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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Dallas Mavericks, Gary Payton II
Dallas Mavericks, Luka Doncic, Gary Payton II / Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

Why Gary Payton II is the perfect free agent for Dallas Mavericks: 1. Defense

The Mavs made a massive commitment on the defensive end of the floor last season as they went from 21st to seventh in defensive rating. Head coach Jason Kidd brought in a different scheme and the players bought in. It was their defense that propelled them into the Western Conference Finals as they held the Suns to their three lowest-scoring games of the season in the second round.

The Mitten finished fifth in FiveThirtyEight’s defensive RAPTOR last season. He is one of the best perimeter stoppers in the league, which made it an easy decision to use him on the opposition’s lead ball-handler. The player he guarded most this season was Ja Morant, who shot four of 18 from the field in 20.4 matchup minutes per NBA Stats when combining in the postseason.

Gary Payton II is an instant upgrade to any defense, and he would give coach Kidd some flexibility. Dorian Finney-Smith and Reggie Bullock can wear down the opposition before The Mitten enters to disrupt the ball-handler. It would give Dallas one of the best defenses in the league, and their perimeter strength would cover for their current lack of rim protection.

Next. Mavericks 2022 NBA Draft grades. dark

Can the Dallas Mavericks sign Gary Payton II away from Golden State? Both sides are likely offering the taxpayer mid-level exception at $6.3 million, but Dallas could offer the 6’3 guard a bit more playing time on the wing. Would it be enough to get him to leave the defending champions? Stay tuned to see what Payton II decides in free agency.