The Mavericks’ situation changed when they added Porzingis. The 7’3” forward is yet to make his Dallas debut, but he has accelerated the rebuild in Texas.
Porzingis and Doncic are a big two with limitless potential. Despite taking on Tim Hardaway jr.’s contract, the Mavericks can attempt to lure a big free agent this offseason, creating a ‘big three’.
Here are three options for the Mavericks this summer, should they opt for a big name rather than filling out the roster with mid-tier free agents…
Like Porzingis, Malcolm Brogdon is a restricted free agent. His future is uncertain with the Milwaukee Bucks, who have big decisions to make with much of their roster hitting the market this offseason.
Brogdon is a borderline max contract guy, and those deals are somewhere between risky and foolish. For a team with their core set in place, though, an ‘overpay’ for a third, complementary piece can make sense.
Coming off a 50/40/90 season, Brogdon is a good fit alongside Doncic and Porzingis. He can knock down catch-and-shoot threes and can create his own looks when required. He’s shown, while playing alongside Giannis Antetokounmpo, that he’s good playing off the ball, and been comfortable taking over ball-handling duties from Giannis or Eric Bledsoe.
While it’s not a deal that would be in Dallas’ hands, they should kick the tyres on Brogdon. With Doncic’s less than brilliant defence, they need a backcourt partner who can carry some of the burden, and Brogdon can do just that.
Philadelphia have said all the right things about keeping their guys together. Tobias Harris seems to be at risk of being the odd one out, however, after a disappointing playoffs.
A breakout season with the Clippers nearly made Harris a first-time All-Star, as he thrived as the focal point of Doc Rivers’ offence. Things were not as rosy as a Sixer.
Harris’ three-point shooting dropped off dramatically, and he was squeezed to the periphery of the offence, having to settle for catch-and-shoot jumpers and rarely having the ball in his hands.
With less competition for the ball, Harris would get a bigger role with the Mavericks. He’s good in the pick and roll, something that would give Rick Carlisle plenty of options.
Handing Harris a max contract after his playoff performance is a risk. It could cripple Dallas if it doesn’t work out, but the Clippers version of Harris would be a good piece alongside Porzingis, providing another threat from beyond the arc and a solid rebounder.
Defence is a concern and that could put Dallas off. Harris is unlikely to be first priority, and it’s probable he stays with the Sixers. He’s a decent fit next to Porzingis and Doncic, though, and that makes him worth consideration.
Khris Middleton is in a similar spot to Brogdon, waiting to see how the summer plays out with the Bucks. Middleton became an All-Star this season and is seemingly a lock to be handed a max contract by someone.
Middleton’s ascension is one of the NBA’s great stories. He’s had to battle his way from obscurity to become Milwaukee’s second star.
He’s a scorer primarily, and a competent defender, who is long enough to trouble most wings. A combination of cuts, mid-rangers and threes saw Middleton score over 18 a game this season. Like Brogdon, he’s versatile, and will find a way to get his buckets without needing major offensive changes.
The Bucks might prioritise Middleton over Brogdon. If they don’t, Dallas should be at the front of the queue to offer a big pot of money to the former Piston. While there might be an adaptation period for Porzingis and Doncic, Middleton can slot comfortably onto the wing.