Weakness Dallas Mavericks still have after free agency: 4. Defense
The Mavs attempted to improve their defense in the 2020 offseason by trading Seth Curry to the Sixers for Josh Richardson and a second-round draft pick that turned in Tyler Bey, but the deal has quickly turned into a disaster for Dallas. The Mavericks sank to 21st in defensive rating last season and Josh Richardson slipped to the fringes of the rotation in the playoffs as Curry took another step forward in Philadelphia.
Reggie Bullock and Sterling Brown give Dallas two wings with size and athletic ability, but both rated as slightly below-average defenders last season. Bullock finished tied for 134th in FiveThirtyEight’s Defensive RAPTOR and Brown was 164th out of 250 qualified players. They can be viewed as slight upgrades, but neither player is a game-changer or lockdown option.
Finishing in the top ten in defensive rating is a benchmark of a championship team. Expect new head coach Jason Kidd to change the Dallas Mavericks scheme, but the talent is just not there for them to jump 11-plus spots.
Do not be surprised to see the Mavericks attempt to add upgrades here via trade or the buyout market. Improving on the margins defensively could be massive as Dallas tries to advance to the second round of the playoffs for the first time since winning the title in 2011.