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Mavs Offseason Report Card: SI Grades Dallas' Moves

The Dallas Mavericks did not end up landing an NBA All-Star this offseason but did get better. How should their offseason performance be graded?

DALLAS - Most of the offseason action has concluded for teams around the NBA. There is still a few moves that can be made whether it's a late free agency signing or a trade, but regardless, the vast majority of roster changes have been made. 

For Sports Illustrated, NBA staff writer Michael Pina graded the offseason performance for each team in the Western Conference. 

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The Mavericks earned a "B-" from Pina, highlighting their offseason moves consisting of bolstering wing talent with Reggie Bullock and Sterling Brown. Not adding a ball-handler left the feeling that things 'could've gone better' for Dallas. 

I recently wrote about Dallas’s offseason in the context of Luka Dončić’s extension and how patience can be their friend and enemy. The Mavericks have not added another ballhandler (Kyle Lowry, Mike Conley and Chris Paul, let alone Spencer Dinwiddie, and even Dennis Schröder were technically available) but did beef up their wings with Reggie Bullock and Sterling Brown, two players who complement Dončić in other ways. Things could’ve gone better. They also could’ve been a lot worse. Jason Kidd in as coach is a total wild card.

The Mavericks had kept their salary cap flexibility open in recent years with the hopes of landing an elite talent in the summer of 2021. Giannis Antetokounmpo was originally a long-heralded target but like many of the other standouts set to be free agents, he agreed to a contract extension to remain with the Milwaukee Bucks.

As free agency approached, there was some thought about Kawhi Leonard being an option but the Mavericks moved on after indication was clear he would return to the LA Clippers. 

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When Leonard was no longer thought of as being an option, the Mavericks shifted course to prioritize Kyle Lowry. That plot unraveled after he ended up being strongly linked to the Miami Heat before the official start of free agency even occurred.  

Without a single pick in the 2021 NBA Draft and limited at best trade assets, the Mavericks faced a bleak outlook in terms of adding difference-making talent. 

Moving on from Josh Richardson using a trade with the Boston Celtics was addition by subtraction, but also landed Moses Brown and created a near $11.9 million trade exception in the process. 

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The Mavericks quickly replaced Richardson by signing Reggie Bullock on a three-year, $30.5 million contract. 

Aside from bringing back Tim Hardaway Jr. and Boban Marjanovic, the Mavericks' last move of free agency was the signing of Sterling Brown to a three-year deal worth $6 million total. 

There has been some thought that another addition could be made via trade at some point, whether before training camp or prior to the midseason trade deadline. Goran Dragic and Lauri Markkanen have been floated as names, but so far, nothing has transpired. 

While a star player was not added into the mix, the Mavericks did get better. Much of their outlook relies on the coaching new head coach Jason Kidd in addition to Kristaps Porzingis returning to previous form.