Mavs Free Agency: Power Forwards

Power Forward is not the deepest or most talented free agent position group this season, not as many game changers up for grabs as in our free agent Center rankings.  Regardless, there could be great value for the Mavs to use some of their $57 million available this summer if they look in the right places.  With no power forward on the roster beyond this season (depending on the Dwight Powell player option) the Mavs will have to be in the mix for some of these guys.  Let’s take a look at some of the top candidates.

Other Free-Agency Articles:

Mavs Free Agent Christmas List

Mavs Free Agency: Point Guards

Mavs Free Agency: Shooting Guards

Mavs Free Agency: Small Forwards

Mavs Free Agency:  Centers

Mavs Free Agency:  Cap Space

*Warning: there may be explicit language in highlight videos.

RFA – Restricted Free Agent
UFA – Unrestricted Free Agent
PO – Player Option
TO – Team Option
Career Earnings – Money earned by NBA salary through the 2018-2019 season, does not include 2019 Option amount.

1.  Dirk Nowitzki, Dallas Mavericks

Type Age  2018 Salary  Career Earnings
UFA 41  $5 M  $255 M
’17-’18 77 24.7 46% 41% 90% 5.7 1.6 0.6 0.6 12
Career 1471 34.4 47% 38% 88% 7.7 2.5 0.9 0.8 21.2

Dirk Nowitzki, the GOAT, the power forward revolutionary, the loyal superstar. 13x All Star, 12x All NBA, NBA MVP, NBA Champion, Finals MVP. All signs point to this being Dirk’s farewell tour but he is still the priority this offseason, whatever Dirk wants, Dirk gets.  Let’s just hope we get to see much more of the Big German before he calls it quite and we put 41 up in the rafters forever.

2.  Kristaps Porzingis, New York Knicks

Type Age  2018 Salary  Career Earnings
RFA 24  $5.7 M  $18.7 M
’17-’18 48 32.4 44% 40% 79% 6.6 1.2 2.4 0.8 22.7
Career 186 31 44% 36% 80% 7.1 1.3 2 0.7 17.8

I’m trying to figure out how the Knicks can screw up Porzingis’ restricted free agency but the only way he is not a Knick long term is if he finally gets fed up with the organization and refuses to sign a long term extension with them. This is an unlikely scenario but if any team can find a way to screw it up, its the Knicks.  Maybe he will decide he doesn;t want to spend his life playing for an ungrateful fanbase that boo’ed him on draft night.  Seeing these fans hold up there Carmelo Anthony jerseys in pride while boo’ing Porzingis is cringe-worthy.

KP is called the Unicorn for a reason, he is a true do-it-all player in a 7’3″ frame. If Donnie Nelson and Mark Cuban can pull some sort of miracle, MFFLs would be forever grateful.

3.  Nikola Mirotic, New Orleans Pelicans

Type Age  2018 Salary  Career Earnings
UFA 28  $12.5 M  $41.6 M
’18-’19 11 31.4 48% 33% 73% 11.7 1.3 0.5 0.8 20.6
Career 284 24 42% 36% 80% 5.9 1.3 0.7 0.8 12.1

Since joining the Pelicans and cutting his beard, Mirotic has been on a tear!  Mostly known as a pick-and-pop big man, Mirotic has a smooth jump shot and great range, 7 of his 16 shot attempts per game are from beyond the arc.  The surprising part of his game this year is his continued improvement on rebounding, to the point where he is currently 9th in the league in rebounds per game, just 0.3 behind teammate Anthony Davis.

If Mirotic keeps this up he will be making some big money this summer as he is only 1 of 5 NBA players to be averaging 20 points and 10 rebounds this season, plus he can shoot the 3 ball.  It will be interesting to see how things unfold in New Orleans, many think Anthony Davis will find his way to LA even though he is under contract through next season.  If that’s the case, will New Orleans still invest in a guy like Mirotic or will they tear it down and rebuild.

4.  Julius Randle, New Orleans Pelicans

Type Age  2018 Salary  Career Earnings  2019 Option
PO 23  $8.6 M  $22 M  $9 M
’18-’19 11 24.1 57% 35% 70% 7.3 2.3 0.6 0.7 17.6
Career 249 27.7 50% 27% 72% 8.8 2.6 0.5 0.6 13.7

The 7th overall pick in 2014, Randle is a handful for opposing defenders.  Randle is quick, athletic, and can handle the ball.  He has a good enough jump shot to make big come out and challenge, then he hits them with a pump fake or crossover and takes them right to the rim, nearly 80% of his shots are taken from 10 feet or within this season.

Randle is only 23 years old, from Dallas (Played at Prestonwood Christian Academy in Plano), and is playing like he does not want to even consider his $9 M player option for next season.  I think it is time for someone to give Randle a long-term deal, and if it was the Mavs, I wouldn’t be mad at it.

5. Paul Millsap, Denver Nuggets

Type Age  2018 Salary  Career Earnings  2019 Option
TO 33  $29.7 M  $153.2 M  $30.5 M
’18-’19 11 26.5 45% 33% 71% 7.1 1.4 1.1 1.1 11.7
Career 886 29.5 49% 33% 73% 7.4 2.3 1 1.3 14.2

Millsap has such a well rounded game, he fill up every column on the stat sheet, and knows how to play his role.  All of his numbers are slightly down this year but it is hard to tell just by the box score if this is just because of his change of role or if his skills and athleticism are declining.  He is not the first, second, or third option on a surging Nuggets team poised to make a playoff run this season.  Age 33 is a bit concerning for a long term deal, and it is hard to the the Nuggets signing on for his $30 M team option this summer.  I expect him to become an unrestricted free agent and for the right value he could be an excellent addition to any playoff team.

6. Jabari Parker, Chicago Bulls

Type Age  2018 Salary  Career Earnings  2019 Option
TO 23  $20M  $42.2 M  $20 M
’18-’19 12 31.2 46% 28% 70% 6.8 1.9 0.4 0.6 14.8
Career 195 30.7 49% 34% 75% 5.5 2 0.4 0.9 15.2

Parker was drafted 2nd overall in the 2014 draft but has since torn the the ACL in his left knee twice.  Before the second injury in December 2017 Parker was averaging 20 points, 6 rebounds, 3 assists while playing with the Bucks.  Then the injury happened, Giannis and Khris Middleton became the forwards the Bucks were going to build around and suddenly Parker found himself having to sign a 2 year deal last summer, one of which is a team option.

He still has great size and skill and we saw when we poured in 20 points in 24 minutes against the Mavericks earlier this season.  Still, It is hard to say what the Bulls will do here.  Jabari is the teams highest paid player yet he is coming off the bench most games this season.  The Bulls drafted Lauri Markkanen and Wendell Carter Jr the last two seasons and signed Zach Lavine to a deal keeping him under contract through the 2021 season.  At only 23 years old he still has a lot of potential but I expect the injury history to scare off many potential suitors.

7. Marcus Morris, Boston Celtics

Type Age  2018 Salary  Career Earnings
UFA 30  $5.4 M  $28.7 M
’18-’19 11 25.7 51% 48% 83% 7 1.2 0.3 0.5 14.9
Career 481 26.3 43% 36% 73% 4.4 1.5 0.2 0.7 11.2

Morris’ best attributes are his 3 point shooting and his defensive versatility, and he does them both very well.  He is just torching the net from downtown so far this year, making half of the 5 threes per game that he is taking.  You do not sign Morris expecting him to be one of your stars, but he has the ability to be a great glue guy and role player for a contending team.  He has shown a knack to hit big shots, he doesn’t back down, and brings a level of toughness that elevates his team.  Still in his prime, I expect Morris to be a great value pickup by a lucky team again this summer.

8. Maxi Kleber, Dallas Mavericks

Maxi Kleber, aka Maximum Effort, is a shot blocking/shot making big that can defend multiple position. He is from Wurzbürg, Germany, the same town Dirk is from. He was a 26 year old rookie last season and was hardly scouted in Europe because he was dealing with multiple injuries that kept him off NBA radars. Except the Dallas Mavericks, that is.

His 3 point shot is much improved from last season, hopefully he is getting tips from Dirk’s shooting coach, German shot engineer, Holger Geschwindner. However, the 3 point range is secondary to Maxi’s rim protection and defensive energy. Kleber is a restricted free agent and given his increased role I think it is safe to say he will be a Maverick next season.

Type Age  2018 Salary  Career Earnings
RFA 27  $1.1 M  $1.9 M
’18-’19 11 18.1 46% 32% 69% 3.9 0.4 1.3 0.3 6.5
Career 83 16.9 48% 32% 74% 3.3 0.7 0.7 0.3 5.5

9. Dwight Powell, Dallas Mavericks

Type Age  2018 Salary  Career Earnings  2019 Option
PO 27  $9.6 M  $28.4 M  $10.3 M
’18-’19 11 14.5 67% 27% 77% 3.6 1 0.5 0.7 8.7
Career 265 16.6 54% 29% 74% 4.2 0.8 0.4 0.7 6.7

Dwight has been pretty productive for the Mavericks since coming over as an add on to the Rondo deal. Mavs coaching staff have developed Powell as a product of the system, all he knows is Mavs basketball, dribble hand off at the top of the key and a hard roll to the basket.

He has proven to be an alley pop menace, throwing down all sorts of acrobatic dunks from above the rim. Where Powell has show improvement this year is catching, gathering, and finishing on roll passes that are not above the rim. In years past I was convinced he must have smaller hands than JJ Barea, any pass that wasn’t a lob would be stripped right from his little baby hands. What keeps Powell from being a starter in this league is his lack of range and rim protection. His 3 ball is ugly and seems to be getting uglier, Dwight needs to show he can me more of a roll man offensively for a team to give him a long term deal.

10. Bobby Portis, Chicago Bulls

Type Age  2018 Salary  Career Earnings
RFA 24 $2,494,346 6,855,506
’18-’19 4 28.3 42% 27% 56% 10 2 1 0.5 10.5
Career 203 19 46% 34% 73% 5.8 1.1 0.3 0.5 9.3

in 73 games last year Portis averaged 13 points and 7 rebounds while shooting 36% from 3 point range.  He looks like he added some muscle this past summer and was off to a great start rebounding and defending this season before spraining his knee, an injury expected to keep him our 4-6 weeks.

There has been a fair share of drama surrounding Portis, namely the time he fractured then teammate Nikola Mirotic’s face and gave him a concussion during practice.  This eventually led to Mirotic demanding one of them be traded and the Bulls chose Portis over Mirotic (#3 on this list).  We will see if the Bulls double down on that decision by extending Portis and matching any offers or if they end up letting him walk for nothing.  It becomes even more complicated with the decision the Bulls have to make with Jabari Parker and how all these front court pieces can work on the same team.

Other Free Agent Power Forwards:

There are a lot of young “fallen angels” on this list including Dragen Bender, Marquese Chriss, Noah Vonleh, and Trey Lyles.  It is worth keeping an eye on players like this that can potentially thrive with a change of scenery.

Player Team Type Age 2018 Salary
Marvin Williams CHA PO 32 $14,087,500
Taj Gibson MIN UFA 34 $14,000,000
Thaddeus Young IND UFA 31 $13,500,000
Kenneth Faried BKN UFA 29 $12,500,000
Zach Randolph SAC UFA 38 $12,000,000
JaMychal Green MEM UFA 29 $8,100,000
Markieff Morris WAS UFA 30 $8,000,000
Al-Farouq Aminu POR UFA 29 $7,500,000
Anthony Tolliver MIN UFA 34 $5,750,000
Jason Smith WAS UFA 33 $5,225,000
Mike Muscala PHI UFA 28 $5,000,000
Dragan Bender PHX UFA 21 $4,468,800
Ed Davis POR UFA 30 $4,449,000
Luc Richard Mbah a Moute LAC UFA 33 $4,320,500
Mike Scott LAC UFA 31 $4,320,500
Marquese Chriss HOU UFA 22 $3,073,800
Frank Kaminsky CHA RFA 26 $2,954,491
Trey Lyles DEN RFA 23 $2,596,512
Dante Cunningham SAS UFA 32 $2,487,000
Channing Frye CLE UFA 36 $2,393,887
Udonis Haslem MIA UFA 39 $2,393,887
Jonas Jerebko GSW UFA 32 $2,176,260
Henry Ellenson DET UFA 22 $1,780,800
Tyler Lydon DEN UFA 23 $1,727,040
Noah Vonleh NYK UFA 24 $1,621,415
Luke Kornet NYK RFA 24 $1,619,260
Jarell Martin ORL RFA 25 $1,601,151
Christian Wood MIL UFA 24 $1,578,979
Richaun Holmes PHX UFA 25 $1,292,976
Cheick Diallo NOP RFA 23 $1,133,678
Daniel Theis BOS RFA 27 $1,096,929

Other Free-Agency Articles:

Mavs Free Agent Christmas List

Mavs Free Agency: Point Guards

Mavs Free Agency: Shooting Guards

Mavs Free Agency: Small Forwards

Mavs Free Agency:  Centers

Mavs Free Agency:  Cap Space