Mavericks Notes: Free Agency, Centers, Doncic

The Mavericks were one of the NBA’s worst rebounding teams in 2017/18, and this year’s draft class featured plenty of quality big men — especially at the top. However, Dallas used its top-five pick on a play-making guard/forward (Luka Doncic, and selected a point guard (Jalen Brunson) with its second-rounder.

As such, it was no surprised that president of basketball operations Donnie Nelson agreed on draft night that the Mavs’ priority in free agency will be finding a center (Twitter link via Tim MacMahon of Head coach Rick Carlisle echoed that assessment.

“July 1 is right around the corner,” Carlisle said this week, per Eddie Sefko of The Dallas Morning News. “We’ll address it. There will be options. This organization with Mark (Cuban) at the helm is always going to be opportunistic and be in a mode to make things happens, when they’re the right kinds of things.

Here’s more on the Mavs:

  • As Sefko relays, Carlisle is ready to pencil in Doncic as part of the Mavericks’ starting lineup right away, adding that he thinks the No. 3 pick and last year’s lottery choice Dennis Smith Jr. “will complement each other extremely well.”
  • In a separate article for The Dallas Morning News, Sefko explores which big men might be targets for the Mavericks in the coming days or weeks.
  • One name on Sefko’s list is DeAndre Jordan, who committed to the Mavs the last time he reached free agency in 2015, only to back out of that agreement and re-sign with the Clippers. Jordan can become a free agent again next weekend, and while it seems unlikely that he’d end up in Dallas, Mike Fisher of hears from a source that the Mavs wouldn’t avoid the veteran center out of principle.
  • Dwain Price of takes an extended look at the Mavs’ decision to move up in the draft and nab Doncic, the player the club targeted throughout the pre-draft process. “At one point we thought that there might be a slight chance he could fall to us,” Carlisle said of the Real Madrid star. “But then a couple of days ago it was pretty clear that there was no way that that was going to happen. He’s just too good, and so we made this deal — we moved up.”
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