We are in the full form of summer. The NBA offseason has produced some truly mind-boggling moments—namely Minnesota’s huge run for Rudy Gobert. And there’s always-present lightning in the air as pundits and fans alike await the shoe-fall of Kevin Durant business. But for Dallas fans? It is rough.
Things started off bad with breakout guard Jalen Brunson walking out the door for nothing and leaving a blazing hole in the ball handler rotation. Spencer Dinwiddie will likely bear the brunt of those minutes, but the notion that Dallas will look to consolidate that spot after Brunson’s exit has so far remained unfulfilled. The Maverick loyalist is really desperate to fill that empty void begging on the roster.
It makes sense. Necessity is the mother of invention. Beggars cannot be choosers. You can’t always get what you want. Any number of platitudes apply to Dallas’ current roster standoff. But here’s another thing that I think is most appropriate – hurt people hurt people. This maverick fanbase, perhaps more than any other, bears some of the ugliest free agency scars in the league. It has made us think that we should be happy with whatever we can get. I am here to tell you that you can ask for more.
Here are three backup ball handlers whose addition to the roster would totally Joker-ize me.
Stop asking for Patrick Beverly. You don’t want Patrick Beverly. Nobody wants Patrick Beverly. You’d think he had a great series with Minnesota and liked how passionate he got about getting West’s 7th seed. This is a “you” problem.
Entering his 11th NBA season, the unique PBev is more an internet meme factory troll than a viable NBA point guard. His whole raison d’etre, it would seem, is not so much to be a good basketball player, but to be as annoying as possible. Having done so, he is said to have had a good game.
What was probably once good-natured gamesmanship and a “hard-nosed” defensive edge has aged into petty bickering and tea-spilling on ESPN after being booted from the playoffs. This broadcast of dirty laundry undoubtedly upset some players the wrong way, and at least one – Damien Lillard – Said so publicly.
But this is the latest example of Patrick Beverly’s jarring behavior. In many ways, this PBEV is still what we thought it was. And he is a man who has been opposing Luka Doncic off the bench as the Clippers for two years in a row, when the two teams faced off in the postseason. Sure, Beverly gave Luca her flowers, calling him the toughest player in the NBA, yadda yadda yadda.
I’m sure if you asked Luca, he’d say no bad blood, but look at the context. Dallas has moved on from Luca’s friendly players such as Salah Majori, Boban Marjanovic and Jalen Brunson. He let his national team coach escape to Brooklyn. Despite being one of the only players in recent history to bring in his Slovenian teammate and mentor Goran Dragic, he appears on several occasions to play in Dallas. Now you want to bring in one of the players for whom Luca has shown external distaste? And you want them to go to work together every day? How much is too much? Patrick Beverly, as a 31-year-old, 6’1″ point guard, simply doesn’t justify the stuff he brings to the roster.
Walker is definitely a player who takes some catches. He was a former All-Star and had some really great years at Charlotte. The question is, how much of that all-star caliber player still exists?
Over the past three seasons, Walker has played fewer and fewer games, with only 37 games in the previous season as Nike; less a career. and it’s not like Knicks No help was needed at the point guard. Walker just dropped out of the rotation of head coach Tom Thibodeau.
Now, if you, like me, don’t think of Thebes much as a head coach, there is certainly an argument to be made that bypassing Kemba was simply bad coaching. Walker made the case himself when, as a healthy bruiser, team injuries and Covid forced him to return to a starting role.
Probably running on a highly charged sense of malice and pride, he went out and proceeded to hang 44 points Washington Wizards, Definitely raising the eyebrows of a guy whose coach didn’t think he could play anymore. Still, it was not long before Walker returned to the bench, and he remained there for the final two months of the season.
The obvious knock against Walker would be his defense. He was never particularly rough on that side of the ball in the best of times, and things haven’t gotten better as the 6-foot point guard celebrated his 32nd birthday. The defensive liability of a Doncic/Walker backcourt is just too high. Not to mention, the addition of another player following his initial interest (a la Derrick Williams and DeAndre Jordan) after Walker failed in his quest in 2019 is just an ex-Nico front office move. , and this is an era that I think we should put right into the rearview.
Dennis Smith Jr.
Talking of things in rearview.
sight. Would I have liked Dennis Smith Jr. as Maverick? Yes. Was he criminally robbed twice in an NBA dunk contest? No question. Did he have a rough road to success with Ric Carlisle as his coach and Luka Doncic as his partner? Sure. Does this constitute a return to this particular well? is unlikely.
With Smith Jr. struggling to catch up after his stop with the Knicks unofficially ended and an unfortunate injury that cut his time at Portland, he did his off-season work to prove that He is still in the league. I’m pulling for him. I am really I also understand the romantic ideal of bringing the prodigal son home to “make good on” all the potential DSJs featured in my time in Dallas. Jason Kidd is a separate coach from Rick Carlisle. Dennis Smith Jr. is a player different from his position as a top-10 draft pick. And, on a purely personal note, having both Dennis Smith Jr. and Frank Natlikina on the roster — two players I loved for Dallas in that 2017 draft — seems like some sort of alternate universe took off 5 years ago. Mavs would have made a fan. Excited
Unfortunately, the NBA doesn’t function based on how prominent your roster is. It’s a brutal league that demands talent. The painful truth may be that isn’t a viable business target or the free agent may add Dallas who will replace Jalen Brunson. That doesn’t mean they should simply throw away a roster spot this important to any Project player. After all, they already have Christian Wood for it.