The Dallas Mavericks surprisingly reached the conference finals last season, and they entered the offseason on a high note. General manager Nico Harrison wasted zero time as he traded for Christian Wood before the NBA Finals were wrapped up. Then, they traded back into the draft to select Jaden Hardy, and Dallas was focused on upgrading their roster as free agency loomed.
The Mavs top offseason priority was re-signing Jalen Brunson after his breakout fourth NBA season that saw him vault into the team’s second-best player. The 25-year-old still has room to grow, but he decided to join his father and close family friends in New York. Letting Brunson walk for nothing was a front office failure, but how did they rebound?
It was always going to be a quiet summer, but the front office focused on filling holes from their first deep playoff run since winning the title in 2011. Here is a look at why things were always going to be quiet in Dallas during free agency.
Dallas Mavericks 2022 free agency grades: Why they were quiet
Luka Doncic’s max extension kicked in this summer, which put the Mavs over the luxury tax for the first time since 2011. They also lacked roster space. The Mavericks made a four-for-one trade to start the summer, but they only had one other spot to fill. One went to Jaden Hardy in the draft, so Dallas had just three to use in free agency.
Being over the luxury tax limited the Mavs to their taxpayer mid-level exception of just over $6.4 million, but the front office had to use a piece of it to give Hardy a third year on his rookie contract. Dallas had holes to fill, but did not have a lot of money to spend, so how did they do?