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NBA Free Agency 2023: Dallas Mavericks intend to target Bruce Brown

The Mavericks plan to go after free agent Bruce Brown.

2023 NBA Finals - Game Four Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

The Dallas Mavericks intend to target Denver Nuggets wing Bruce Brown with their non-taxpayer mid-level exception, per Marc Stein (subscribe to his newsletter!). Brown recently opted out of the last year of his contract and became an unrestricted free agent.

The Mavericks were able to open up the exception by trading Davis Bertans and the number 10 pick for the 12th pick in the draft, where they took Dereck Lively II. By doing this, Stein writes, they’ll be able to “pursue top wings in free agency (starting with Denver’s Bruce Brown.”

Brown, who played rugged defense and hit just enough 3-pointers in the playoffs to keep defenders honest, will have plenty of suitors across the league. With that in mind, it’s probably unlikely the Mavericks could snag Brown for just the mid-level exception. Front offices can get creative, though, so maybe Dallas can make some moves to open up more money. If Kyrie Irving leaves, that changes the salary cap math significantly, though. A sign-and-trade with the Nuggets seems improbable, because the Mavericks would be hard-capped as the team receiving the signed player.

The most likely scenario is that Brown re-signs with Denver for a longer deal. The Nuggets will enter next season as one of the favorites to win the title, and it’ll be tough for them to replace Brown through free agency. But it’s the NBA, strange things happen frequently.

Brown averaged 11.5 points, 4.1 rebounds, and 3.4 assists per game last season. He shot 36 percent from deep on 3.2 attempts per game. Mostly, though, Brown is valued for his defense. He’s only 6’4”, but plays bigger than his size. He can slide up and guard some of the biggest wings in the NBA, and do it effectively. He’s a player the Mavericks could certainly use. The only issue will be if they can afford the contract.