As free agency begins to loom in the near future, the Dallas Mavericks need a plan for the two guard position. Monta Ellis has been rumored to be opting out of the final year on his contract which means he will be wanting a big pay day, whether it be in Dallas or elsewhere.
Keeping him in a Mavericks uniform for the coming season could be extremely costly and might require Dallas to move in a different direction at shooting guard. Some of the other (and possibly better) options Dallas could have this summer include: Khris Middleton, Danny Green, Wesley Mathews, and Gerald Green.
Let’s start with Khris Middleton, he is a restricted free agent this summer and is coming off a break-out season which could make him an expensive pick up. Depending on his price range he could be a very valuable addition to the Mavericks. He would be a huge upgrade on the defensive end and can provide the three-point shooting that Monta Ellis never could. He does not however have the scoring prowess that Monta does, he couldn’t replace the 4th quarter magic that Ellis proved time and time again that he has. If Middleton can come at the right price and becomes more affordable than Ellis then he could be an extremely valuable part of the Mavericks future.
After stealing Chandler Parsons from the Rockets last year and the rumors surrounding Patrick Beverley leaving Houston for Dallas this year, it is clear the Mavericks front office has no problem stealing players from their rivals. This could happen again this summer but with more than just Beverley, Danny Green from San Antonio is on Dallas’ radar. Green is a three-point marksman in every sense of the word, and also a quality defender on the perimeter. He is similar to Middleton in the sense that he offers the “3 and D” that Monta hasn’t, but can’t match the explosiveness and clutch factor of Ellis. If Danny Green stays at the near 5 million a year price tag he has had, he would be a steal considering what he brings to the table.
One of the two Trail Blazers Dallas has interest in this summer, Wesley Mathews could be a great addition to the team. A Texas native, Mathews is another knock down three-point shooter and quality defender on the perimeter. He did however have a brutal season ending Achilles injury near the end of last season which could make him a risk going forward. The injury also means though that his contract will be much more affordable. If Casey Smith believes he can recover to full form he would be a great talent at a more than reasonable price. He is slightly older than the other free agents at 28, but he is slightly younger than Monta Ellis and still has a lot left in the tank if he can recover from his injury.
Last but not least, the dark horse for the job, Gerald Green. An extraordinary athlete and former Maverick, Green would provide an explosive scorer and lengthy defender, who can defend multiple positions, as well as an above average three-point shooter at an affordable price. Green is still overlooked and underrated so his contract won’t be much more expensive than his current 3.5 million dollar price tag. He might not be the name that jumps off the page, but he is still a very interesting option that Dallas should definitely take a look at.
It would be very bitter sweet to let Monta Ellis go, but if he does end up skipping town, any of these players could be viable options to be his replacement. All of them provide better three-point shooting and defense which is exactly what Dallas lacked last year on the perimeter. In any case, the front office will be busy this offseason.