Bargain bin free-agent center Dallas Mavericks should target: 1. Isaiah Hartenstein
Hartenstein deserves to get paid this offseason, but he could likely be had at the taxpayer mid-level exception. The 24-year-old big man has played for four different teams in his four NBA seasons, but he continues to prove himself in a limited role off the bench as the seven-footer averaged 8.3 points, 4.9 rebounds, and 1.1 blocks in 17.9 minutes per game in the 2021-2022 season for the LA Clippers. He shot 62.6 percent from the field and made 14 of his 30 3-point attempts.
Hartenstein can rebound, protect the rim, and provide quality minutes as a roll man. He scored 1.26 points per possession in pick and roll situations this season, which ranked in the top 25 percent of the league. The seven-footer is developing a jump shot that could take his game to another level.
The LA Clippers have no plans of letting Hartenstein go, but they have Non-Bird right meaning they can only offer 120 percent of his contract from last season. If Dallas comes with the full taxpayer mid-level exception that is a full $4 million more than the Clippers can put on the table.
Isaiah Hartenstein would be the perfect center upgrade for the Dallas Mavericks, and the 24-year-old has room to continue improving his game. Dallas will need to upgrade on a budget, but there will be plenty of free-agent options available on the cheap, so stay tuned to see who the Mavs land after July 1.