Mavericks Desire to Contend Questioned by Analyst

Dallas Mavericks, Luka Doncic

Getty Luka Doncic #77 of the Dallas Mavericks waits before his free throws.

Last postseason, the Dallas Mavericks shocked many by making an appearance in the Western Conference finals. Between their recent success and having a top-10 talent in Luka Doncic, their window to contend is slowly beginning to open.

Following their deep playoff run, the Mavs came up short in free agency. Jalen Brunson was one of the hottest names on the market following a breakout year and eventually inked a deal with the New York Knicks. While the team remains confident they can replace his production, losing him for nothing is a crushing blow.

During a recent appearance on ESPN, NBA analysts Tim Bontemps and Kevin Pelton gauged how all-in each franchise is currently. Given their willingness to let Brunson walk, Bontemps questioned how committed they are to winning moving forward.

“When you let Jalen Brunson walk in free agency and you get nothing in return for him, it’s hard to say you’re all in on anything,” said Bontemps. “Because, teams generally don’t let their second-best player walk out the door. The Mavericks could have paid him enough to keep him, and they chose not to.”

Even with getting Tim Hardaway Jr. back and adding players like Christian Wood and JaVale McGee in free agency, Bontemps is skeptical about the Mavs being a top team in the West.

“You’re probably a play-in tournament team to me right now, or at least more likely to be that than a top-four seed. And, on top of that, you let your second-best player leave and didn’t get anything back for him,” he said.

Analyst Feels ‘Clock is Ticking’ for Mavericks to Compete

Given how fast superstars move in today’s NBA when a team has a top-end talent, they need to strike while the iron is hot. Even though Luka Doncic is only 23 years old, the Mavericks cannot afford to be overly patient with his prime right around the corner.

While on “The Hoop Collective” podcast with ESPN’s Brian Windhorst, Tim MacMahon weighed in on the current state of the Mavs. He agrees that this was not a successful offseason for them and feels the clock is ticking for the team to take the next step towards contention.

“I think we all understand when you have a superstar of Luka’s caliber, his four-year supermax extension is kicking in, because the fifth year is a player option. So, the clock is ticking,” said MacMahon.

Mavs Land Collin Sexton in Proposed Sign-And-Trade

Currently still a restricted free agent, one name recently linked to the Mavericks is Collin Sexton. Having missed almost all of last season due to injury, acquiring the former lottery pick is a roll of the dice.

Before getting injured, Sexton was making his way as a score-first guard. During the 2020-21 campaign, he averaged 24.3 PPG while shooting 47.5% from the floor and 37.1% from beyond the arc.

Following this news, the people at “Cavs Nation” put together a sign-and-trade layout for the 23-year-old. In the scenario, the Mavericks part ways with Dwight Powell, Maxi Kleber, and two first-round picks in exchange for Sexton. 

There is no telling how Sexton will look after a year on the sidelines. However, if he can return to form, he could be the Jalen Brunson replacement the Mavs need moving forward.

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