Return or Burn: Which free agents should the Dallas Mavericks bring back?

Tyler Watts
Dallas Mavericks, Kyrie Irving
Dallas Mavericks, Kyrie Irving / Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports
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Does Frank Ntilikina return to the Dallas Mavericks next season?

The Mavs signed Ntilikina in 2021 after the former lottery pick struggled in his four years with the Knicks. He was drafted as a point guard, but The French Prince found some success as a 3-and-D wing in his first season in Dallas. Ntilikina even played in every game of the team’s final two playoff series last year.

The 24-year-old is an above-average perimeter defender, but he has made just 11 of his 53 3-point attempts this season after shooting 34.2 percent in his first year with the Mavs. Ntilikina needs to hit shots to be able to stay on the floor, especially in the postseason. Teams will leave him wide open and dare Frankie Smokes to shoot. Right now, it looks like he cannot make those jumpers.

Verdict: Burn

The Dallas Mavericks desperately need defense, and Ntilikina is still only averaging 11.8 minutes per game. The 24-year-old must work on his jumper and improve his overall shooting efficiency if he wants to contribute to a contending team.

Dallas should let Frank Ntilikina walk, and add a better fit on a minimum contract in free agency. The Mavericks will be focused on improving their wing depth this offseason, and finding an upgrade over Ntilikina should be a priority.