Unlike Jalen Brunson, Dorian Finney-Smith happily accepted the Dallas Mavericks’ contract extension offer of $56 million over four years after last season’s trade deadline.
Although Brunson was widely viewed as being the Mavs second-best player — and for good reason, as he commanded the offense nicely when Luka Doncic was out — one could argue that Finney-Smith’s contributions on both ends of the court are just as important to the team, if not more so.
Finney-Smith has gotten better in every season since joining the Mavs as an undrafted free agent in 2016, so there’s no reason to believe he can’t continue that trend this year. Let’s take a look at what Finney-Smith produced last season and what we expect from him during the 2022-23 season.
2021-22 Season Review
Finney-Smith was an iron man for the Mavs last season, as he played in 80 regular season games and all 18 postseason games.
In the regular season, Finney-Smith averaged 11 points, 4.7 rebounds, 1.9 assists and 1.1 steals per game as a full-time starter. He shot 47.1 percent from the field and 39.5 percent from 3-point range. In the postseason, he upped his percentage from deep to 42.6 percent.
Game 4 of the Mavs’ Western Conference semifinals series against the top-seeded Phoenix Suns was Finney-Smith’s best postseason performance, as he put up 24 points and eight rebounds while shooting 8-12 from deep. The Mavs went on to win the series in seven games.
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Finney-Smith did all that last season while taking on the Mavs’ toughest defensive assignments on a nightly basis. He might have received a considerable raise with his recent extension, but he’s still very much a bargain for the Mavs. They should feel relieved and fortunate that Finney-Smith didn’t decide to test the free agency like Brunson did.
2022-23 Season Preview
Watching Finney-Smith’s career trajectory unfold has been a treat, and you can’t help but feel happy for the guy. He’s legitimately one of the best 3-and-D wings in the NBA now, and that’s a testament to his relentless hard work and the Mavs’ patience with him over the years.
Numbers-wise, we expect more of the same from Finney-Smith this season. The question is, can he get some 3-and-D help from another Mavs wing not named Reggie Bullock?
Adding Bullock to the roster last year was a big reason why the Mavs had fringe top-5 defense, as he and Finney-Smith were able to share responsibilities and lesson each other’s load. However, as the Mavs advanced to the Western Conference Finals, fatigue started to set in for the defensive duo that had played the most minutes of any other postseason players up to that point.
Finney-Smith will continue to be Finney-Smith … but the Mavs could really use another wing to lesson his load even further, whether it’s an in-house fix with the development of Josh Green or a potential trade.
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