2. Maxi Kleber
Maxi Kleber had one of his more underwhelming seasons in recent memory this past season for the Dallas Mavericks. To his credit, Kleber suffered a torn hamstring in mid-December that derailed his season pretty handily, as Dallas wouldn't see him return until after the All-Star break.
However, upon returning to action, Kleber's play seemed like it was in flux for the majority of the rest of the season. He'd have games where he looked like the stabilizing factor for Dallas, anchoring down on opposing bigs and hitting big 3-point shots on the other end. But more often than not, Maxi looked a step too slow on defense and much more stale on offense.
Kleber only attempted 4.6 field goals per game last season, his lowest number since his rookie season. This comes with him still playing about 25 minutes per game, which is arguably a more expansive role than he'll be playing this season for Dallas. Kleber looked hesitant offensively in situations where he normally would be a bit more decisive and confident.
Kleber is the true hallmark of a 3-and-D big in today's NBA, but his offensive role was diminished to a low enough point last year to where that's nearly all he did. The Mavericks ran much fewer pick-and-rolls with Maxi last year, and he rarely finished at the rim or pulled up for a mid-range jump shot when attacking off a closeout.
We can likely attribute Kleber's offensive deficiencies to his confidence going down mentally post-injury, plus the fact that the torn hamstring likely hindered his explosiveness. However, Kleber isn't getting any younger and will be 32 in January of this upcoming season.
The Mavericks have a bullpen of centers currently, and while Kleber's skillset is a luxury to have off the bench, he may very well be expendable if Dallas brings in another defensive-oriented center that is of starting caliber in a trade.
The Mavs mustn't over-expend Kleber like they have in years past. He's a good role player but shouldn't be delegated too many responsibilities at this stage in his career. At an $11 million figure next year, Kleber's contract is relatively tradeable if he plays decent. Dallas may very well look to consolidate him for another big, but he's still not as likely to be off the team by the end of the season as much as our last candidate.