Free agency is upon us and I have my list of guys I’d like to see in a Mavs uniform this coming season. This list is a combination of rumors, expectations, and my personal preferences. Enjoy!
Another year, another Mavs Free Agency. There will be no mass pursuit of big fish, but Deandre Jordan is back on the Mavs radar. With his name being the only one floated publicly, he’ll definitely be a focus of this list but I do want to focus on some under the radar moves as well.
Let’s start with the roster however. The players listed below are the most likely to be on the roster. Remember we have up to 15 regular roster spots and then 2, 2-way spots.
Currently we have 6 spots guaranteed, including Luka. Dirk will definitely be the 7th. Everybody else is either a restricted free agent, unrestricted free agent, or a 2nd round pick whose contract is not guaranteed.
- Harrison Barnes
- Wes Mathews
- Dwight Powell
- Dirk Nowitzki (duh)
- JJ Barea
- Dennis Smith, Jr.
- Luka Doncic (guaranteed rookie)
Here’s the positional breakdown of the guys definitely on the team or at least under contract.
- PG: Dennis Smith, JJ Barea
- SG: Luka Doncic, Wes Mathews
- SF: Harrison Barnes
- PF: Dirk, Dwight Powell
- C: N/A
I don’t want to see Harrison Barnes at the 4 for heavy minutes. My goals in free agency are to add two true centers and a young, scoring power forward. Anything beyond that would be gravy but some perimeter shooting would be great as well. The idea of competing is fun but the idea of building a young core around Dennis and Luka is bigger to me. Deandre affects that slightly but if we also grab a young center to put behind him it aligns with both of our goals.
(I’ll update the list once free agency gets under way and players start signing with teams. All league updates will be in red, Mavs in blue.)
Center (1 of the top 4, at least one of the bottom 6)
- Clint Capela (R) (Won’t pursue)
- Deandre Jordan Mavs
- Jusuf Nurkic (R) (won’t pursue)
Demarcus CousinsWarriors Thomas BryantWizards
- Alex Len
- Lucas Nogueira
- Salah Mejri Mavs
- Kyle O’Quinn
Center is the biggest position of need. Deandre is the expectation but we’ve been burned before. I could easily seeing us take a run at Capela or Nurk with the Rockets and Blazers facing cap room issues if something falls through with Deandre however. Cousins is only on the list because he’ll get a call unless Deandre agrees by 12:15 AM but I’d rather avoid him. Not only because of his health but also because he seems to be a distraction.
From the bottom 6, I’d Love to see Thomas Bryant become a Mav. I ranked him 16th on my big board last year because of his natural physical gifts. I think he has a lot of potential and just needs some time and guidance to nurture it. Otherwise, I’d like to see us pursue Len or Nogueira as reclamation projects. The bottom 3 would be last resort bench fillers.
Julius Randle (R)Pelicans Aaron Gordon (R)Magic Derrick FavorsJazz Jerami GrantThunder
Randle or Gordon come out as MUSTS for me though they are both somewhat long shots. Favors would be a solid consolation prize but I’m not sure how he fits into the style we’re going to want to play and his upside isn’t as great as I’d like it to be.
- Jabari Parker (R)
Doug McDermottPacers Glenn Robinson IIIPistons Mario HezonjaKnicks
- Bruno Caboclo
- James Ennis
This is tricky with Harrison and Luka there but with Jabari being a 3/4 he could be a good consolation prize if we can’t get Randle or Gordon. Doug seems to want to be in Dallas but we’ll see how that works out. If it’s neither of those two I like Glenn or Mario as high upside reclamation projects and the other two as roster fillers.
- Rodney Hood (R)
Seth CurryBlazers Kentavious Caldwell-PopeLakers Avery BradleyClippers Will BartonNuggets
- Marcus Smart (R)
Hood and Curry would be great signings but both will likely have huge markets. As Much as I love Seth he’d be signing to be a 6th man and I’m not sure he wants that or has to accept it. Hood, if Lebron leaves, would be an asset for Cleveland and would potentially keep them somewhat competitive in the short-term if it goes that way.
MCWRockets Dante Exum (R)Jazz
- Devin Harris
We don’t actually need to sign another point guard but we most likely will. I’ll miss Yogi.
Overall Ranking (expectation/preferred in bold, Green if signed)
- Clint Capela
- Deandre Jordan
- Rodney Hood
- Jusuf Nurkic
Seth Curry Thomas Bryant
- Jabari Parker
When it’s all said and done, this is my preferred lineup based on a combination of money, expectations, and my preferences.
- PG: Dennis Smith, Jr./JJ Barea/Jalen Brunson
- SG: Luka Doncic/Wes Matthews/Devin Harris
- SF: Harrison Barnes/James Ennis/Dorian Finney-Smith
- PF: Dwight Powell/Ray Spalding/
- C: Deandre Jordan/Dirk Nowitzki/Thomas Bryant/Mejri
- 2-Way: Bruno Cabolco, Kostas Antetokounmpo
In this scenario, Randle signs for the Mid-Level exception unless Deandre is willing to take less than the max. Randle is really the only player I’m reaching with here since the Lakers could easily bring him back and trade others to make room for the big fish. I just want a young center and an established center, a scoring PF, and for Harrison Barnes to be the starting 3 and not 4. There will inevitably be some other smaller signings thrown in but these are the guys I want. The above leaves a full roster spot and a 2-way spot open.
Wes would also become more expendable than before and it would not surprise me if he’s dealt within the week. If we garner interest from some of these restricted players we’ll need money and moving his contract or Dwight’s would be the easiest ways to get that money.
What are your thoughts on the above list? Is there anybody you’d like to see that isn’t mentioned? Hit me up on twitter @MBibs or @Bibscorner.