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Mavs Mailbag: Maybe the sky hasn’t fallen just yet for the Mavericks

Maybe the Mavericks didn’t swing big this summer, but they’ve added some nice pieces to compliment Doncic and Porzingis

NBA: Dallas Mavericks at Atlanta Hawks Jason Getz-USA TODAY Sports

We’re back with Part Two of Mavs Mailbag. Our first part took a glance at what the Mavericks might be able to accomplish in the trade (or trade exception) market, and what happened with all that cap space.

Our second stab at reader questions focuses in on this season’s roster and the role certain players may a look way into the future. On to the bag!

“Let the sky fall, when it crumbles”

@MichaelKatski: What are the odds Delon Wright outperforms his new contract? Optimistic or pessimistic about his fit with Luka in the backcourt?

According to the folks over at FiveThirtyEight, MFFLs should be thrilled with the Delon Wright signing. Last week they listed Wright as the seventh best bargain deal of this summer’s free agency. That’s quite a statement, and while I may not have listed him that high, I mostly agree.

Say what you will about what the Mavericks accomplished this summer, they didn’t overpay anyone they locked in. And Wright could end up being a steal. We all should have hoped for a good three point shooter to pair with Luka Doncic in the backcourt. Wright may not bring that, but he’s going to compliment Doncic well in a lot of other exciting ways. I think he was a great pickup this summer, and could be highly impactful for this new era of Mavericks basketball.

@Mavs_Fan5: Even though we didn’t get the free agency turn out most of us wanted, do you feel we still did good? I know I do. If we play well into the playoffs it’s a great possibility we attract a top tier FA.

I think the Mavericks did...fine. That’s not bad, but also not great. Like I said above, they didn’t overpay anyone, and that’s great. They probably should have tried to overpay one or two free agents to lure them to Dallas. But they opted to not do that, and instead got fair deals for Wright, as well as Seth Curry and Maxi Kleber. But Mavs_Fan5, let’s pump the brakes on playoffs and just see how this crew actually looks on the floor together.

@MavSlander: Define the specific role of the newcomers (Curry, Wright & Boban) - like how many minutes you expect them to play, do they start or come off the bench, and how do they fit with the roster?

The Mavs Moneyball Staff Slack was full this week of arguing about the fifth starter. We agree that Wright will start, and likely Dwight Powell alongside Doncic and Kristaps Porzingis.

I personally believe the Mavs need Seth Curry to be their sixth man, though he might arguably be the third most impactful offensive player on the entire roster. Though it’s a valid argument that the starting crew desperately needs Curry’s shooting to compliment Doncic (otherwise shooting responsibility really falls heavily on Doncic and Porzingis). What’s likely is the fifth starting spot will rotate between five different players based on rhythm and matchups.

The last time Curry was in Dallas he averaged 29 minutes, and he probably matches that again. Wright will probably also play somewhere north of 25 minutes. As for Boban Marjanovic, he slots perfectly into Salah Mejri’s role. Boban is more skilled than The Mej, but just isn’t able to play many minutes. Last season he appeared in 58 games and averaged just under 13 minutes per game (career high). I’d expect something similar in Dallas.

@willmcintosh0: What are your predictions for the 2019-2020 season for this Mavs team based on the roster so far?

I’m sure we’ll dig into predictions as a staff once we get closer to the season. The core of this season revolves around Porzingis and his return from injury. If he’s healthy, and meshes well with Doncic, it could be a very exciting season.

As of now, I think it’s fair to believe this team could win around 41 games. But more on that closer to the season.

“We will stand tall, face it all together”

@MoeAlam13: I know this is way in the future, but humor me. Does the fact that Kawhi and PG can both opt out and potentially go into free agency in 2021 have any possibility for the Mavs to be players for either/both that summer? Assuming Luka & KP have made Mavs a potential destination?

Is it possible? ...sure?

That’s a tall order. The Mavericks are so many steps from making a move like that happen, let alone being alluring enough for players like Kawhi Leonard and Paul George. We learn every summer how fast the league can shift. And the Mavericks could have the most exciting young duo in the league two summers from now. But a lot has to happen between now and then. Aside from the fact that the Mavericks aren’t in one of these player destination cities, and they usually trade for their big name acquisitions.

@Speeets: Can you give us a scenario where when we make the playoffs what teams we match up against the best?

So if I’m understanding correctly, this scenario assumes the Mavericks are in the playoffs. It’s tough to say who they match up best with considering all the shifting in the conference. Me personally, the two teams I’d be scared to face in the first round are two teams that FiveThirtyEight are not as high on in their projections, the Los Angeles Clippers and Utah Jazz.

The Mavs would probably match up well against the San Antonio Spurs (though I don’t think either would see each other in the first round). And though it might be an intriguing matchup battle, it’s possible they could fare okay against the Denver Nuggets (but probably overmatched). But right now, the Mavericks should be pumped to even make the playoffs.

@ulTHIEMateFan: Dirk!!!! I miss Dirk. Can you get him as a guest this off-season?

I haven’t run this by Rebecca Lawson, our Editor-in-Chief. But I assume she would gladly add Dirk to the payroll, as long as he’s willing to take a steep paycut. Which, judging from his honorable track record, he’d do gladly. We’re happy to have you on board Dirty.