Did the Dallas Mavericks improve this offseason despite losing Jalen Brunson?

Dallas Mavericks, Luka Doncic, Jalen Brunson
Dallas Mavericks, Luka Doncic, Jalen Brunson / Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports
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Dallas Mavericks, Jalen Brunson
Dallas Mavericks, Jalen Brunson / Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Losing Jalen Brunson hurts Dallas Mavericks: Not finding replacement makes it worse

Fans know the Brunson story by now. The front office failed to sign him to an extension last summer, and it came back to bite them as JB blossomed into an unquestioned starter and the team’s second-most consistent player. Mavericks fans were sad to see him go, but the Knicks offer was just too good to pass up.

Losing a free agent because some other team is willing to overpay is understandable, but beyond the blown opportunity, Dallas did not add another ball-handler to replace Brunson. The Mavs traded fourth-string point guard Trey Burke to the Rockets in the Christian Wood deal, so they are going to ride with just Luka Doncic and Spencer Dinwiddie at the point guard spot.

The Mavericks desperately need another ball-handler and playmaker. They cannot enter the season with just two, especially when head coach Jason Kidd has Doncic and Dinwiddie both penciled into the starting five. Dallas will stagger the minutes, but if one misses time, the Mavericks have no backup ball-handler.

Jalen Brunson was the team’s second-best player last season. After losing him for nothing, fans immediately assume the Mavericks got worse this summer but did they?