When the Dallas Mavericks traded for Kristaps Porzingis, Mavericks fans were understandably excited because Luka Doncic was on his path to winning Rookie of the Year and with him being a point forward and being a triple-double threat, the thought of him and Porzingis in a pick and pop situation or a pick and roll situation is exciting.
They did however have one key piece of business to attend to when the offseason started and that was to lock up Porizingis, who was a restricted free agent, to a long-term deal.
They took pretty much no time doing that as Porzingis was immediately locked up to a five-year max deal that is scheduled to pay him just over $158.2 million over the course of the deal. Even though Porzingis didn’t play at all last season after he tore his ACL the season before, he is still one of the more interesting players to watch in the league because he is listed at 7’3″ and he can step out and shoot the ball (36.1% from three in his career) and he can get to the basket, making him deadly when he sets a pick and either rolls or pops for a jump shot.
Porzingis is also a solid defender and is averaging 2.0 blocks per game during his three seasons played in the NBA. That will make things easier for the defenders on the perimeter to be aggressive, because they have spotty perimeter defending, so they can now be more aggressive knowing they have a shot blocker like that on the back end of the defense.
Dallas wasn’t done bringing players back for this season that were free agents though. Maxi Kleber is a German forward who can stretch the floor a little bit, but he’s also athletic, which leads to him being an efficient scorer from two-point and him being a good defender.
Kleber is certainly not a household name, but he is a nice under-the-radar player if you’ve never seen him play and Dallas getting him back on a four-year, $35 million is a pretty nice deal for a talented 27-year old forward.
Dorian Finney-Smith is in the same boat as Kleber as he is an athletic forward, who signed for three-years and $12 million. Much like Kleber, Finney-Smith isn’t an elite offensive player by any means, but he’s been a solid defender in his career and he can make a lot of the dirty plays happen that don’t always show up in the stat sheet.
Dallas still wasn’t done signing their own players after Porzingis, Kleber and Finney-Smith as they went out and gave forward Dwight Powell a three-year deal worth $33 million. The deal will not kick in until next season so in total he is locked up in Dallas for the next four-seasons.
Powell was a second-round pick in the 2014 draft and quickly went from Boston to Dallas and since then he has quietly developed into a nice player, averaging double-digits in points for the first time in his career this past season.
He has also slowly became a better three-point shooter and rebounder, especially on the offensive end of the floor and he has had a defensive box plus/minus of at least 1.0 each of the past four seasons, so he’s also solid on that end of the floor. Overall I like this move by Dallas also.
Then to fill out their roster, barring a trade before the offseason ends, the team went out and agreed to a four-year, $32 million deal with Seth Curry. Curry spent time in Dallas previously and in the lone season he played there he averaged 12.8 points per game and shot 42.5% from three and then he missed the next season with an injury before making his return last season playing for Portland.
This past season in Portland Curry was a nice piece off the bench on a team that made it to the Western Conference Finals, averaging 7.9 points per game while shooting 45% from three.
Curry doesn’t do much on a basketball court all that well besides shoot threes, but he is something that Dallas needed. They needed to add offense to the team desperately and having Porzingis playing will do that by itself, but then having a guy like Curry to stretch the floor could make things easier for other guys to get to the basket.
Overall I like what Dallas has going on. Doncic of course won Rookie of the Year and on top of having all of the above guys coming back or in this season, they also have Tim Hardaway Jr. coming back and when his contract expires in a couple years assuming that he picks up his player option for the 2020-21 season, they could have money to make something happen that offseason before they try and lock up Doncic long-term.
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