The NBA has become 3 crazy and the Dallas Mavericks are no exception. They are already near the top of the league in three point attempts and now have stars in Luka Doncic and Kristaps Porzingis that will make elite shooters even more effective. A primary focus of the Mavericks free agency this summer should be to surround these two with top level shooters so this offense can reach its potential. This is a summary of why the Mavs need shooters, what makes a good shooter, and who the best shooters are that are potentially available this summer.
Top 3 Reasons Why Mavs Need Shooters
1. The Mavs shoot a ton of 3’s
The Mavericks are a team that has set their franchise record in three point attempts each of the last 4 seasons. They ranked 4th in the entire NBA in three point attempts in 2018-2019 and have been in the top 6 in the NBA in each of the last 4 seasons.
They have shot a ton, the problem is just that they have a hard time making them, ranking 27th in the NBA in 3PT% with 34%. If we are going to be among league leaders in taking threes can we please build a better rotation of three point shooters?
With the two main pieces of this team being Luka Doncic and Kristaps Porzingis there is no reason to think this trend will change anytime soon. Luka shot 7.1 threes per game this year and Porzingis shot 4.8 per game before his injury in the 2017-2018 season. Those are pretty high numbers but would only make up 11.9 threes of the 36.6 threes that the Mavs average per game.
2. Luka Will Find Them
There are plenty of shots left to go around and if we put good shooters on the court, Luka Doncic will find them. His ability to whip the ball anywhere on the court at anytime makes having knock down shooters on the perimeter even more valuable.
Luka and Dwight Powell have already developed a deadly pick-and-roll game. Powell has proven to be a very efficient finisher and has become a master of reading the pick-and-roll defender and darting to the basket at the perfect time. Luka then uses his great vision and ball wizardry to find him for high flying lobs or on the money zip passes.
The gravity that this pick-and-roll action generates makes it even more important to have good shooters on the perimeter. In order to stop help side defenders from being able to bail on their man to contest the roll man the Mavs need efficient shooters all around. The Doncic/Powell pick-and-roll combined with a stable of shooters leaves opposing defenses with no right answer on how to stop it.
3. Kristaps Needs and Creates Space
This one is really two-fold, Kristaps Porzingis needs space and he can also create space, but I don’t have to explain that to a Dallas Mavericks fan base that has watched Dirk Nowitzki wreak havoc from the high post for the last 21 years.
Having good shooters around Porzingis prevents too many guys from crashing onto Porzingis’ back when operating in the post. This would give Porzingis the space to deploy his full offensive arsenal, he could face up and shake slower defenders with his ball handling and length or he can go to the unstoppable fadeaway against smaller defenders.
On the flip side, the gravity that Porzingis can attract when he starts having his was in a 1 on 1 matchup can create extra time and space for shooters on the perimeter. Porzingis will undoubtedly draw some double teams this year, making elite three point shooters even more effective.
What 3PT% Makes a Good Shooter?
To figure out the answer to this question I first looked the Dallas Mavericks two point shooting percentage (2PT%) and how many points that generated per 100 possessions. Then I calculated what 3PT% would net out the same amount of points per 100 possessions. In order for the Mavericks to benefit from their strategy of shooting a ton of threes it is a reasonable estimate to say that they need to shoot better than 35% to make it effective.
There are 58 free agents potentially available this summer who shot 35% or better from three point range in 2018-2019. Luckily for the Dallas Mavericks there are bunch of shooters available that can help them improve and get the most out of their stars.
58 Potential Free Agent Shooters:
At least 35% from three in 2018-2019. Sorted by position and ranked by highest 3PT%
|James Ennis III||35.3|
The Best of the Best – Top 10
These are the guys that take a lot of shots and make a lot of shots. The players that will help the most to improve the Dallas Mavericks team percentage are not just the players who make 3’s at a high rate but those who can also do it with a higher volume of shots. To narrow the 58 potential free agent shooters down a bit, let’s look at the top 10 potential free agents in 3PT% who shot at least 5 threes per 36 minutes played and shot at least 200 total for the 2018-2019 season.
Honorable mentions to Malcolm Brogdon (42.6%) and Patrick Beverley (39.7%) who would have made the list but shot just under 5 threes per 36 minutes.
Bringing in any of the above players would greatly help the team win. The Mavericks are a team that has set the franchise record in three point attempts each of the last 4 seasons. They ranked 4th in the entire NBA in three point attempts in 2018-2019 and have been in the top 6 each of the last 4 seasons.
Since the Mavs shoot a ton of threes, Kristaps can give them the room to operate, and Luka Doncic can find them anywhere, the Mavericks top goal this offseason should be to bring in some top level shooting talent to take this offense over the top.