With the Mavericks season coming to an abrupt halt in the first round of the playoffs, against that team from the south-east, some roster changes are imminent.
Of course, the first position to be addressed is point guard after the Rajon Rondo experiment that worked out for no one. Except the Celtics. JJ Barea is a great player and quality floor general, but he can’t be the starting option if this team is going to compete for the title next year. He did play well in the last few games of the playoffs when he started, but would be better utilized as a spark plug like he was in 2011. Devin Harris is another good player, but again I feel that he is a much better option backing up both guard positions as needed. This brings us to the third option, free agency.
As always, the Mavericks are in the running for the big fish this summer in DeAndre Jordan and LaMarcus Aldridge, but what about big fish point guards? Sadly, there aren’t any game changing points hitting the open market this june. Restricted free agents are another story. At the one spot Dallas should be looking for a player with good leadership, can shoot the three ball, and play good defense as that is the team’s biggest liability. The few players that fit this mold are Patrick Beverley, Brandon Knight, and Reggie Jackson.
Let’s start with Patrick Beverley. He is 26 years old which makes him young enough to run the floor with anyone but also old enough to have the experience necessary to win. Last year he averaged 36% from the three-point line as well as 10 points and 3.4 assists. Offensively he isn’t a star but thankfully he doesn’t need to be. With players like Chandler Parsons and Dirk guaranteed to be on the team next season they will do most of the heavy lifting offensively. Beverley’s main job will be to shoot spot up threes and do what he does best in shutting down the other team’s point guard defensively. While he is a restricted free agent this summer, he is also good friends with Chandler Parsons who left the Rockets for the Mavs last season on a restricted free agent deal. Out of the point guards available this summer Beverley is definitely the best fit for Dallas.
The second best option for the Mavs is Brandon Knight. At only 23 years old he has yet to reach his prime, and with his good showing last season who knows how good he can really be. Knight is one of the best shooting point guards in the league right now, especially from deep, and with him as a constant threat defenses will be forced to stay honest against Dallas if he were to join the team. This would give Parsons, Dirk, and possibly Monta depending on his decision, more ability to play one on one and work their defender without a double team coming. On the defensive end Knight would also be valuable as he long enough to guard both point and shooting guards and can survive when switched onto a bigger player. He isn’t a lock down defender like Beverley but he is an upgrade over Devin Harris or Barea. Knight would be a great fit in Dallas, an issue however is his contract. He is expected to only make around 4.7 million next year which is a steal for the suns. Dallas would have to shell out quite a bit of money for him or make a trade for them to let him go.
And the third and least likely option the Mavericks have is Reggie Jackson. Jackson is still only 25 years old and has experience of playing in the playoffs. Last season he was traded to the Pistons and given a starting role for the first time in his career and basically free reign of the team. With all this trust being put into him the Pistons are not likely to let him slip through their fingers. In the short time as a starter he averaged nearly 18 points and 9 assists a game while shooting over 33% from beyond arc. He is also a good high energy defender who can put pressure on whoever he is guarding. While the Mavericks would find him as a great addition to the team, the chances of him leaving his situation Detroit are highly unlikely.
The Dallas Mavericks are in dire need of a new starting caliber point guard and need to find one if they have hopes of making a playoff run next season. With limited options on the table they will have to move fast and get a little creative to find the right one.