Solution to the Dallas Mavericks’ worrisome problem is hidden in plain sight

Naji Marshall
Naji Marshall / Cooper Neill/GettyImages

After officially completing an NBA record six-team sign-and-trade to acquire Klay Thompson, the Dallas Mavericks are positioned to field one of the best rosters that they’ve had in years. The Mavericks still have one more roster spot that has yet to be filled, but it cannot be understated how well the Mavericks have navigated this offseason period up to this point.

While Dallas lost Josh Green in the sign-and-trade for Thompson and defensive stud Derrick Jones Jr. signed with the LA Clippers, the Mavericks added Quentin Grimes via trade and Naji Marshall via free agency to help replace the stellar point-of-attack defense that Jones Jr. and Green played to help Dallas reach the NBA Finals last season.

Many fans and analysts would agree that the Mavericks need one more point-of-attack defender in their lineup, as Jones Jr. was a saving grace for the Mavericks in their playoff run at times with his ability to stay stout against opposing ball handlers, as Jones Jr.’s athleticism and lateral agility in his wiry 6-foot-6 frame isn’t something that one single individual will be able to replace for the Mavericks next season.

Naji Marshall and Quentin Grimes are poised to be elite defenders for Mavericks

However, the argument can be made that Dallas can actually take a step up when it comes to defending the point of attack next year, even if they are going to have to do it by committee. Grimes has very similar characteristics to Josh Green in terms of his athleticism and build, but Grimes is honestly even more of a consistent defender than Green is, as he’s an expert screen navigator and is more calculated at using his aggression and hands to derail opposing ball handlers.

Grimes will certainly help Dallas at the point-of-attack tremendously, and Marshall can defend less dynamic guards effectively as well, even though he’s more equipped to guard bigger-bodied wings with his 6-foot-6 and 220-pound frame.

Thompson also still has very good defensive intangibles and has an elite understanding of how to fit into a team’s defensive concept, even if he may have lost a step defending at the point of attack at 34 years old.

He’s in a much more ideal position in Dallas to not be relied upon as a primary defensive option at the point-of-attack with Grimes, Marshall, and Dante Exum in Dallas’ main rotation, so that should hopefully conserve some of his energy on the defensive end come the playoffs as well. Even if the Mavericks don’t choose to add another point-of-attack defender, they’ve matched their defensive prowess on the perimeter that they showcased last season on paper at the very least.

Fans should be excited as the Mavericks project to have one of the top defenses in the league this next season after Grimes, Marshall, and Thompson have all been added to a roster that already features Daniel Gafford and Dereck Lively II anchoring Dallas’ back line.

Dallas adding another point-of-attack defender would certainly help ease uncertainty over a potential deficiency in their lineup if someone gets hurt, but it goes without saying that this Mavericks team still projects to be very dynamic at defending the point of attack with the personnel they added this offseason.

For more on Naji Marshall, Klay Thompson, Quentin Grimes, and anything else involving the Dallas Mavericks, stay tuned as we will have you covered.