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Mavs' Top Wing Targets with Taxpayer MLE in Free Agency

The Mavericks will look to add wing depth this offseason.

After trading for Christian Wood with the Houston Rockets, the Dallas Mavericks have achieved the center upgrade they set out to make this offseason. 

The next priority for the Mavericks will be to retain Jalen Brunson in free agency. After that? Adding wing depth will be a must. Their options of doing so are limited given they have no picks in the 2022 NBA Draft after moving the No. 26 overall pick for Wood and are over the cap. 

The best mechanisms the Mavericks have include the Taxpayer MLE (near $6.4 million) and the trade exception (near $10.9 million) created by the Josh Richardson trade last offseason. The TPE expires on June 27, before free agency. 

Here's a closer look at some taxpayer MLE wing targets for the Mavericks to pursue: 

Gary Harris

Gary Harris isn't a shot creation threat, but he's an efficient catch-and-shoot player who can be deployed in handoffs and off-ball screening actions. His defensive versatility is among the top ways he makes an impact. He can guard multiple positions and makes an impact as a team defender.

There will be a competitive market for Harris in free agency given he's a top 3-and-D option in this year's free agency class. He averaged 11.1 points and 2.0 assists while shooting 38.4 percent on 3s in 61 appearances last season. 

T.J. Warren

T.J. Warren last regularly played during the 2019-20 season and averaged 19.8 points, 4.2 rebounds, and 1.5 assists. His scoring efficiency was spectacular in a role where he primarily attacked off the catch. He was deployed as a pick-and-roll ball-handler, in handoffs, and in off-ball screening actions. 

Given Warren has appeared in four games over the last two seasons, signing him would be a risk for any team. He never appeared in 70 games in a single season in his NBA career. He's also had more seasons playing fewer than 50 games (four) than playing in at least 60 games (three). 

Otto Porter Jr.

There's value in an efficient shooting wing who is 6-foot-8 and can play the four. He filled a key role for the Golden State Warriors this season on a prove-it deal, providing averages of 8.2 points, 5.7 rebounds, and 1.5 assists in the regular season. 

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The skill-set Porter possesses is one that is best served playing alongside high-level playmakers. He was one of the more efficient jump shooters in the NBA during the playoffs and was largely limited to catch-and-shoot jumpers. He has some shot creation ability when attacking off the catch, too. 

Caleb Martin

It was a strong 2021-22 season for Caleb Martin, who averaged 9.2 points and 3.8 rebounds in 22.9 minutes per game for the Miami Heat. He was highly efficient as a catch-and-shoot threat and made a lot of his impact attacking off the catch. He's on the smaller side for a wing at 6-foot-5 and 205 pounds. 

The Heat face a challenging salary cap landscape but do have the option of matching the offer sheet Martin signs in restricted free agency. Miami can match offers up to the $10.3 million Mid-Level Exception if they seek to retain him. 

Nicolas Batum

Nicolas Batum has found his form with the LA Clippers after a poor ending to his Charlotte Hornets tenure. He's shot a combined 40.2 percent on 3s over his two seasons with the Clippers and can do a little bit of everything. His defensive versatility at 6-foot-8 with a 7-foot-4 wingspan has been a significant weapon for the Clippers' defense.

Batum has a $3.3 million player option that is well under his value as a player. The Clippers can re-sign him using Early Bird rights and pay him up to roughly $12 million annually. A decision to opt-out could lead to a long-term solution to stay in Los Angeles. 

Amir Coffey

With Kawhi Leonard missing the whole 2021-22 season and Paul George being sidelined often, Amir Coffey had the most opportunity of his NBA career. He seized the moment with averages of 9.0 points, 2.9 rebounds, and 1.8 assists in 22.7 minutes per game. 

There's plenty to like about a 6-foot-7 wing with a near 7-foot wingspan who knocks down catch-and-shoot jumpers. It doesn't hurt that he has shown some flashes running ball screens and using handoffs. He will be a restricted free agent this offseason.


You can follow Grant Afseth on Twitter at @GrantAfseth

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