8. Royce O’Neale
The Brooklyn Nets are worth watching this season. They focused on acquiring wing depth when breaking up their Big 3. Now, the Nets have more options than minutes and may not be in playoff contention. They hope Mikal Bridges becomes an All-Star, but even that may not be enough. If Brooklyn is out of race, O’Neale will be on the block.
The 6’4 wing is set to make $9.4 million in the final year of his contract. The Nets gave up a first-round pick to acquire him during the 2022 offseason and have no reason to sell low. His playmaking took a step forward last season as he averaged 8.8 points, 5.1 rebounds, 3.7 assists, and 0.9 steals in 31.7 minutes per game. O’Neale is extension-eligible, but Brooklyn will certainly shop him at the deadline if they cannot agree on a long-term deal.
Teams cannot have too many 3-and-D wings. O’Neale shot 38.9 percent from long range in each of the last two seasons and can guard multiple positions. The Dallas Mavericks would love to pair him with Grant Williams to improving their defense. It was key in their run to the conference finals in 2022, and Dallas is just one wing away from replicating it.
The Mavs are light on assets, so acquiring a rental will not be top of the priority list. The fit is there, and Dallas should inquire if Royce O’Neale becomes available. His price tag will be lower than Dorian Finney-Smith's and could be in the Mavericks' price range.