The Dallas Mavericks have just 14 players under contract, and a massive ball-handling hole after Jalen Brunson signed with the Knicks in free agency. Adding a veteran playmaker to round out their roster makes sense, but things are complicated by the salary cap.
The Mavs are over the luxury tax line for the first time since 2011, so they do not want to sign a player now that they have to cut later if they can find a trade that improves their roster. Owner Mark Cuban made the case for in-season flexibility recently. It saves him some money and allows the front office to be slightly more creative when discussing in-season trades.
Mavericks general manager Nico Harrison and vice president of basketball operations Michael Finley were on-hand to watch free agent guard Dennis Schroder play for Germany in EuroBasket 2022, which prompted speculation about the team’s plans, and Marc Stein filled fans in on the latest in his most recent column (subscription required).
Rumors: Dallas Mavericks weighing what to do with final roster spot
Stein reports Dallas is still weighing what to do between adding another playmaker to play behind Luka Doncic and Spencer Dinwiddie or leaving the space open for in-season flexibility. Stein notes the best available free agent guards are Schroder, Eric Bledsoe, Elfrid Payton, Facundo Campazzo, and Dennis Smith Jr.
The decision should come down to the impact the free agent guards can have on the team. Are the Mavericks better off sticking with Tim Hardaway Jr., Frank Ntilikina, and Josh Green handling those minutes? Can Tyler Dorsey push his way into the rotation after signing a two-way contract this summer? Does Schroder or another free agent fill the Dinwiddie role from last season with Spencer taking over the Bruson role? If the answer to the final question is yes, signing the free agent is a no-brainer.
The Dallas Mavericks need another playmaker, and they should add the best available option if they cannot find a trade before training camp begins on Sept. 26. Will they do it? Stay tuned to find out.