’4 guard was selected by the Knicks at eighth overall, one spot ahead of where the Mavericks picked.
There is some question on the structure of the contract. Spotrac has it down as an Exhibit-9 non-guaranteed deal with Marc Stein reporting it to be a two-year deal with a team option in the second season. Even if it is guaranteed, Mavericks owner Mark Cuban has proven he is willing to eat a contract to get the 15 best players on his opening night roster.
This is a low-risk move for Dallas. If Ntilikina proves last season’s 3-point shooting was a fluke and he cannot make the defense impact the Mavericks need, they can cut him and move on. If the 23-year-old proves he can be a rotation option in Dallas, the organization has him under contract for two years at the minimum.
The Dallas Mavericks likely could have landed a more well-rounded player to compete for their final roster spot on a minimum deal, but they settled for the defense-first Frank Ntilikina. It was a solid low-risk move that earns a B grade.