Most can agree that they did not expect the Dallas Mavericks to make an appearance in the Western Conference Finals when the season began but significant roster changes and coaching largely contributed to this run. General Manager, Nico Harrison, made great moves during his first season with the organization and hit on multiple key points during his exit interview that will help the Mavs continue on a path of success.
Fit Over Multiple Stars
When Harrison was asked whether the Mavs need more All-Stars , as this year they had one against the Warriors’ four, he said, “I don’t think it’s about just having All Stars. You need to keep upgrading the roster, but I don’t think it’s about getting a bunch of All Stars but getting people that fit together.” Hearing Harrison prioritize fit rather than getting a star-caliber player should be music to the ears of Mavs fans but even more so because of Luka Dončić’s unique style of play.
The other part of Harrison’s quote was a clear shot at teams that that went with this approach, stating “There’s tons of teams that have All-Stars and they were watching us play.” That includes teams like the Los Angeles Lakers, a roster that included LeBron James, Anthony Davis, Carmelo Anthony, Russell Westbrook, and Dwight Howard. This isn’t to say that teams that have multiple All Stars / superstars can’t or won’t be successful, because that just is not true, but that the intent in getting players on a team who fit is important. Harrison recognizes that seeking these kinds of players around Dončić will guarantee success, building upon what’s been tested and proven is the best route.
Jalen Brunson Free Agency
A great example of what has been tested and proven, is Jalen Brunson. When asked about Brunson, Harrison did not shy away saying, “Definitely a priority, we want to sign him. He’s a part of our future.” This will be a key this offseason as Brunson really progressed and showed his ability to score not only in the regular season but in the playoffs as well. Brunson averaged 21.6 points per contest in the postseason while shooting 46.6%. Brunson and Dončić work well together and this duo is worth keeping together because it’s been proven to work. The gamble you take with letting Brunson walk or trading him in a sign & trade is getting another player who’s chemistry may not mix well with Dončić.
Mavs Biggest Need
Mavs fans know all too well the pain of trying to get a bigger fish when they have something substantial and valuable right in front of them. The Mavs are coming off the best run in the past 10 years and the front office won’t be stagnant this offseason. Harrison gave his thoughts on what this team needs, “We need to get somebody that can help us on the rebounds, be a rim protector.”
Harrison has a holistic approach regarding the team and an even balance between continuing to build on members of the current roster and adding new players. In addition, he wants the team to be versatile for the kind of offense and defense Jason Kidd presents them.
We’ve seen the impact of fit in its truest form in the 2010-11 Mavs Championship team. This franchise has brought success before in this fashion and can do it again. No matter whether you agree or disagree with the methods, it’s hard to deny the past history and the fact that Harrison’s approach in general is refreshing.