Mavericks Notes: Doncic, Free Agency, Porter

The Mavericks haven’t had much luck recruiting star free agents to Dallas over the last several years, but it’s possible that Luka Doncic could help change that, Sean Deveney writes in his latest Sporting News article. With longtime star Dirk Nowitzki on his last legs, Doncic looks like the Mavs’ next franchise player, and the idea of playing alongside the young star could appeal to players considering Dallas in free agency.

“It’s always hard to make that pitch and get over the hump with free agents,” a league source said to Deveney. “But they (the Mavericks) didn’t really have a chance with those guys. Players mostly like (owner Mark) Cuban, and they were always a compelling enough franchise to get in the room with LeBron (James) and Dwight Howard and other stars. But they could not present themselves as a team with a great future.

“They can do that now,” the source continued. “Not sure they can push a star to put his name on the line, but ‘Come play with Luka,’ it’s a better message.”

As that source hints, it still seems unlikely that the Mavs will be a serious player this summer for elite free agents like Kevin Durant, Kawhi Leonard, Kyrie Irving, or Klay Thompson. However, Deveney believes that it might be worth the effort for the team to make an offer to one or more of those players. The franchise will have significant cap room this summer and it would serve as a reminder that Dallas can still be an appealing destination for top players. Khris Middleton and DeMarcus Cousins could also be targets, Deveney adds.

Here’s more out of Dallas:

  • Michael Scotto of The Athletic previously reported that the Mavericks have interest in Otto Porter, which Deveney confirms. According to Deveney though, the Wizards seem uninterested in moving Porter as a pure salary dump, and Dallas likely wouldn’t want to include draft picks or Dennis Smith Jr. as part of an offer to Washington.
  • Count Dirk Nowitzki among those optimistic about the Mavericks’ future, as Deveney relays. “We’ve been through some tough years — a lot after the championship — but the last couple, extremely tough,” Nowitzki said. “But we feel like we have got some great young guys. We drafted Dennis last year and we drafted Luka this year. Those are some great young guys we can build around. They’re both only 20 years old or so. We have some cornerstones we can build on. Hopefully this franchise is going in the right direction.”
  • Jalen Brunson and Devin Harris are among the guards who could see increased workloads with J.J. Barea sidelined for the rest of the season, writes Callie Caplan of The Dallas Morning News. As Caplan details, head coach Rick Carlisle called Barea’s torn Achilles a “gut-wrenching” injury.
  • The Mavericks applied for a disabled player exception as a result of Barea’s injury. Here’s our full story on what exactly that means.
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6 thoughts on “Mavericks Notes: Doncic, Free Agency, Porter

  1. Brian

    Another crazy massive trade:

    Dallas receives: Aaron Gordon, Nikola Vucevic, Terrence Ross, Jonathon Simmons, Jerian Grant, Jarell Martin

    Orlando receives: Harrison Barnes, DeAndre Jordan, Dwight Powell, Dennis Smith, Ryan Broekhoff, Raymond Spalding

    I think Dallas should certainly push for a playoff spot (HalleLuka!), and I think this improves their team. Vucevic is an upgrade over DeAndre, especially since DeAndre’s defense has regressed. Vucevic provides a post and perimeter threat that Luka can leverage in pick and rolls. The rest of the players Dallas would receive are on expiring contracts (Simmons’ next year is mostly non-guaranteed). Ross would boost the bench unit (or even replace Matthews as a starter). Although not a sublime shooter, Aaron Gordon seems like a good player to have at Luka’s disposal, as he provides vertical space and a fast break target. Gordon is also a decent playmaker and iso defender, so he definitely has room to develop his skills with less responsibility in Dallas.

    For Orlando, Dennis Smith is obviously the prize. They sorely lack a playmaker of Smith’s caliber. Barnes and DeAndre are more just stopgap veterans who may help compete in the short term, but ultimately the Magic should shift their focus to further developing the Isaac and Bamba tandem.

    Dallas actually saves approximately $6 million in this trade and can technically free up greater cap space than before, although that means they must be willing to assume Gordon’s 4-year contract (which I think is a fair contract given his upside).

    This all depends on how they value Smith and his fit with Luka. I personally don’t see it working out well and would rather see what Smith can do with his own team.

    • x%sure

      Incredibly enough, it works in But it favors Dallas IMO.
      It’s close, if Orlando has room to re-sign Vucevic, Ross and Birch, if they want the expense, and the players want to return. There is no need for further offseason ambitions beyond that until 2020 when Simmons & Mozgov come off the books.

      Maybe they should trade Vucevic but that has been going on for a couple years and they have not.

      • Brian

        I agree that it favors Dallas, but that’s because I don’t value Smith as highly as most people. As for Vucevic, yes Orlando has had many chances to trade him over the years, but he’s playing exceptionally well this year on an expiring contract, so I think Orlando should capitalize on that rather than further depreciate his value and waffling between phases.

        • x%sure

          Orlando hasn’t seen the playoffs since 2012, the FO is conservative, and teams are not looking for centers… I bet they stand pat, wise or not.

  2. Guest617

    if cuban wasn’t such a prick he wouldn’t have to overpays for mediocre players: parsons,dj, mathews, etc.

  3. Jason Lancaster

    Dallas isn’t going to have a chance at top-tier free agents this summer, so they can either:

    a) pick off a few mid-tier guys, and perhaps flip Smith Jr. for a 1st or a young guy who can’t get minutes on a good team, or

    b) make a trade now, acquiring a good player from a team that wants to rebuild

    Memphis might be ready to blow it up right now. Raptors might blow it up this summer if they lose Kwahi. Pelicans might if they lose Davis.

    Smith Jr. is a good young player that can help “sell” a trade to the fans. If I’m Dallas, I’m weighing trading Smith Jr. now vs. waiting for the summer and seeing what happens with Toronto and New Orleans.

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