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What moves should the Dallas Mavericks make this offseason?

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After a Game 6 loss to the Los Angeles Clippers, the Dallas Mavericks’ 2019-20 campaign has finally ended. Moral victories don’t necessarily ease the pain of losing a playoff series, but it’s also true that the Mavs exceeded all expectations this season. This was the first rodeo for their young star tandem of Luka Doncic and Kristaps Porzingis. If the latter stayed healthy in that Clippers series, things could have been very different given how Luka had been dismantling the Clips’ defense.

But there’s no point to dwell on that disappointment as the Mavericks front office faces a pivotal offseason that could catapult them to elite contention in the Western Conference. It’s obvious that they need to build around Doncic and Porzingis, and they could do that by boosting their performance on the defensive end of the floor.

Target a 3-and-D swingman

While it’s true Doncic is not the worst defender in the league, he has glaring weaknesses in that facet of his game. Add to that the fact that he is already shouldering a lion’s share of the workload in the Mavs’ offense, the team can’t always require him to exert so much effort and energy on defense.

Dallas needs to bolster their perimeter defense, and acquire a lockdown defender who can also space out the floor on offense. Bringing in someone like Michael Kidd-Gilchrist will not cut it as the team can maximize Luka’s playmaking by surrounding him with teammates who can shoot from long-range.

Targeting sweet-shooting combo forwards like Joe Harris or Jae Crowder in free agency will not only net the Mavericks an excellent 3-and-D wing but will also provide them with much-needed veteran presence and leadership. They could also pursue a path of potentially trading for Rockets’ Robert Covington, especially if Houston decides to disband after another failure to go deeper in the postseason.


Bring in an insurance for Porzingis

With the way things are going, the Mavericks may have to place Porzingis on load management next season. The 7-foot-3 Latvian big man has suffered successive injuries in the past, a sign that he doesn’t have the ability to stay healthy the whole year. The Mavericks need Porzingis to be always ready come playoff time, and they could do that if they minimize the one-time All-Star center’s workload in the regular season.

Having said that, Dallas has to bring in an insurance for when Porzingis takes his rest or sustains an injury. Of course, what Porzingis does on both ends of the floor is irreplaceable. But the team needs someone who has a decent ability to score from the inside, while also imposing his presence on defense. Boban Marjanovic is a great rebounder and an above-average post scorer, but it’s obvious that he is a big liability on defense, particularly when an opposing team forces him to switch and defend smaller and quicker guards.

It remains to be seen if Kelly Olynyk will opt into his final year with the Miami Heat, but the Mavericks could pursue him if he doesn’t. The Morris twins could also be a great fit, although we don’t know Luka would feel about his team bringing in Marcus Morris to the fold.

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