Free Agent Comparison: Al Horford vs. Nikola Vucevic

It has recently been reported that Al Horford will opt-out of his $30 million player option for the Boston Celtics and and become an unrestricted free agent this offseason. It has also been rumored that the Dallas Mavericks are on the short list of teams that may sign Horford to a big money 4 year deal. For Horford to opt-out of $30M many think that the potential 4 year deal will be in excess of $80M, top level money for a free agent Center.

To see if such a deal would be worth it I want to compare Al Horford to another unrestricted free agent big man that will get a big contract this summer, Nikola Vucevic.

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Mavs Top Free Agent Signing Each of the Past 10 Years

The Dallas Mavericks are locked and loaded with cap space this summer to try to build a Championship caliber team around their two young superstars, Luka Doncic and Kristaps Porzingis. Rumors are flying around every big name free agent and Mavs fans are salivating at the chance to add a third star to the squad.

Despite their amazing facilities, cap space, and great young talent it is hard to see a top level free agent coming to Dallas because it is something we have not witnessed in recent history. More commonplace has been the Mavericks doing all they can to clear the roster and woo superstars just to be left holding a bag of money to spend on mediocre talent.

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Kemba Walker vs. D’Angelo Russell

Given the opportunity, which one should the Mavericks offer a max contract to this summer.

With over $30 million in cap space this summer, the Dallas Mavericks have their sights set on bringing in some top level talent to pair with their dynamic young duo of Luka Doncic and Kristaps Porzingis. I have written numerous articles ranking the top available free agents that the Mavs front office can bid on but here I want to focus on two players in particular that have been highly rumored to potentially sign with Dallas, Kemba Walker and D’Angelo Russell. Let’s figure out, given the opportunity to sign both, which one should the Mavericks give big money to.

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An Early Win in Mavs Free Agency

Why Dwight Powell Opting-In to his $10.3 million Player Option for 2019 is great news for the Dallas Mavericks.

Dwight Powell signing on for next season at $10.3 million is an early win for the Mavericks in free agency. He plays an efficient, winning style of basketball and fits perfectly into the Mavericks offensive system. Having a roster of Luka Doncic, Kristaps Porzingis, Dwight Powell, Justin Jackson, Tim Hardaway Jr, and Jalen Brunson allows the Mavericks great flexibility to spend their $30M + in cap space this summer. All of these players are capable NBA starters and do not leave any major holes that absolutely need to be filled. Having the two stars and a strong base of roll players gives the Mavs front office the green light to go out and shop for the best players and best value contracts regardless of position.

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Under the Radar FA’s Who Can Help the Mavs

There is a ton of eyes on Kawhi Leonard, Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving, and Klay Thompson to see whether the landscape of the NBA will change this summer when 2019 Free Agency starts.  If one of these players were to leave their teams then that will have incredible ripple effects throughout NBA rosters.

Then all eyes shift to guys like Butler, Harris, Middleton, Brogdon, Russell, Walker, Vucevic, Randle, ect. There are a plethora of big names who are free agents with big talents and who expect big paydays.  Every team with cap space and any fan with a twitter account is pleading their case for this type of talent to join their teams. So much money will go to the top 15 free agents that there is very quickly less and less money for teams to spend but so many talented players still available.

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Analytics in NBA Free Agency

Statistician Dean Oliver is one of the grandfathers of basketball analytics.  In 2004 he published his 4 factors of winnings basketball that highlighted the statistics that most attribute to winning basketball games.  It is of no major surprise that shooting well, not turning the ball over, owning the boards, and scoring from the free throw line are winning characteristics, but looking at them in detail and building your team and game plan to emphasize these factors is what modern analytics is all about.  Here we will take a look at these 4 factors, how the Mavs stacked up against the rest of the NBA last season, and which free agents can be added to improve the Mavericks chances of returning to winning basketball.

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Why the Mavs So Desperately Need Shooters

The NBA is absolutely three crazy these days. Guards, big guys, nearly anyone with a pulse is jacking up at least 1 or 2 three pointers each game. Advanced analytics combined with some of the best three point shooters the NBA has ever seen have combined to cause an explosion of long range shooting league wide.   The 5.1 threes that Steph Curry made per game this season is more entire teams could muster back in the 2000-2001 season. The Dallas Mavericks are no exception to this evolution, but in order to return to the Playoffs and start competing in the West, they are going to have to get the players to fit their style of play.

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Top 10 Individual Playoff Performances

The NBA Playoffs are a time when the biggest stars shine brightest.  During the 2018-2019 regular season we have already already seen some incredible, all-time great individual single game performances by the likes of James Harden, Giannis Antetokounmpo, and Nikola Jokic.  Throughout history many players have put up big time performance in the regular season, but it takes a special kind of player to do it when your entire Season is on the line.

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Top 10 Free Agents 2019

Now less than one week away from the NBA Draft Lottery on May 14th, we are fast approaching 2019 NBA free agency.  On July 1st free agents from around the NBA will be able to sign new contracts and there is some top level talent looking to take their talents to a new city.  Here are some of the top player potentially available for the Mavericks to take this team back to the playoffs.

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