The Dallas Mavericks lost in the 2024 NBA Finals to the Boston Celtics. Dallas still enjoyed a strong overall campaign, and they do not need to make any big roster changes. Still, there are two players set to hit free agency that the Mavericks must consider re-signing.

One of these players stepped up in a veteran leadership role. The other impacted the Mavs on both ends of the floor, emerging as one of the best defensive players in the sport. Without further ado, here are the two players the Mavs need to re-sign in 2024 NBA free agency.

Markieff Morris

Dallas Mavericks forward Markieff Morris (88) talks during a huddle before game five against the Boston Celtics in the 2024 NBA Finals at TD Garden.
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Markieff Morris, 34, averaged just 8.3 minutes per outing during the 2023-24 season. That number is not reflective of his true value to the team.

Morris' leadership was crucial for the Mavs. Dallas features a young team overall, while Morris has played in the NBA since 2011. He's seen the game evolve over the years and has spent time with a number of different organizations. Morris understands what it takes to win at the highest level of basketball.

Would losing Morris automatically eliminate the Mavericks from postseason contention next year? The answer is obviously no, but having a veteran like Morris around a young team with a high ceiling only helps matters.

Kyrie Irving was looked upon as a leader. Yet, Kyrie is still only 32 years old. Additionally, he's focused on leading the Mavericks on the floor. Morris does not play as often, so he can lead in a different manner.

Derrick Jones Jr.

Dallas Mavericks forward Derrick Jones Jr. (55) blocks Minnesota Timberwolves forward Jaden McDaniels (3) during the second quarter of game four of the western conference finals for the 2024 NBA playoffs at American Airlines Center.
Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

The most obvious answer to the question of who the Mavericks must re-sign is Derrick Jones Jr. Jones played at a high level on defense all season and added positive contributions offensively.

The 27-year-old signed with the Mavs before the 2023-24 campaign. The move was overlooked by many, but Dallas believed in Jones' potential.

Rumors suggest that Jones wants to return to the Mavericks. He has made it clear that he enjoys playing in Dallas. Jones fell just short of being eligible for an All-Defensive team this past season. Still, he consistently guarded opposing teams' best players and played well on the defensive end of the floor.

Jones also took a step forward offensively. His 8.6 points per-game average was the highest mark of his career. Jones shot 48.3 percent from the field and 34.3 percent from beyond the arc.

He earned a starting role for the Mavs as well. Jones started in 66 of the 76 games he appeared in during the 2023-24 campaign. Starting for a team that reached the NBA Finals will only help his case in free agency.

A number of teams will surely have interest in signing Jones, but the Mavericks need to do everything they can to re-sign him.

Mavericks' offseason outlook

Again, the Mavs do not need to make any massive upgrades. They feature two superstars in Kyrie Irving and Luka Doncic. Dallas has built a quality core of players around them with PJ Washington, Dereck Lively II and Daniel Gafford. Players such as Jaden Hardy and Olivier-Maxence Prosper could take steps forward next season as well.

The future is bright in Dallas. The Mavericks will certainly compete for a playoff spot once again, and they may even make another NBA Finals run in 2025. Re-signing Derrick Jones Jr. and Markieff Morris will go a long way towards helping their chances.