DALLAS - After coming up short in the first-round of the NBA playoffs, the Dallas Mavericks have already made significant changes. GM Nico Harrison and head coach Jason Kidd now are now in the fold in place of Donnie Nelson and Rick Carlisle.
Now, the focus is now on bolstering the roster around Luka Doncic. There are plenty of holes to address but finding another player that can take pressure off Doncic offensively ranks quite highly.
Mavericks owner Mark Cuban recently commented on the team's roster -- expressing the need to add a secondary ball handler 'with some size.'
"We need a secondary ball handler with some size. KP will spread the court, make threes, is a great cutter, and block shots. Luka will create. We’ve got shooters with Tim and Trey [Burke] and Maxi [Kleber] and others. But we need someone to take the pressure off of Luka, so instead of him having to have the ball in his hands for 40 minutes, it could be 32 minutes, and that’s what we need."
DeMar DeRozan, who stands at 6-foot-6, appears to be ideal for what the Mavericks appear to be seeking. Most of the secondary ball handlers that will be available in free agency are smaller guards. Could the Mavericks target the former All-Star?
When evaluating the alternative options to DeRozan in free agency, Spencer Dinwiddie does match this description, too, but aside from him, the options are minimal. Keep in mind, Dinwiddie is coming off a season-ending injury.
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When evaluating the top potential free agency landing spots for DeMar DeRozan, NBA Analysis Network's Skyler Carlin placed the Dallas Mavericks atop the list.
Luka Doncic is the clear No. 1 option in the Mavericks' offense but there is a lack of a trustworthy secondary threat. DeRozan would take that role on in the event he were to sign with Dallas.
"It goes without saying that Doncic should be handling the ball on the majority of possessions for the Mavericks. But having someone like DeRozan that can take some pressure off of him would be ideal. There needs to be another threat that can run pick-and-rolls and score in isolation to keep the defense honest."
DeRozan is coming off an impressive season for the Spurs. He appeared in 61 regular season games and posted averages of 21.6 points, 4.2 rebounds, and 6.9 assists (career-high).
The top question the Mavericks face in terms of their own personnel is Tim Hardaway Jr.'s pending free agency. He primarily plays off-the-catch and does not fit the mold of a secondary ball handler. His skill-set would be especially important in the even of a DeRozan signing given the need for shooting.
The Mavericks could slot in DeRozan at the three or four spot and keep Kristaps Porzingis at the five to maximize floor spacing. Meanwhile, the backcourt could remain with Luka Doncic and Tim Hardaway Jr.