The last mailbag was titled “many things happening at once”, which is apt considering a week later I nearly forgot that I had to do one of these. As always, great questions, so keep them coming in one of the myriad of ways to contact me. Let’s go:
Would you look into giving young players who have upside cheap long term offers? For example: Derrick Jones Jr. Via andyj7742 in the comments
We’re going to make a run at writing free agent profiles on as many people as possible in the short stab of time we have and Derrick Jones Jr. is on that list.
Yes, because any contract in the $4-7 million range is movable should things not work out. Dallas is great at going for singles and doubles in free agency, just look at how the back end of the roster is built. I am all for giving upside guys like Jones a shot, just because this team needs wings and it needs athletes. He’s both.
Does having a heliocentric offense with Luka worry you or do you think with the right moves you can win with this type of offense? via Marcos Levy (@Marcoslevypty on Twitter)
This is ultimate question. I shall split the difference between those in our robust fanbase who’d like a more ball sharing offense and the part of my brain that screams that getting the superstar is the hard part of this.
An offense that is Luka Doncic focused does not worry me because I’ve seen a Lebron James focused offense win two NBA finals in the last five years. I believe Luka Doncic is that kind of talent. That said, we have to be reasonable here. Luka’s playoff usage (small sample but it’s all we have) was rather insane. If we’re talking about getting that down from 37.5 percent to 33 percent or lower, then that’s something that should happen. He can’t do it by himself for 20-plus games in the NBA playoffs and shouldn’t be expected to.
So I’m not worried about him being the focal point, but I think we should always consider ways to make the game easier for Doncic, even if that means he has to let go of some of the control ceded to him.
Rank these three guys 1-3 in terms of talent / fit with Dallas: RJ Hampton, Tyrese Maxey, and Cole Anthony. I know Mavs Twitter wants a wing or Poku, but those three are some of my favorite draft guys. Via Parker Fleming (@PAPA_FLOCKA on Twitter)
I’m probably one of the last people to answer this in a smart way as I’ve only considered that Anthony might be there for the Mavericks at 18. Hampton seems to be the best fit of that trio but his numbers in the Australian League bother me. Maxey is the one guy I’ve paid zero attention to, though guys who come from Kentucky tend to be pretty talented.
What do you think Powell’s ceiling is after this injury? via serge ibaka to dallas stan account (@ZeskyHunky on Twitter)
I have zero medical expertise other than my own lengthy list of sports related injuries. That said, Dwight Powell has a lot going for him, mainly linked to his impressive work ethic. He’s a very cerebral person by all accounts and if there’s someone that can make a reduced athletic ability work with a role in basketball that was based on athleticism and timing, it will be Powell.
The flip side has to do with how much muscle loss he’s experienced. If you’ve ever seen anyone with a torn Achilles, they usually have different sized calf muscles after things are repaired. That sort of imbalance has its own set of challenges. There just isn’t a long list of guys who have come back and been the same after this sort of injury.
If he can give Dallas anything on offense, it will be a big win. He was already a high hipped saloon door on defense before the injury.
Would you trade [Clint] Capela for [Tim] Hardaway? via donnie nelson whisperer (@EdmondtheSlayer on Twitter)
This is my friend Grant. He has a podcast. He put this take to audio and if you want to listen to it you should.
No. This is a terrible question and horrendous idea. Big men are the most readily available asset on the NBA market. Trading FOR a guy who can’t do anything that Dallas needs while giving up the hottest commodity in shooting is what we in the business call “a bad idea”.
The Mavericks were pretty bad on defense, there’s no debate there. But that gets fixed by getting wing defenders to guard all the players who cooked the Mavericks. Am I just not remembering some post player who pistol whipped Dallas?
Here’s another question:
There is no scenario in the entire NBA where the Mavericks part ways with their two negative assets in Delon Wright and Justin Jackson and end up with a starting caliber wing. I’ve said it before that we’re good friends with the Locked On Mavs show, hell we hosted it for over a year. But this is a bad idea with zero basis in reality and I don’t grasp how either Nick or Isaac could think it feasible.
Dallas might send a pick with one of those guys just to offload their contracts. Jackson is one of the worst players in the league. Wright still has something but he’s got a lot of money left for a guy with the basketball yips.
What’s the definition of a successful season next year, now that the bar has clearly been raised? via Razzmatazz Hop Skiddily Dee (@Swaggymdees on Twitter)
I’d be pretty pumped for a second round appearance in the playoffs but I suspect the pressure will be on for Dallas to threaten to make the conference finals.
But it’s important to remember that we’re transitioning from one weird season to another and this is going to be as difficult a season for players to make through since the post-lockout season in 2011-12. I think just getting to the playoffs is going to be impressive given the grind that’s coming.
Thanks again as always. Leave me more questions and I’ll get to them next week!