Many are still recovering from the defeat the Mavericks faced at the hands of the Houston Rockets. I know, it’s still fresh. However, Dallas’ season is over and it’s time to talk about ways they can improve their roster for next season via Free Agency.
A lot of big names have surfaced with regards to who Dallas may pursue on July 1st, whom of which have mainly been front court players, i.e., Marc Gasol, LaMarcus Aldridge, and DeAndre Jordan. Dallas’ backcourt is in a murky state, in part to the vacancy Rajon Rondo was supposed to in theory, supply at the Point Guard position. The Shooting Guard position isn’t any clearer, dependent on whether Monta Ellis will opt in or out of his contract. With that being said, below I have compiled a list of some under the radar guards the Dallas Mavericks should, at least, pursue in Free Agency.
Disclaimer: For the purposes of this article we’ll constitute “under the radar guards” as players who will not necessarily be deemed as “flashy” moves if inked to a deal but can pay dividends in the future when surrounded with the right pieces.
- Mo Williams
MO WILLIAMS? Am I crazy? Frankly, a little. Mavs need to have youth, length, rebounding, and defense on their minds this offseason. Does Mo Williams embody any of those aforementioned qualities? The answer: not quite. The pool of Point Guards this offseason looks entirely bleak. There is no perfect solution. Mo Williams and Dallas had strong mutual interests last offseason and Mo has been recruited by the Mavericks for the last couple of years (Mo even has family that lives here). The idea here is that if Dallas spends big time bucks on front court players (insert a DeAndre Jordan or LaMarcus Aldridge max deal) they would have to sign bargain deals to fill out the rest of the team and preserve the depth this organization has always been known for. Mavs would take a committee approach with Harris and Williams splitting time at Point Guard and heck, even playing together during certain stretches. Williams is not a defensive juggernaut but saying he’s a liability is a tad harsh. An underrated distributor, as evidenced by his 6+ assist per game averages in his stints with Minnesota and Charlotte. Mo can space the floor and still has plenty left in the tank averaging 14.2 PPG, 6.2 APG, and 2.6 RPG this past year. The idea of being able to play minutes in the high 20’s and even the chance to start for a playoff team should have Mo Williams licking his chops.
- Patrick Beverly
Dealing with restricted free agents is always a hotly debated topic. Mainly because signing a restricted free agent binds a team while they wait 72 excruciating hours for the opposing teams decision on whether to match the offer sheet or not. The story lines between Houston and Dallas would continue to boil with another Mavs attempt to pry away one of Houston’s restricted FA’s. What makes Beverly a worthy signee is his defensive tenacity and prowess he displays on the court. Oh how the Mavs need that! He is a respectable three-point shooter but far from elite. If Monta opts in or is re-signed, paring him with a defensive ace in Beverly will infuse Dallas’ backcourt with the right balance of defense and offense. The concern lies in that Beverly’s Point Guard designation for all intent and purposes is simply a title. He can bring the ball up the court but is far from a floor general. Beverly may say he feels a connection with Houston and wants to build something special there. However, he has been a league minimum bargain for Houston. Beverly, above all things, is looking for a pay day. One where Houston can easily be outbid or not even feel worth pursuing.
- Danny Green
Herein lies your prototypical 3-and-D NBA player. Every team needs a player, which Dallas didn’t have the luxury of, who can spread the floor with elite shooting and effectively tackle the responsibility of checking the opposing teams best perimeter player. In his last 4 seasons Green shot 42.4% from three, which is absolutely ridiculous considering the volume of threes he takes. In his last 2 seasons Green has finished 2nd and 7th in DRPM (Defensive Real Plus Minus) among Shooting Guards, making him one of the elite defenders in today’s NBA at his respective position. The skepticism here is that aside from shooting threes, Green’s offensive capabilities are extremely limited. He cannot create his own shot and can be streaky shooting the basketball. His length, high IQ, and defense however are reasons Dallas should be in hot pursuit for his signature. Danny Green is most likely to command an 8-10 million yearly deal. San Antonio must choose whether they can afford to pay him that much while chasing star free agents themselves.
- Arron Afflalo
Arron Afflalo has played for four different teams (Orlando, Denver, Portland, and Detroit), in just 7 years of NBA experience. Not exactly a ringing endorsement huh? Hear me out. Afflalo hasn’t been able to find the perfect fit and the losing cultures he’s been a part of have played a huge role in that. A change of scenery to a championship pedigree organization might just do the trick. Exhibit A of this phenomenon is Mavs’ very own Monta Ellis. Ellis was known as a selfish volume shooter who could never be a part of a winning team. All these things changed when Ellis joined Dallas and became their go-to-guy. If Ellis so desires to pursue the lucrative contract he rightly deserves and Dallas kindly declines to meet his demands, bringing in Afflalo as a cheap replacement wouldn’t necessarily be a terrible option. No one would argue, no one sane at least, that Afflalo possesses the driving, finishing, and ball handling abilities of Monta Ellis. What he does bring to the table however, is defense and length to the Shooting Guard position with his 6’5” 215 pound frame. His floor spacing and post game would give Carlisle another dimension to work with on the offensive end. One that Monta Ellis simply does not offer.
A lot of speculation and rumors will surface as July 1st nears its head. One thing is for sure. Cuban, Donnie, and the entire Mavericks front office have some work cut out for them.