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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Realistic Mavericks Free Agency Targets

The Dallas Mavericks will look to use the summer of 2019 to re-sign some of their own free agents, and either chase a third star to pair with Luka Doncic and Kristaps Porzingis or surround those two with quality role players.

The 2019 off-season will feature perhaps the most competitive free agent market in league history, as almost half the players in the NBA will be free agents. This means there are more teams with an abundance of cap space than ever before. Combine that with a weak 2020 free agency class, and teams will be desperate to get the most out of their cap space this summer.

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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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The Woeful Mavs Draft Lottery History

Despite currently being the 6th worst team in the NBA, as a Mavericks fan I am feeling pretty lucky these days.  We have two elite players on our roster that are under the age of 23 in Luka Doncic and Kristaps Porzingis, and a ton of upcoming cap space to build around them.  From where we were a few years ago to where we are now has me feeling great about the future of the franchise for the next 5+ years.

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How Much Will Mavs Restricted Free Agents Cost?

When it comes to free agency it is impossible to predict what type of money a player will receive in the open market.  The best we can do is look at things like a player’s age, production, injury history, and future potential to determine what a team will be willing to pay for their services.

It is hard to put a measurement on injury risk and potential, so the main thing we have to go on when trying to determine a players value is based on their age and production.

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Top 10 Free Agent Point Guards

The 2019 Free Agent Point Guard class is loaded with talent.  Point Guard is not necessarily a position of need for the Dallas Mavericks with Luka Dončić and Jalen Brunson on the roster, but that doesn’t really matter if you have the chance to land some of the studs that will be available this summer.  What the Mavericks are in short supply of is defensive guards.  Guys that can put pressure on opposing ball handlers and disrupt the offensive flow for opponents.  Luckily for the Mavericks, you will also find a few defensive stoppers on this list as well.

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Top 10 Free Agent Shooting Guards

The Shooting Guard free agent pool for 2019 is probably the weakest of all the position groups.  There is one superstar in the group, a couple pretty good players, and a few younger guys with yet unfulfilled potential.

This is fine for the Dallas Mavericks because Shooting Guard is not necessarily an area of need for them as they have 26 year old Tim Hardaway Jr. under contract for next season and then a $20 million Player Option for the 2020-2021 season.  Given that they are already paying out about $20 million to the Shooting Guard position and that they have needs in other areas, it is hard to imagine that the Mavericks will be in play for many of these guys outside of Klay Thompson, because who cares what position you play when you can shoot like he can.

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Top 10 Free Agent Small Forwards

As we continue our search for the players that will compile the next Dallas Mavericks Championship team we will take a look at potential upcoming free agents for the Small Forward position.  This is a list loaded with top level talent and game changing players.  Most of the great talent in this group have player options for next season but will be looking to cash in on some new max deals.

Now that Harrison Barnes is no longer a Maverick this position is wide open, making Small Forward and Center the two main areas of focus this offseason.  The Mavericks should feel pretty good about the quality and depth of both of these position groups, giving them a great opportunity to add complementary talent around Luka Dončić, Kristaps Porzingis, and Tim Hardaway Jr.

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