Grading Maxi Kleber contract extension with the Dallas Mavericks

Dallas Mavericks, Maxi Kleber
Dallas Mavericks, Maxi Kleber / Ron Jenkins/GettyImages

The Dallas Mavericks reached the conference finals last season by going small and spacing the floor for superstar Luka Doncic. Head coach Jason Kidd embraced playing two ball-handlers, but Maxi Kleber was the linchpin. His unique skill set of defending on the perimeter, protecting the rim, and knocking down threes allowed Dallas to knock off the Jazz and Suns before falling to the eventual champion Warriors in the final four.

Kleber continues to improve, and he has long been one of the most underrated role players in the NBA. The 6’10 big man can guard any player on the court and is a career 35.9 percent 3-point shooter. He made 43.6 percent during the Mavs playoff run in 2022 as he took over as the team’s preferred center, despite not starting one game.

Shams Charania reported that Kleber is finishing a three-year $33 million contract extension with the Mavericks on Sept. 8. He is set to make $9 million this season, and he will not become a free agent until the summer of 2026. How did Dallas do in Kleber’s extension?

Grading Maxi Kleber contract extension with the Dallas Mavericks

Kleber’s new deal does not start until the 2023-2024 season. The details of his contract have not been released, but he makes roughly $11 million per over the three seasons. The non-taxpayer mid-level exception in the summer of 2023 is projected to be $11.283 million, so Dallas signed Kleber for less than the mid-level exception, and teams are projecting another cap spike in 2025.

Kleber’s impact is not always seen in the numbers he produces. He can be a streaky shooter that is not a deterrent around the basket. The 30-year-old is a weak side rim protector that rotates over to block shots. Kleber making $9 million this season was a steal, and his slight raise still makes him a fantastic value moving forward.

Grading Maxi Kleber’s contract extension with Dallas Mavericks: A

The Mavs are going to be over the salary cap for the foreseeable future, so locking Kleber up before he reaches free agency was a wise move. The front office saw what happened with Jalen Brunson, and they did not want to repeat those mistakes.

Getting Kleber for three years at $33 million should be a tradeable contract if the Mavericks decide to go star hunting in the 2023 offseason. It is a value deal for a 30-year-old forward that was a key piece of the team’s run to the conference finals just four months ago.

The Dallas Mavericks earn an A for re-signing Maxi Kleber as he joins Luka Doncic and Dorian Finney-Smith as key pieces that are locked up long-term. Can they add a second star next summer? It is a storyline to continue to follow as they look to build a title contender around number 77.

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