4 players that Dallas should monitor if their teams underperform
Let’s get this out of the way up front: these are not trades that would happen tomorrow or in the next few weeks. The purpose of this is to draw attention to situations where the Mavericks could take advantage of a scenario where a player is on a team that he either no longer wants to be a part of, doesn’t fit the timeline of, or where there’s a logjam at that position on the player’s current team.
Team success will significantly determine the availability of these players this upcoming season. More specifically, these guys could either play their way into becoming a key part of their team’s core moving forward, or their production could lead to them being viewed as disposable if they don’t make a significant jump from last season.
Washington is tricky. Charlotte is in an interesting spot where they are still a young team, yet they have a franchise cornerstone piece who is good enough to make them competitive in the East. Because of that pressure to remain competitive moving forward, they must be careful with where they commit their money long-term. After signing Terry Rozier to a 4-year, $97 million contract extension, Miles Bridges is now entering the final year of his contract where he is eligible for a 5-year, $173 million extension. At the end of this season, Washington will be eligible for a 5-year, $181 million extension, and we haven’t even discussed Lamelo Ball.
Money is a very important factor, especially when discussing a franchise that wouldn’t offer Kemba Walker a max contract after averaging 25.6 points, 5.9 assists, and 4.4 rebounds per game and making the All-Star team. Washington was criticized for having a “sophomore slump” last year, meanwhile Bridges continued to build chemistry with Ball and showed flashes of a guy ready to take that next step. The DFW native averaged 13 points, 6.5 rebounds, 2.5 assists, and 1.5 blocks in 30.5 minutes per game in his second year with the Hornets. Per the Charlotte Observer, Washington is expected to come off the bench to start the season. If he has an inconsistent season and fails to set himself apart as a key piece of this core moving forward, the Mavericks would be wise to put an offer together.
I can hear Mavs fans groaning in response since this isn’t the sexiest name out there. Obviously, there is still a certain Slovenian who’s currently freezing his tail off in Toronto that remains high on Dallas’ list, but at the end of the day, you have to have more than one option.
Satoransky is a 6’7” guard who plays strong defense and could be the secondary playmaker that helps take the load off Luka. To quantify his defensive capabilities, his defensive rating last year was 110.1 while Mikal Bridges, Bam Adebayo, and Dillon Brooks had ratings of 110.0, 109.6, and 109.4, respectively. Last season, Satoransky averaged 7.7 points, 4.7 assists, and 2.4 rebounds in 22.5 minutes per game off the bench. The year before that, he averaged 10 points, 5.4 assists, 4 rebounds, and 1 steal in 29 minutes per game as a starter. After being acquired in the sign-and-trade deal for Lonzo Ball, the Pelicans went out and signed Devonte Graham to a 4-year, $47 million deal, leaving Satoransky’s role uncertain as they are not looked at as the most complimentary backcourt duo. Satoransky is in the final year of his contract, which would make this a low-risk, sneaky acquisition for the Mavs.
Murray is the most valuable player in this group, making him the least likely acquisition. However, with rumors heating up today that Gregg Popovich is expected to retire within the next two years, he may look to continue to set up their long-term future. The Spurs took 18-year-old point guard, Josh Primo in this year’s draft, which sets their timeline back even further.
San Antonio should finish at the bottom of the Western conference this season after moving on from 4x All-Star, Demar Derozan. Murray is a defensive-oriented guard who’s ready to win now, and after it was rumored this past offseason that the Spurs were listening to offers for him and Derrick White, it’s not unreasonable to expect him to be moved in the future. Last year, Murray averaged 15.7 points, 7.1 rebounds, 5.4 assists, and 1.5 steals per game. This is yet another season where there will be more buyers than sellers, so the Mavericks will have to outbid several teams for a player like Murray. It’s also worth mentioning that the Spurs will most likely wait until after the Ben Simmons situation has played out before pulling the trigger on a trade for Murray.
Although there are many dominoes that would have to fall in Dallas’ favor, one can’t help but get excited at the possibility of having a backcourt duo with an average height of 6”5.
Marvin Bagley III
As of right now, Bagley is as risky as it gets (so risky he might not get an extension). He’s battled injuries since entering the league (playing in only 48 percent of games) and has indicated that he already wants out after only three seasons in Sacramento. Recently, he’s shown signs of enthusiasm as he’s continued to work with assistant coach Doug Christie in preparation of the regular season, but things could change as time goes on if the Kings underperform. Bagley is not the ideal candidate to play next to Porzingis from a defensive standpoint. I’ve been very vocal about the Mavs needing to prioritize adding a big man in the near future that can guard opposing fives and allow Porzingis to play the four as he wishes. Bagley is not that guy, but he is an exciting young prospect.
In 25 minutes per game last year, he averaged 14 points and 7.4 rebounds while shooting 34 percent on 2.5 three-point attempts per game. His per 36 stats are 19.7 points, 13.7 rebounds, and 1 block per game. At only 22-years-old, he has shown flashes on the offensive end and as an occasional shot-blocker. His defensive rating last season was 117.3, so he has a lot of work to do on that end of the floor. He needs to improve his overall consistency as a defender to take his game to the next level. Trading for Bagley would be a high risk, potentially high reward move and having two big men with significant injury history is a tough sell, but if Dallas is looking to take a cheap gamble, Bagley could be worth the risk in the long-term.
It’s a long season and there’s much that could happen in the coming weeks and months. These are just four scenarios to monitor and with the Mavericks perhaps ready to make the leap to true contender status, any player who might be able to improve the roster should get a long look by all Dallas fans.