Dallas Mavericks

Bolstering supporting cast around Luka Doncic, Mavericks take contending leap in the 2020 offseason

The 2019-20 season for the Dallas Mavericks ended in the first round of the NBA Playoffs in Orlando.

In a competitive six-game series against the LA Clippers, the Mavericks and their historic offence - the best in NBA history at 115.9 points per 100 possessions - came up short in their first postseason appearance since 2016.

The team finished with a 43-32 record, recording 10 more wins than the previous season, achieving the expected improvement for a roster that includes the likes of MVP candidate Luka Doncic. The 10-win jump comes after Dallas recorded a nine-win jump in the Serbian sensation's rookie season.

And considering the players the front office has added in the 2020 offseason, the franchise looks set for another upward-trending year.

Addition of 3-and-D wings around Doncic

Nearly every single offseason addition by the team, including the selections in the 2020 Draft, have been 3-and-D wings.

Here's a look at the team's offseason wing addition:

Player Height Experience Career 3P%
Josh Richardson 6'5" 5 years 36.3%
James Johnson 6'7" 11 years 31.0%
Wesley Iwundu 6'6" 3 years 31.9%
Josh Green 6'6" Rookie 36.1% (at Arizona)
Tyler Bey 6'7" Rookie 30.5% (at Colorado)

The numbers that stand out are the 3-point shooting percentages of Johnson, Iwundu, and Bey but those are career numbers. If you look at the trio's shooting efficiency from long distance for their most recent seasons, the above table will paint a better picture.

In the last couple of seasons, Johnson has shot 34.6% on 3s in 87 games. Iwundu knocked them down at a rate of 34.1% for the 2019-20 season while Bey, in his final year at Colorado, made 41.9% of his 3-point attempts.

MORE: Mavericks 2020-21 season preview

Add these five wings to Tim Hardaway Jr. (6-foot-5) and Dorian Finney-Smith (6-foot-7) who shot 39.8% and 37.6% from 3, respectively, for the 2019-20 season.

That's commendable wing depth to surround Doncic and purely in terms of the 2019-20 rotation players, the team was able to add these players only at the loss of Seth Curry - a 6-foot-2 guard that shot 45.2% from beyond the arc.

Despite Curry's near-league-leading 3-point shooting efficiency, in the league's current era of position-less basketball, the franchise's decision to cut their losses and strengthen their weaker point - their defence - by having multiple wings that can defend multiple positions while being reliable threats from long distance is the way to go.

In the 2019-20 season, the Mavericks ranked 18th for defensive rating, allowing an average of 111.2 points per 100 possessions. That rank is certain to take a jump with these wing additions while Doncic can be trusted to maximise their offensive production.

Value deals add depth

After the wings were taken care of, the Mavericks wrapped up their roster with value deals.

A key area the team had to address was guard depth behind Doncic and they took care of that by bringing back Trey Burke and JJ Barea. Burke was on fire for the Mavs in the Orlando bubble, averaging 12.0 points and 3.8 assists on shooting splits of .427/.432/.909 in 23.9 minutes through eight games.

The franchise was able to bring him back on a three-year deal in the range of $10 million while Barea, most likely a back-up to be a veteran presence in the locker room, returns on a one-year deal worth the veteran's minimum.

In the frontcourt, the Mavericks don't play Boban Marjanovic for long periods of time and Maxi Kleber isn't a conventional center. So, to fill-up that spot until Dwight Powell completely recovers from his Achilles injury, the franchise added Willie Cauley-Stein, an athletic shot-blocking lob-threat, on a very team-friendly two-year deal worth $8.2 million.

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