Grading Dallas Mavericks GM Nico Harrison in year 1: Free agency
Harrison had to work the free-agent market a lot in his first year on the job. He signed Reggie Bullock, Sterling Brown, and Frank Ntilikina during his first offseason. The Mavs also re-signed Tim Hardaway Jr. and Boban Marjanovic before getting a supermax extension done with superstar Luka Doncic. It was a busy first summer for Harrison.
Bullock was a key piece of the team’s playoff run. He is the perfect complement to Doncic as he spaces the floor, plays stout defense, and does not command the ball. Signing the 3-and-D wing for the mid-level exception was a fantastic move.
Brown was a disappointment. He was in and out of rotation as he failed to find his footing, and the 27-year-old wing was limited to mop-up duty in the playoffs. Brown signed a two-year deal worth $6 million in total, which looks like a small overpay.
Ntilikina found a role in the postseason, and his defense helped the Mavericks on their run to the conference finals. Harrison also signed Theo Pinson, Marquese Chriss, and a host of other players midseason as the team dealt with a COVID outbreak. Pinson and Chriss stuck on the roster and were impressive signings for players that were out of the NBA in mid-December.
Free agency grade for Nico Harrison in Year 1 as Dallas Mavericks GM: B+
The Mavs had cap space last summer and pushed hard for Kyle Lowry before he decided to play for the Heat. Harrison quickly pivoted to adding Bullock, Brown, Ntilikina, and re-signing THJ. Two of those players coupled with mid-season signing Theo Pinson helped Dallas reach the conference finals for just the fifth time in franchise history.
Nico Harrison earned a B-plus for his free agent signings in his first season leading the Mavericks as they acquired quality role players to play off of Luka Doncic.