With this year’s playoff race now down to eight teams and the summer fast approaching, the Dallas Mavericks have seldom been mentioned as a top contender for the 2019 offseason’s top free agents. As the team acquired former New York Knicks power forward Kristaps Porzingis before the trade deadline, many are expecting the Latvian big man, who missed the entire 2018-19 season due to injury, to be healthy in time for the new season and ready to step up as the Mavs’ newest star. But that might not mean Dallas won’t be making any moves in the offseason, as a recent report suggests that the organization has at least a few targets in mind as potential summer acquisitions.
In the Tuesday edition of his column for The New York Times, Marc Stein wrote that the Mavericks will be prioritizing “shooters, athleticism, and veterans” as they search for players to complement Porzingis and rookie sensation Luka Doncic and provide “some been-there wisdom” to a relatively young unit. After finishing the 2018-19 campaign with averages of 21.2 points, 7.8 rebounds, and six assists per game, Doncic is considered by many sources, including CBS Sports, to be a favorite to win this year’s Rookie of the Year award.
While Stein noted that it doesn’t seem likely that Dallas will be in play for top-tier free agents like Kevin Durant, Kawhi Leonard, and Kyrie Irving, he cited league sources, who believe that the Mavericks could be in play for Milwaukee Bucks wingman Khris Middleton and/or Charlotte Hornets point guard Kemba Walker. Stein added that the Mavs might also consider adding “wings with two-way ability” on offense and defense if they aren’t able to land either Middleton or Walker.
Commenting on recent rumors that the Mavericks may also target Orlando Magic center Nikola Vucevic this summer, Stein wrote that he still doesn’t see the big man as a priority, but acknowledged that the Mavericks are still in the process of “formulating” their plans for the 2019 offseason.
According to Bleacher Report, it would indeed make sense for the Dallas Mavericks to go for Middleton or Walker in free agency, considering that they are expected to have enough salary cap space this summer, even after they re-sign Porzingis to a new contract. Middleton, in particular, was singled out as a “more logical fit” for the Mavs, as Doncic has already shown that he is capable of handling the ball and helping run the offense.
The Bucks forward/guard’s career three-point shooting clip of 38.8 percent was mentioned as another reason why he’d be an ideal target for the Mavericks. As a team, Dallas shot only 34 percent from beyond the arc in the 2018-19 season, putting them at a tie with the New York Knicks as the third-worst three-point shooting team in the entire NBA.