The Dallas Mavericks emerged as one of the biggest pleasant surprises in the NBA this season. The Mavs finished the regular season on a hot streak and rose to 4th place in the West with a record of 52-30. They carried this momentum into the playoffs and knocked off the Utah Jazz and Phoenix Suns. The Mavs were ultimately sent home by the Golden State Warriors in the Conference Finals but the season should be looked at as a massive success.
Even with the success, the Mavericks have a great deal of work to do this offseason. Jalen Brunson is currently a free agent and has demanded attention across the NBA. Re-signing the Villanova product is certain to be at the top of the Mavs' to-do list and will dictate their offseason in a major way. Dallas must also focus on the upcoming NBA Draft as they currently hold the 26th pick. There are several capable role players that are set to be on the board at the tail end of the first round. As the draft inches closer here are the Mavs' biggest needs.
Mavs' 2 biggest needs entering 2022 NBA Draft
Big Man Upgrade
As impressive as the Mavericks were this season, it is clear they need to upgrade at center. Dwight Powell served as the primary starting center and averaged 8.7 points and 4.9 rebounds per game. Dallas also relied on Boban Marjonovic as the primary backup. While both guys are regarded highly, they simply are a notch below the necessary talent level to win a championship. Searching for an upgrade at the center position should be high on the list of priorities for the Mavs this offseason.
There are some notable targets in the 26th pick range that could help the team. Walker Kessler, Christian Koloko, and John Butler are three names to watch. Koloko is especially intriguing as he is the reigning Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Year. Adding a true rim protector could drastically change the Mavericks' defensive capability. Searching for a long-term big-man would allow the player to grow with Luka Doncic as well.
The Mavericks have done an excellent job putting the right complementary pieces around Luka Doncic. The esteemed “Bang Bros” in Dorian Finney-Smith and Reggie Bullock have been vital complementary pieces on the Mavs. Their ability to effectively space the floor on offense and defend at a high level was a major reason for the team's success. While their jobs in the starting lineup should be locked, there is no such thing as having too much depth.
Dorian Finney-Smith: "I thought [our nickname] was going to move a little faster. You know, the Bang Bros."
Reporter: "What did you call it?"
DFS: "The Bang Bros."
Reggie Bullock: *dies*
— ClutchPoints (@ClutchPointsApp) May 27, 2022
The Mavericks would do well to target more three-and-D wing players. This draft is fairly strong in this area which makes this even more appealing. MarJon Beauchamp, Dalen Terry, Jalen Williams, and Christian Braun would all be seamless fits. Adding one of these players in the draft would allow for them to develop behind the current group and become a part of the future. With Bullock and Finney-Smith doing the job now while Josh Green and this rookie develop for the future, the Mavericks put themselves in a great place as a franchise.
The Mavs have taken a leap forward as a franchise quicker than expected. Dallas must continue to add talent as it seeks to take the next step. While the performance this season was impressive, there is still plenty of work to do before the team is capable of securing a championship. Expect the Mavs to look to do just this and elevate their roster this offseason.