Mavericks free agency grade: Dallas to sign Terrence Ross off buyout market
***After earlier reporting, the Suns swooped in and landed Terrence Ross, according to Adrian Wojnarowski. This should only further add spice to the rivalry between the two teams.
Dallas Mavericks general manager and president of basketball operations Nico Harrison did not pull any punches about the team’s buyout market plans. He made it clear that they wanted wing help (subscription required) in an interview with reports on Friday, and it did not take the Mavs front office long to strike as Adrian Wojnarowski reported that they are expected to sign Terrence Ross.
The 6’6 wing has played the last six and a half seasons with the Orlando Magic where he has been a key piece off their bench. Ross has slipped out of the rotation and has not played since Jan. 21 as the team commits to playing younger talents. He averaged 8.0 points, 2.0 rebounds, and 1.3 assists in 22.5 minutes per game this season over 42 contests with the Magic.
The 6'6 wing is securing a buyout and expected to sign the Mavs when he hits the open market. What does Ross bring to the new-look Mavericks with Kyrie Irving, and how does he fit on their roster? Here is a look at the signing before giving it a grade.
Mavericks free agency grade: Dallas to sign Terrence Ross off the buyout market
Ross is a plus-shot-maker and scorer off the bench. He averaged over 15 points per game for three straight years from 2019 to 2021, and the 32-year-old is a career 36.2 percent shooter from 3-point range. The Mavs need a wing replacement after trading Dorian Finney-Smith to Brooklyn to get Kyrie Irving, and Ross fills that void.
The move was a bit surprising, despite the team’s rumored interest. First, the buyout season is just beginning, and the Mavericks have no idea what players will become available. They only had one open roster space, but they could waive Frank Ntilikina or Markieff Morris if they want to dip their toes back in. Dallas is expected to release Chris Silva from his ten-day contract to sign Ross.
It was also surprising because it does not address the team’s biggest need, which is defense. Luka Doncic and Kyrie Irving are two of the best scorers and offensive creators in the NBA. They are going to be elite on that end of the floor, but will they get enough stops to advance deep into the playoffs? Ross is 6’6 and athletic, but he rates as a below-average defender.
The Dallas Mavericks needed another rotation wing, and they landed one of the best that will become available on the buyout market in Terrence Ross. It was an upgrade, and the Mavs wasted zero time in securing it.
Dallas Mavericks free agency grade: B-plus
Expect Ross to join the nightly rotation and to get chances to play in the postseason. The 6’6 wing gives them another scorer and shot-maker in the second unit, even if his defense is not elite. Credit to the Mavericks for making a move, and they earn a B-plus for finding someone that can add to their rotation.
Are the Dallas Mavericks done making moves? Fans know general manager Nico Harrison is not afraid to be aggressive, so stay tuned to see what the team does next.