Doubters already creeping in on Mavericks' decision to trade for Klay Thompson

Klay Thompson
Klay Thompson / Ezra Shaw/GettyImages

Barring re-signing Derrick Jones Jr., the Dallas Mavericks look to have had one of their most successful offseason periods in franchise history within these past couple weeks. Dallas traded Tim Hardaway Jr. and a myriad of second round picks to the Detroit Pistons for a young and defensive-minded guard in Quentin Grimes before free agency even kicked off, and Dallas has since agreed to deals with 3-and-D wing Naji Marshall and an all-time great 3-point marksman in Klay Thompson.

There will be much more clarity on the exact nature of these moves come July 6, as we don’t know the exact construct of the Thompson sign-and-trade yet and deals still can’t be made official until tomorrow.

However, despite having to let go of Josh Green in the sign-and-trade for Thompson, the Mavericks seem like they’ve clearly added more talent than they have lost in this offseason period and they aced this free agency by landing Thompson over other prospective contenders. At face value, Marshall, Grimes, and Thompson provide much more shooting and steady defense compared to the trio of Hardaway Jr., Green, and Jones Jr.

ESPN gives the Mavericks a B- grade for Klay Thompson trade

This isn’t to say Dallas won’t miss Jones Jr.’s elite on-ball defense and athleticism, or Green’s improving point-of-attack defense and transition creation, but Dallas added more surefire shooting this offseason with their moves undoubtedly, even if you want to make the argument that Dallas’ defense could take a marginal dip.

We’ll still have to see if Dallas makes a move for another defensive guard or playmaker to sure up their rotation, as the addition of Grimes helps mend this issue, but it’s clearly something Dallas can still afford to address with an open roster spot and Green heading to the Charlotte Hornets.

Regardless of how hard you want to critique Dallas’ moves this offseason, they objectively got deeper and better on paper at the very least throughout this offseason, and this comes off the heals of them making the NBA Finals this past June.

Dallas’ move to sign-and-trade for Thompson is certainly the main reason for this, as adding a reliable veteran 3-and-D wing with four championships under his belt will be invaluable for this Mavericks squad from multiple vantage points, especially when you take into consideration that the Mavs didn’t overpay for Thompson whatsoever.

The Mavericks still have solid flexibility when it comes to making trades heading into next season by staying under the first apron this offseason as well, so the Mavericks are in really good standing after making this move for Thompson whilst coming off of a Finals appearance. However, there are still those who think Dallas made an ill-advised decision to trade for Thompson, as ESPN writer Kevin Pelton handed the Mavericks a B- for their decision to trade for Thompson in his recent trade grades for the 2024-25 offseason (subscription required).

While Thompson may be 34-years-old and isn’t as dynamic of a defender and shooter as he once was, Pelton is negligent of how well Thompson could fit into this Mavericks offense by giving Dallas a B- for this move, and he’s underrating how productive Thompson still was on a fragmented Warriors’ team last season.

Even Thompson’s father was vocal in regard to wanting to see his son choose the Lakers over the Mavs this free agency, so it’s clear talking heads in the national media are already showing their doubt that the Mavericks can make this move work, despite all signs pointing towards Thompson helping get this near-championship level Mavericks team over the hump next season.

The Mavs are not new to the national media doubting their trades, as the overwhelming majority thought that Kyrie Irving and Luka Doncic wouldn't fit together, and they're on course to prove everyone wrong once again.

For more on Klay Thompson and the Dallas Mavericks, stay tuned as we will have you covered.