The Smoking Cuban
Mavs News

Mavericks: 3 make or break X-factors for the 2021-22 season

By Darreck Kirby
Dallas Mavericks, Kristaps Porzingis, Tim Hardaway Jr.
Dallas Mavericks, Kristaps Porzingis, Tim Hardaway Jr. / Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports
2 of 3
Dallas Mavericks, Reggie Bullock
Dallas Mavericks, Reggie Bullock / Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

Dallas Mavericks X-factor for 2021-2022 season: 2. Reggie Bullock

Aside from new deals for Luka Doncic and Tim Hardaway Jr., Reggie Bullock was the biggest dollar contract signed by the Mavericks this offseason. Yes, three years and $30 million was the top offseason haul in what the franchise itself acknowledged was a crucial free agency period following last season.

Not to dismiss Bullock as a player. While the former Knick has had stints with four previous teams, he's always brought a tough-minded 3-and-D impact that has served his team well. In comparing his defensive stats with Josh Richardson, his "spiritual successor" in Dallas, Bullock's defensive rating is far superior while being a dead-eye 3-point shooter to boot.

In his lone season with the Mavs, Richardson regressed, potentially in part due to extenuating circumstances, both defensively and as a 3-point shooter. The difference is that when Richardson was acquired in exchange for Seth Curry on draft night 2020, he was intended to be a significant addition to the future, one that could pay dividends come the postseason. Instead, he became unplayable in the seven-game first-round loss to the Clippers.

Bullock won't carry that kind of pressure as a Maverick. What he will bring is a good deal of grit and capable catch-and-shoot ability the Mavs have been searching for over the past two seasons, and although he is 30 years old, he could well prove to be a viable piece throughout the next few years.

If he shot 41 percent from three without Luka Doncic gift wrapping him quality looks, imagine what he could do for the Dallas Mavericks moving forward.