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Why Gary Payton II is the perfect free agent for the Dallas Mavericks

Dallas Mavericks, Gary Payton II
Dallas Mavericks, Gary Payton II / Darren Yamashita-USA TODAY Sports
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The Dallas Mavericks have not been shy about upgrading their roster this offseason. They traded four players that were outside their playoff rotation and their 2022 first-round pick to the Rockets for Christian Wood before the Warriors wrapped up the championship. Dallas swung another deal on trade night to pick Jaden Hardy as he slipped into the second round.

President of basketball operations and general manager Nico Harrison is entering his second year on the job, and fans are starting to realize he works fast. Last summer, the Mavs signed Reggie Bullock and Sterling Brown, while bringing back Tim Hardaway Jr. and Boban Marjanovic in the opening hours of free agency. Before fans went to bed on June 30, the Mavericks made had all but figured out their roster.

Dallas is searching for a wing with their taxpayer mid-level exception, and they should attempt to steal a key piece from the Warriors in Gary Payton II.

Why Gary Payton II is the perfect free agent for the Dallas Mavericks

Payton II was searching for a job before the 2021-2022 season. The 6’3 wing would have signed with any team willing to offer him a contract before the Warriors brought him back. The 29-year-old has always been a strong perimeter defender, but his offensive game was a question mark before Payton II cracked the rotation and never left as he was a key piece of their championship squad.

The Warriors only have non-Bird Rights, so the most they can offer him in free agency would be the full taxpayer mid-level exception at $6.3 million. Golden State has Otto Porter Jr. and Kevon Looney hitting the open market as well. They have Looney’s Bird Rights, so it comes down to Porter Jr. and Payton II for who takes the Dubs taxpayer mid-level.

Here is a look at why the Dallas Mavericks should try to swoop in and sign Gary Payton II the minute free agency opens on June 30.

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