DALLAS - With former Nike executive Nico Harrison now as general manager, there is much anticipation for the Dallas Mavericks' ability to attract talent ahead of NBA free agency.
Perhaps the top priority for the Mavericks will be to find a secondary ball handler to make things easier on Luka Doncic. As team owner Mark Cuban has stated, the team wants one 'with some size.' There's an option that stands out, in particular.
When making predictions for some key soon-to-be free agents, NBA Analysis Network's Skyler Carlin slotted DeMar DeRozan to the Dallas Mavericks. This would align closely with Cuban's comment.
The Mavericks need someone else that can handle the ball outside of Luka Doncic, and DeRozan is more than capable of doing that. Getting DeRozan also wouldn’t solve Dallas’ problem of replacing Kristaps Porzingis, but it would give them an All-Star caliber player to pair with Doncic moving forward.
DeRozan, 31, is coming off an impressive season with the San Antonio Spurs as he averaged 21.6 points, 4.2 rebounds, and 6.9 assists (career-high). He did so while playing on the final season of his five-year, $139 million contract.
Where DeRozan is most intriguing as an option is in his dynamic scoring ability and improved playmaking. Whether it's running a ball screen, attacking in isolation, or posting up, he can get the job done at a high-level.
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There would need to be a balance between DeRozan alleviating pressure from Doncic as opposed taking the ball out of hands too much, though.
Also, with DeRozan not being a perimeter shooting threat, a negative influence on floor spacing is something to consider. Could that be too great of an issue when running high pick-and-roll during games? How about particularly in late game situations when teams look to shrink the floor?
There are some layers to take into consideration with DeRozan. The Spurs transitioned him to the four spot last season. If he were to play the same role in Dallas, the Mavericks could use Kristaps Porzingis as a stretch-five to help mitigate some of DeRozan's shooting concerns.
This year's class of free agents mostly features smaller guards, in terms of playmaking options. DeRozan is by far the top attainable option with other names and with that will come plenty of other potential suitors -- making for some stiff competition.
It remains to be seen if the Mavericks will push to sign DeMar DeRozan in NBA free agency. If they do, it would be quite a logical pairing for both sides.