There are only so many stars in the NBA, and the Mavericks unquestionably have one of the brightest in Luka Doncic. But if there was one player across the league the Mavericks could magically dump onto their roster, who would it be? Let’s rank the choices.
10. Donte DiVincenzo
The Bucks won the title this past season with the superstardom of the Greek Freak, but did their part to surround him with elite defense and shooting. Donte DiVincenzo missed the postseason run this past year, but has excelled in that exact role in Milwaukee for years. A career 35% three point shooter, DiVincenzo spreads the floor adequately and provides outstanding perimeter defense and offensive rebounding.
He would be a bit redundant to Dorian Finney-Smith, but the Mavericks absolutely need to continue improving on the defensive side of the ball. Adding Frank Ntilikina could be another nice step forward, but there’s a long way to go before the Mavericks are truly elite on that side of the ball. DiVincenzo would be a great asset on both sides of the ball for Dallas.
9. Richaun Holmes
This one still stings for Maverick fans, who had their hearts set on adding Richaun Holmes this past offseason. Holmes ended up staying behind in Sacramento on a four year deal, leaving the Mavericks with Reggie Bullock, Sterling Brown and Ntilikina as their offseason haul. Dallas has needed a rim-running center who can protect the rim for some time now, and Kristaps Porzingis has to prove he can be that guy for than a few games at a time.
Holmes also would not have been too ridiculously expensive compared to some of the other star free agent centers that make up the offseason market year after year. Holmes, by nature of the market he plays in, remains one of the most underrated players in basketball and would be an absolute godsend to this team still looking for a Tyson Chandler replacement all these years later.
8. Michael Porter Jr.
While Porter Jr. would not exactly make the team better on the defensive end, the Mavericks were clearly starving for size and shot creation in their seven-game series against the Los Angeles Clippers last year. Porter Jr. provides a whole lot of both of those qualities on the floor. He’s an absolutely gifted scorer with a ridiculous reach for rebounds, particularly on the defensive end.
He averages a less-than-spectacular 6.1 rebounds per game for his career, but would give the Mavericks the size and length they just don’t have on the perimeter at the three and four. Add in his scoring punch, particularly in big playoff games, and there’s little not to like about what he can add to this roster.
7. Malcolm Brogdon
Leading up to the lone time Malcolm Brogdon was going to hit free agency, the Mavericks were thought to be a potential suitor for the eventual Pacer. That never materialized as Dallas ended up with Seth Curry, Delon Wright, and Boban Marjanovic instead. Brogdon’s savvy, steady ball handling would be a welcomed sight in Dallas right now.
While he is relatively similar to Jalen Brunson, he’s just better at basically everything Brunson does on the floor. Ball handling, consistent shooting, and automatic free throw shooting were arguably the difference for Dallas against the Clippers for seven straight grueling games. Once the Clippers adjusted to the Mavericks’ offense, there simply was no second gear for Dallas to shift into. Brogdon can help prevent that from happening in the future.
6. Bojan Bogdanovic
Bojan Bogdanovic flew under the radar throughout his time in Indiana, but seemed to finally earn a major payday with Utah. Bogdanovic is basically a better and more consistent Evan Fournier, who won’t get consistently beaten by primary scorers over and over again on the perimeter. Bogdanovic has also shown to be able to play with Joe Ingles at a high enough level, relieving any concerns he had too redundant a skill set.
Far too often in the last two playoff berths for Dallas, the wings of the Mavericks simply couldn’t make enough of a dent in the opposing defense. Dallas could kill two birds with one stone with a player like Bogdanovic, and would add a certain element of toughness, girth, and punch on the perimeter that could withstand a series of hits from a team like the Clippers for seven games.
5. Seth Curry
Yes, it made sense at the time. It was the right move for the Mavericks when they decided to pull the trigger on moving Seth Curry for Josh Richardson and Tyler Bey. Unfortunately, neither are still on the team, and Richardson was moved simply in the hope of increasing cap space that in classic Maverick fashion, couldn’t be used ultimately in free agency. Losing Curry in that very deal is simply excruciating, however.
Curry is more than just an unconscious pure shooter. He’s an excellent ball handler, with deadly moves inside the three point line that make him even more deadly as an overall offensive weapon. His defensive shortcomings are a result of his small frame, and less from a skill and effort standpoint. He’s just a good player, and it’s hard to overstate how much Dallas missed him last year.
4. Mikal Bridges
Hardly anybody in basketball more properly embodies the “three and D” role quite like Mikal Bridges. He has fit like a glove next to Chris Paul and Devin Booker in Phoenix, and has improved all aspects of his game each year he’s been in the league. He’s coming off a season in which he shot 42.3% from distance, something the Mavericks were parched for in games four and seven of the Clippers series.
Bridges has also proven to be a more-than-worth defender. Throughout last year’s playoffs, he routinely checked the opposing offense’s best player, something most Chris Paul-led teams wouldn’t let happen. He has earned the trust of his coaches, teammates, and Hall of Famers, and would be a mammoth addition to this roster.
3. John Collins
Similarly to Malcolm Brogdon, the Mavericks were long-believed to have been not-so-secretly in pursuit of the Hawks big man. Collins and Luka Doncic always seemed like a terrific pairing offensively. Collins averages just under 17 points per game for his career, averaging an even 38% three point clip. He’s also a beast on the offensive glass, and would give Dallas the rim-running presence they just currently don’t have.
Collins has also remained an underrated defensive player throughout his career. He averages a block per game, but is athletic and shifty enough to stay with perimeter players possession after possession. Collins got a bonkers contract in free agency, but while it may seem like a colossal overpay, the reality is he remains a fringe star in this league that would push Dallas into another tier.
2. Caris LeVert
Dallas did have themselves a good first offseason under Nico Harrison. The first-year general manager added several good players on reasonable contracts and retained another. But it is still incredibly clear that his team remains in dire need of shot creators on the perimeter. Enter Caris LeVert.
He does it all offensively. He can shoot, score, distribute, slash, and doesn’t always need the ball on every possession. It would be an absolute nightmare for a defense to try and cover him and Doncic with Porzingis much more free to do his damage in the middle.
- Dillon Brooks
There haven’t been many players quite like Dillon Brooks the last few seasons. The 25-year-old former second round draft pick is maybe the single hardest-playing guy in the league, and absolutely takes no prisoners. He is a tenacious pit bull defensively, and can single-handedly take over games scoring the ball in clutch moments.
Brooks averaged just under 26 points per game in the postseason last year, an absolutely ridiculous total for a team in a brutal first round matchup with the Jazz. The Mavericks just haven’t had anyone of his two-way ability in far too long, and would give Dallas an enforcer reminding old-time fans of Deshawn Stevenson.