After a supremely disappointing season, the Dallas Mavericks will look to bounce back in the 2023-24 season. Their inability to make even the Play-In Tournament exposed the many flaws the roster had, even with players like Luka Doncic and Kyrie Irving on their roster. The front office made a bunch of moves in order to fix these various problem.

Some of these moves were questionable at best. However, one particular move the Mavs did during the 2023 NBA free agency period stood out as the best one. Let's take a look at this move and analyze why it's a really good move for this Mavs roster.

Mavs' best move: Grant Williams Sign-and-Trade

Live and breathe the NBA?

🚨 Get viral NBA graphics, memes, rumors and trending news delivered right to your inbox with the Clutch Newsletter.

The Mavs' biggest weakness last season was their lack of defensive pieces around their star players. For all of Luka Doncic and Kyrie Irving's talents on offense, they offer next to nothing on the other side of the ball. The trade for Irving forced Dallas to give up their best defensive wing in Dorian Finney-Smith. Reggie Bullock was supposed to be their defensive stopper, but he unfortunately didn't pan out.

Clearly, the Mavs recognized this problem, and they sought to address this in the 2023 NBA free agency season. They first tried to sign restricted free agent wing Matisse Thybulle, signing him to a 3-year, $33 million contract. Had they succeeded in prying Thybulle from the Portland Trail Blazers, this would easily be the best move for the team. Unfortunately, Portland matched the offer sheet, which means that Thybulle will be staying with the Blazers.

The other big move that the Mavs made during the free agency season was re-signing Kyrie Irving to a three-year max contract extension. While this move is a bit polarizing, ultimately, this decision will end up being a net positive for Dallas. They gave up a lot of assets to pair Doncic with Irving. Keeping him around was the biggest priority of the offseason, and Dallas even ended up just giving Kyrie 3 years instead of 5, which is a good thing.

The rest of Dallas' moves are underwhelming or risky. The Dante Exum signing is a buy-low deal that will pay dividends if it pans out, yet it won't cost a lost for the team. On the other hand, the return of Seth Curry looks good on paper, but his inability to defend wings and guards overshadows his electric shooting from the outside.

That leaves the Mavs' trade for free agent forward Grant Williams. Dallas gave up Bullock and a bevy of first-round picks in a three-team trade with the Celtics and the Spurs in orger to acquire Williams. Williams previously signed a four year, $56 million contract with Boston in order to facilitate this sign-and-trade.

With this trade, the Mavs acquire a versatile defensive wing that perfectly complements their two ball-dominant stars. Williams' role with the Celtics was clear: be the primary defender of the other team's best player while he's on the court. Grant's large wingspan and bulk allows him to hold his own against bigger and longer wings, while still having the foot speed to keep up with other quicker forwards and some guards. On offense, Williams doesn't need the ball in his hands: he's a solid spot-up shooter who also has an instinct for cutting to the rim when there's an open lane. In other words, here's the best three-and-D guy for a ball-dominant player with minimal defense.

Dallas' defense will need to be much, much better if they want to seriously contend for a title next season. It wasn't just one part of their defense that struggled last year: it was everything. Their perimeter players couldn't stop a traffic cone if their lives depended on it, and their backline defense was unable to protect the rim or grab the defensive rebound. It was a nightmare. Doncic and Irving were forced into shootouts in order to keep the team's chances alive.

Will Grant Williams alone fix that problem? No, absolutely not. However, Williams is already leagues above Finney-Smith and Bullock in terms of defensive presence. The Mavs are also not done making moves yet. They are reportedly close to letting JaVale McGee walk and are set to trade Tim Hardaway Jr. The Mavs should be able to get players that help bolster their defense, whether it's a big man or another lanky forward.

The Mavs have someone pried their title window open even after they sabotaged themselves multiple times. With a new defensive leader on the roster, can Dallas give their talented offense some much-needed support on the other end?