Despite not having a healthy Luka Doncic at the start of the postseason, the Dallas Mavericks made a huge run to reach the Western Conference Finals. Though they didn’t have enough firepower to top the Golden State Warriors, there’s optimism the team will return to the conference finals – as long as they improve the roster this summer.
For most of the season, Doncic shouldered the offensive burden with very few playmakers alongside him. But while he was out during the opening series against the Utah Jazz, Jalen Brunson, who is set to hit free agency, and mid-season acquisition Spencer Dinwiddie rose to the occasion to help out.
In the end, the lack of depth just wasn’t enough. As Dallas turns the page to next season, what does the team need to do over the summer to contend again?
Newy Scruggs, sports director at NBC Dallas-Fort Worth, said improving wing and big man depth is a must.
“Wing depth is something that they need because guys have to play off [Doncic], and also big man depth,” Scruggs said. “They don’t rebound the basketball well at all and that was very evident when they were facing the [Phoenix] Suns and really very evident when they took on the Warriors.”
Along with depth in the frontcourt, Scruggs said Dallas needs a legitimate center playing in the middle.
“Maxi Kleber, Dwight Powell, those are just not guys that are going to help you get to the NBA Finals,” Scruggs said. “They got to figure out a way – how do you improve?”
Connecting you to your favorite North Texas sports teams as well as sports news around the globe.
Scruggs mentioned Jazz center Rudy Gobert and Indiana Pacers center Myles Turner as potential options.
The Mavericks could also add depth via their first-round pick, slated for No. 26 overall, in the 2022 NBA Draft. Though it might be difficult to integrate a young player into the rotation quickly with a late pick, Mark Cuban told Scruggs in San Francisco during the Western Conference finals that head coach Jason Kidd plays a vital role in who they select.
“They’ve got to find guys who fit exactly what Jason Kidd wants,” Cuban told Scruggs.
Dallas has figured out the first part – Doncic is the franchise’s superstar. But four years in and he has yet to play with another legitimate star. Let’s see if the Mavericks can finally solve that equation this offseason.