Dallas Mavericks 2023 NBA Free Agency Preview

By: Anthony Miller

Just a week after completing their NBA Draft, the Dallas Mavericks prepare for one of the most important free agency periods in recent memory.

Dallas got off to a good start making several moves during the NBA Draft last week with two trades resulting in three players joining the squad. The Mavericks drafted center Dereck Lively II and forward Olivier-Maxence Prosper in the first round of the draft. Part of the Dallas-Sacramento trade involving Prosper also includes veteran forward Richaun Holmes being traded to the Mavericks.

The focus for Dallas so far this offseason is making sure they make the necessary improvements to the defense. They were ranked 16 in the NBA in points allowed per game with 114.1. Dallas’ defense was also ranked 24 in the league in field goals made with 48.5 percent. Another key stat was they were 23 in the league in rebounds allowed at 44.7.

This Mavericks team needs a lot of help with defense and make sure they don’t allow easy shots in the paint which is what has led to the moves at power forward and center. More needs to be done as they look for a difference-maker to help them out. This is one of the few focuses Dallas must ensure they are getting themselves back in the playoff picture this season.

Can Dallas Retain Kyrie Irving?

Photo via Esquire Middle East

There is so much speculation about what Kyrie Irving is going to do, but it’s clear he is going to weigh out his options. Word is Irving’s focus is the next team he signs with will be a long-term home for him, but he will be meeting with some teams including the Mavericks and puzzlingly the Phoenix Suns. The question is how many other suitors are going to be pursuing him?

Tackling the other teams first, the Suns are a fascinating team to be in the running especially since they just traded for Bradley Beal and already have Devin Booker in the backcourt as well. This seems like a stretch as there is no possible way Phoenix can afford Irving unless a potential sign and trade happen that would have the Suns send someone like DeAndre Ayton to Dallas for Irving. Intriguing, but not sure how realistic that is.

Outside of that, there may not be many teams that would be willing to give Irving a max contract, especially with his past. Since leaving Cleveland in 2017, Irving has played on three different teams including Boston, Brooklyn, and Dallas. His performances haven’t changed as he has still established himself as one of the best players in the league, but small off-court issues have caused some complications.

It appears that Dallas is still a front-runner to land Irving as they are willing to give him what he wants so that they can keep the combination of him and Luka Doncic together. Irving was great for the Mavericks, averaging 27 points, six assists, five rebounds, and shooting 51 percent from the field in 20 games. In fact, Irving and Doncic together helped Dallas have an offensive rating of 121.7 when they played together which was ranked first in the NBA. For Dallas, this is worth the move to keep another star player on the team as they work on finding a third option to make their next “Big Three”.

Will The Mavericks Find Their Big Man?

Photo via Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

It isn’t for a lack of trying, but Dallas has been pursuing big men to trade to the team to help in the paint. They have reached out to Jarrett Allen, DeAndre Ayton, Pascal Siakam, and more, but nothing has come of them with most rejecting their offers. There was even interest in Andre Drummond potentially joining if he opted out of his player option with the Chicago Bulls, but he opted-in.

The only big player who is going to be visiting the Mavericks is Denver Nuggets guard/forward Bruce Brown. This one doesn’t really help Dallas in the paint, but it will provide them with more role-player talent for them. Even this one is going to be tough as Denver has intentions of trying to bring Brown back onto the team.

With Christian Wood hitting free agency and not looking like he will be back for Dallas, the Mavericks may have to shift their sights on another center to bring in. The two big options for Dallas are either Brook Lopez or Jakob Poeltl. Lopez may be the better of the two options being that Lopez is an elite defender which is what Dallas needs and he will be able to grab 10-15 rebounds a game. Poeltl may not happen as the Toronto Raptors are looking to bring him back.

Superstar Talent Finally Coming to Dallas?

Image via Dallas Morning News

Irving would be a massive signing for the Mavericks as he goes in as arguably the top free agent in the NBA this off-season. That would be good for Dallas’ offensive production bringing him back and keeping them as one of the more dangerous offenses in the league. What they need is a defensive-oriented player to help the Mavericks make the team more complete.

From Lopez to Draymond Green, there are good defensive players who could make up that good third option for Dallas. The concern comes with attracting big-name stars to Dallas which has plagued this organization for the last five to ten years. They can always find good role players that make them good enough to make the playoffs, but never an elite team. Fans would think the idea of playing for Doncic would help attract bigger-name players. That hasn’t happened.

This offseason and performance next week are reportedly big for Dallas as if the team doesn’t show signs of improvement, Doncic could be gone. The Mavericks must hit a home run in free agency and get this team to be legitimate contenders in the Western Conference. Another flop could lead to a total rebuild of the team which can’t happen.

Featured Image via USA Today

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