Dallas’ finals run was cut short by the Golden State Warriors, losing 4-1 in the conference finals. Before losing to the warriors, the Mavericks shocked the world beating Chris Paul‘s Suns so badly their team issued an apology.
Luka Dončić was one of the main reasons Dallas was successful this season, proving to the entire league he is one of the top players in the game today. Luka’s offensive game is phenomenal but the playoffs magnified that he can improve on the defensive end.
Dorian Finney-Smith is another reason Dallas was successful this season. Dorian is the perfect 3&D wing for this mavericks team and was crucial for Dallas in the playoffs. Every team needs Dorian’s skill set and the Mavericks recently just inked him into a 4-year 55 million dollar contract in February.
After another incredible season by Dallas, basketball fans are now wondering what are the Mavericks missing? (Besides a new roof)
Re-sign Jalen Brunson
Let’s start off with what they could be missing next year, Jalen Brunson. Jalen will be an unrestricted free agent this off-season and will have no shortage of offers to choose from. The Mavericks need to do everything they can to retain Jalen, his playmaking and scoring was essential in the playoffs.
It’s expected that Jalen re-signs with the Mavericks this off-season but for how much exactly? Jalen Brunson is estimated sign nothing short of a 20 million per year according to Tim MacMahon of ESPN. Mark Cuban will have to work his magic to re-sign the breakout point guard to prevent Jalen from signing with other teams that can present more lucrative offers.
Dallas needs an upgrade at center. The Mavericks could use a rim protector to make up for the lackluster defense in the backcourt. With little money to spend in free agency, Dallas could use their 26th pick in the 2022 NBA draft to add a big man to their ranks.
Auburn’s Walker Kessler could fill the rim protector role right away, averaging 4.6 blocks per game last year. Walker cannot stretch the floor on offense but would provide Dallas with some much needed strength in the paint.
If Dallas is unable to snag a big man the draft, they could also test the trade market for a center. Rudy Gobert would be the perfect fit for Dallas and with tension growing in the Jazz locker room, now is the best time to make it happen.
Tim Hardaway Jr. was injured throughout the entirety of the 2022 playoffs. The shooting guard was a major part of the Maverick’s playoff run last year, maybe he could of made a difference in the Warriors series. Tim is under contract for the Mavericks next season, he could be Dallas’s missing piece to making it to the finals.
This mavericks team is potentially one roster adjustment away from competing in the NBA finals next season. Dallas will not be able to attract the leagues top free agents without making a roster adjustment first but that may not be necessary for them to come back stronger next year. (Click here to see the best free agents at each position)
Dallas just needs to stay the course and keep improving, as long as Luka is on this roster anything is possible.