The Mavericks offseason is very important. After getting bounced by the Clippers in the playoffs for the second straight season, Dallas has a lot of work to do. The majority of it involves building around a better supporting cast for Luka Doncic.
Mavericks offseason 2021
It’s no secret that Dallas’ best player is Doncic. At just 22 years old, he’s already breaking individual records and putting up ridiculous stat lines. He’s clearly the face of the NBA for years come.
Now, the Mavericks’ problem lies in their lineup. Their current roster is not yet built for a deep playoff run. If they are going to contend for years to come, they need to build around Doncic and provide him the right pieces—like the Suns did for Devin Booker.
Let’s look at three key issues to address in the Mavericks offseason:
Who is the second star?
Like the most elite teams in the league, the Mavericks should have at least a star duo. The Lakers have James and Davis, the Clippers have George and Leonard, the Sixers have Embiid and Simmons, and the Nets even have three superstars.
In the trade, they banked on Porzingis as their next second franchise player who can thrive with Luka. However, the Luka-Porzingis duo never came to fruition due to Porzingis’ health. He already had a plethora of injuries since his New York days. And even when healthy, he is inconsistent and doesn’t have a “defined” role.
If the Mavericks don’t believe he can be that “guy” anymore, then they could explore trading him for a better second option who fits Luka’s game.
Meanwhile, Hardaway Jr. is a certified bucket-getter—albeit being inconsistent. He can thrive as a third option or sixth man, but definitely not a reliable second option.
Dallas could package Porzingis and Hardaway’s big contracts to get a second star. Nonetheless, finding a better second option is a priority in the Mavericks offseason.
Depth and supporting cast
The Mavericks should also look into improving their mediocre supporting cast. Since the Porzingis trade, they haven’t acquired any big names. If they are going to contend, major moves must be made in the upcoming offseason.
Role players like Josh Richardson, JJ Redick, Willie Cauley-Stein, Nicolo Melli, Boban Marjanovic, Dwight Powell, and Trey Burke should be made available in the offseason via free agency or trade. They haven’t provided that much impact in the regular season and postseason.
Meanwhile, Dorian Finney-Smith has been great all season long. He’s a reliable 3 and D guy who has the size to guard multiple positions.
It’s safe to say that everyone except Luka Doncic and Dorian Finney-Smith is expendable. Revamping the whole roster may be hard, but necessary.
At such a young age, Luka Doncic is already a top 5 player with his size and unique skillset. There’s no doubt that he has already that superstar status. However, there are still key points for improvement. While the front office is busy upgrading their roster, he should improve some parts of his game in the offseason to become truly unstoppable.
First, Luka should improve his free throw. It’s been well documented that he struggled in the free throw line in this year’s regular (73%) and postseason (50%). For someone who’s attempting 7 free throws a game and likes to get contact, he should definitely improve hitting his charities.
Second, he should also manage his temper well. He has been complaining a lot about fouls and missed calls. This does not bode well especially if you are a role model in the NBA. And losing composure especially in big games could spell trouble. Earlier in May, Luka was on the brink of suspension due to having his 15th technical foul.
Luka Doncic’s development will be big in the Mavericks offseason. If it played well, we could see him win his first MVP award next season.