What should Dallas Mavericks do if Jalen Brunson leaves: 5. Sign 3-and-D wing with mid-level
The Mavs want shooting and defense around Luka Doncic. They will miss Brunson’s ability to create shots and attack off the dribble, but finding a defensive upgrade could soften the blow. Dallas should be searching for someone 6’6 or taller that can guard multiple positions in the playoffs.
The Mavericks have Jalen Brunson’s Bird Rights, so they can offer him up to a max contract, but if he leaves, the most they can extend to any free agent is the $6.3 million taxpayer mid-level exception, which forces them to shop in the bargain bin.
The free-agent point guard crop is not strong behind Brunson. Ricky Rubio is coming off an ACL injury. Collin Sexton, Delon Wright, and Tyus Jones headline the rest of the group. Those are not franchise-altering signings for the Mavericks, so they are better off adding a rotation quality wing and looking to fill their ball-handling need elsewhere.
The top 3-and-D wings the Mavericks could target are Otto Porter Jr., Gary Payton II, Bruce Brown, Wesley Matthews, and Cody Martin. Dallas would love to add one of the two Warriors wings, but convincing them to leave Golden State for the taxpayer mid-level exception will be easier said than done.