The Dallas Mavericks saw their 2020-21 NBA campaign come to an end on Sunday. They lost their best-of-seven opening-round series against the LA Clippers by 3-4, despite leading 2-0 and 3-2 at different stages.
Nonetheless, the Mavericks put up a great fight despite their underdog status in the series. The upcoming offseason will be huge for the team, as the right moves and player acquisitions could pave the way for them to become title contenders in the foreseeable future.
One key aspect they will likely focus on is the search for another star-quality player to complement Luka Doncic.
Until now, they had viewed Kristaps Porzingis as the other franchise player aside from Doncic, but that plan seems to have failed.
Porzingis has struggled with injuries during his stint with the Dallas Mavericks and underperformed during the 2021 NBA playoffs. He averaged just 12.7 points and 4.5 rebounds in the series against the LA Clippers. The front office may even look to trade him away in the offseason.
With that in mind, the Dallas Mavericks should turn their attention to the 2021 NBA free agency and find suitable options to build a decent roster around Luka Doncic for next season.
On that note, we have listed five players who could be a great addition to the team. These players are also unrestricted free agents this summer, which means the Dallas Mavericks won't have to overpay to acquire them.
5 free agents the Dallas Mavericks could target in the upcoming offseason
#1 DeMar DeRozan
DeMar DeRozan is one of the top players available in the 2021 NBA free agency this summer. He could be a terrific replacement for Kristaps Porzingis as a franchise player.
DeRozan has been one of the best offensive players in the league in recent years and was the leader on the San Antonio Spurs roster during his stint with the franchise.
The 31-year-old averaged 21.6 points per game along with a career-best 6.9 assists and 4.2 rebounds in the 2020-21 NBA season. He also shot 49.5 percent from the floor.
DeRozan has the ability to score 20+ points per game by making shots for himself. He can also share playmaking responsibilities with Doncic
The Dallas Mavericks have had to rely heavily on Doncic to make plays and score. This could be avoided with the addition of DeRozan.
#2 Tim Hardaway Jr.
The Dallas Mavericks could opt to re-sign their own free agent Tim Hardaway Jr. this summer to give his partnership with Luka Doncic another go.
Hardaway was easily the second-best player on the team in the last few weeks of the regular season and the playoffs. He initially came off the bench but was promoted to the starting lineup to provide scoring and defensive depth to the team.
Hardaway averaged 18 points per game on 42.5% field goal shooting, including 45.8% from the three-point line in the series against the LA Clippers.
He has been a part of the franchise for two full seasons now and has shown that he can perform consistently. The Dallas Mavericks coaching staff and players are familiar with him because of his tenure with the franchise, and this could be a bonus for the team.
#3 Norman Powell
Norman Powell is another intriguing option for the Dallas Mavericks in the NBA free agency, especially because of his ability to shoot the ball well from the floor.
His shooting average dipped by a tiny margin after he made his move to the Portland Trail Blazers mid-season. However, he can still prove to be highly effective for the Dallas Mavericks.
During his stint with the Toronto Raptors this season, Powell averaged 19.6 points per game on 49.8% field goal shooting, including 43.9% from long-range (both career-best). He is also a decent free-throw shooter and shot 86.5% from the charity stripe with the Raptors and 88% with the Trail Blazers.
On top of that, Powell is a decent defender and is great at forcing turnovers. Defense is definitely an area the Dallas Mavericks may look to improve for next season, and Powell could prove to be an impactful signing for them because of his traits.
#4 Kelly Oubre Jr.
As mentioned earlier, the Dallas Mavericks may look to improve their defense for next season, and Kelly Oubre Jr. could be a solid addition to the squad in that regard. He likes to play with high intensity on the defensive end and can force turnovers and claim loose balls by making hustle plays.
The Golden State Warriors star averaged 15.4 points, 6.0 rebounds, 1.3 assists, one steal and 0.8 blocks per game in the 2020-21 NBA season. He is traditionally a small forward but can also play in the backcourt.
#5 Richaun Holmes
Richaun Holmes had a career-best season with the Sacramento Kings during the 2020-21 league campaign. He averaged 14.2 points, 8.3 rebounds and 1.6 blocks per game, shooting 63.7% from the field.
The Dallas Mavericks haven't been able to find a reliable player to deploy at the 5 despite boasting multiple players who can play that position.
Holmes could provide some stability in that department and could form a solid partnership with Luka Doncic, especially with the latter's ability to create scoring opportunities for bigs.
If the Dallas Mavericks do decide to part ways with Porzingis, Holmes could straight away replace him in the lineup. He could also prove to be a better defensive option and rim protector compared to the "Unicorn."
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