Following the departure of Jalen Brunson in free agency, the Dallas Mavericks have a void to fill in their backcourt. The former second-round pick had a breakout season in 2022 and appeared to be an ideal fit next to Luka Doncic moving forward.
While the team is confident they’ll be able to replace the void left by Brunson, they still gauged the market for possible replacements. One player Dallas was recently connected to was Collin Sexton. The former lottery pick only played in 11 games last season before a knee injury sidelined him for the year.
As a restricted free agent, Dallas could have worked out a sign-and-trade with the Cleveland Cavaliers to acquire Sexton at a reasonable price tag. However, a deal like this is no longer on the table. The 23-year-old is on his way to Utah following the Cavs blockbuster trade to acquire All-Star guard Donovan Mitchell.
Before getting injured, Sexton was developing into one of the NBA’s brightest young guards. He finished the 2021 season averaging 24.3 PPG and 4.4 APG while shooting 47.5% from the field and 37.1% from deep.
Mavs Still Have Guard Flexibility Without Jalen Brunson
Even though Jalen Brunson walked for nothing, the Mavericks should still have some flexibility at the guard position going forward. Bleacher Report’s Andy Bailey cited one player who could take on more going forward and be a possible replacement for the departed guard.
At last year’s trade deadline, the Mavericks pulled off a deal with the Washington Wizards to move on from Kristaps Porzingis. One of the key pieces they got in return was sixth man Spencer Dinwiddie.
In the 23 games Dinwiddie played for the Mavs last season, he averaged 15.8 PPG, 3.1 RPG, and 3.9 APG. Given how easily he fit in with Dallas, there is confidence he can provide the dual-guard threat they had with Brunson in the past.
They won’t completely lose the dual-ball-handler lineups they deployed with Doncic and Brunson, either. Spencer Dinwiddie should be ready to step into a bigger role, and if he looks like the 2019-20 version of himself, those lineups might be even better.
Mavs Listed Among NBA’s Most Regrettable Offseasons
After shocking the world and reaching the Western Conference finals last season, it was an underwhelming summer for the Mavericks. They added frontcourt depth in the form of Christian Wood and JaVale McGee but failed to retain their second-best player in free agency.
With Luka Doncic getting ready to enter his prime, the Mavs need to capitalize on their opening window of contention. Following their uneventful summer, Bleacher Report’s Greg Swartz listed them among teams who will regret their offseason.
The Dallas Mavericks acquired Christian Wood via trade and will be getting Tim Hardaway Jr. back from foot surgery next season, which may be reason to believe they can build upon their run to the Western Conference Finals. However, losing Jalen Brunson for nothing in free agency was a huge setback.
The Mavericks still could win 50 games in the loaded Western Conference. But with Doncic and Spencer Dinwiddie as the only remaining playmakers on the roster, Dallas got worse this summer.