While some have had mixed feelings about the moves that were made this offseason, everyone should consider this offseason a success. Let’s examine each stage:
It caught us all by surprise, if we’re being honest.
Going into that night, it wasn’t clear if Dallas was going to be trading away picks or if the Mavericks might look to trade up in the draft. Ask any of our staff if what the odds were Dallas would keep both picks and uniformly we would have said there was very little chance.
The fact that Dallas not only kept 18 and 31, but also traded for 36 to ultimately select Tyler Bey is still shocking. The majority of people would say that the Mavericks had one of the best draft nights among all of the teams. I certainly agree. It was clear that they prioritized adding defense along with depth at the wing spot.
After making the move for Josh Richardson, Dallas set an aggressive tone for the offseason. The selection of Tyrell Terry at 31 is a move that has been praised by many. The value of selecting Terry at 31 and getting him a second round contract could be big in the future. Since draft night, he signed a contract similar to that of Jalen Brunson’s which is fantastic news for Mavs fans. He could be in Dallas for a while (though don’t look at the recent history of Mavericks who wear number 1) and should to improve at the NBA level. Having two young players who have a lot of potential on 4-year, second-round contracts is important for a team without picks for a few years. This could end up being very useful in trades if someone becomes available and Dallas decides to go all in.
Free agency provoked mixed opinions from the fanbase. There were players that Dallas was linked to that ended up signing elsewhere. If anyone is disappointed in not getting Jerami Grant, Danilo Gallinari, Bogdan Bogdanovic, or any of the players who received significant pay increases, it’s important to take a step back and look at the bigger picture.
If there’s anything that I’ve learned throughout my 21 years of watching the Dallas Mavericks and the way they do things, it’s that they try to think many moves ahead. There are some players who I would’ve really liked to see Dallas land that signed relatively cheap deals, but it’s better to miss out then get desperate and overpay someone.
Moving off of Delon Wright and Justin Jackson for James Johnson and his expiring contract is remarkable. Johnson could bring sneaky impact to Dallas along with his well known toughness. He brings defense, that enforcer mentality, and scoring off the bench.
The signing of Wes Iwundu is a savvy move. He’s a young wing who started a bit for a playoff team in the Orlando Magic and was brought in on a team friendly deal. Iwundu is no risk, all reward. Given the market and the situation in Dallas, being conservative with the offers is the right way to go. Future financial flexibility is not something that every team has, and it’s of value that the Mavericks’ front office makes that a priority.
As far as continuity goes, bringing back Trey Burke, Willie Cauley-Stein, and JJ Barea were also good moves. Barea brings the veteran, locker room presence that all know the Mavericks love. Burke and Cauley-Stein have both had short stints with Dallas, but each have shown why they deserved to be brough back. I’m excited to see what each of their roles look like this next season. Burke had a lot of success in the bubble and Cauley-Stein will likely get more minutes at the beginning of this next season considering Porzingis will not be ready to go quite yet.
Areas for improvement
Christian Wood, Aron Baynes, and Torrey Craig were a few of the names that I had my eye on going into free agency. They were all guys that seemed reasonably attainable. While Dallas didn’t land any of these guys, I refuse to let that discourage me moving forward in terms of my free agency expectations in the upcoming years. There are a multitude of reasons as to why none of them worked out. Looking back, this offseason was a whirlwind overall. It’s important to remind the Mavs community that while the chapter of this offseason may be over, the book surely is not finished. Time to bring on the season