After losing in the first round to the Los Angeles Clippers for the second time in 2 years, the Mavericks knew the glaring holes they had in their team. Surrounding Luka Dončić with shooters that could play defense as well was the key coming into this next season. It appears Nico Harrison will not waste any time addressing those issues.
One of the more disappointing problems with this Mavericks team last year was their inability to score from outside or at all sometimes when Dončić wasn’t on the floor. Trading away Seth Curry for what was supposed to be a starting 3&D point guard in Josh Richardson ended up being an obvious failure. Richardson had one of his worst years in the NBA from beyond the arch and his defense seemed hit or miss. Last Friday evening, Richardson was traded to Boston in exchange for cap space and 21-year-old 7’2” Center, Moses Brown. The money saved from trading away Richardson was assigned to Reggie Bullock on day 1 of free agency, Bullock is a 6’6” SG who specializes in shooting 3 pointers and playing obnoxious defense will hopefully be an upgraded version of what I assume the Mavericks organization assumed Richardson would be.
Bullock has played the last two seasons for the New York Knicks, having one of the best years of his 8-year career. The product of Baltimore, MD averaged 44% from the field, 41% from 3, and 90% at charity line. That three-point percentage is even more impressive when you see that he doubled his attempts last year from the previous year, although that previous season was stunted due to injury. It’s notable that the last time Bullock average 6+ three-point attempts per game was during his time as a Piston and his success rate was much lower. Bullock had a defensive rating of 110.9 which is lower (that’s a good thing) than that of Josh Richardson and his offensive efficiency is much higher. Bullock had a plus-minus of +107 last year whereas Richardson was a dismal -47.
It will be interesting to see if the Mavericks have finally found the player they thought they had in Josh Richardson. With a reported 3-year contract at $10 mil per year, Bullock will seemingly take up Dallas’ full MLE, unless their newest cap magician Andrew Baker has something up his sleeve. If Bullock meshes well beside Dončić and gives the team another reliable three-point shooter that contract will be well worth it.