A little earlier Zach Lowe tweeted out this:
Honestly, this alone seems like a meaningless move. The Dallas Mavericks, even with the addition of Luka Doncic, still kind of suck. Doncic and Smith, Jr. are really the only pieces they have going forward. Doug McDermott has been just ok, originally a Chicago Bull, he bounced around a bit this year and played a little over 20 games for Dallas. He averaged 9.0/2.5/1.1 splits with the Mavs. He’s a decent young forward, so no real reason to not send him a qualifying offer and make him a restricted free agent. Unless you take into account what Woj added to that Lowe tweet:
This is what a love about the NBA offseason, a seemingly meaningless move has reason to be potentially important. While Lowe expressed that the Mavericks could still try to resign McDermott, this move gives them over $20 million to spend on free agents right now. As Woj mentioned, for them to get all the way up to $26M, they could have to decline Dirk’s option and re-work a smaller deal. Whether or not Dirk would be up for that is yet to be determined, though he’s done it time and time again for this franchise to stay competitive. I said it earlier in my last blog, too:
Meanwhile, Dallas has their backcourt of the future in Dennis Smith, Jr. and now Luka Doncic. Not gonna lie, that is going to terrorize teams for years to come. If the Mavs can find a big man to takeover for the real GOAT Dirk, then that team may surprisingly take down another super team in the coming years.
Take a look at those names Woj mentioned, all of them are solid big men that could make the Mavericks a playoff team this season. Cousins and Jordan wouldn’t really fit in my opinion, especially since they’d be more expensive options that they possibly couldn’t afford. Their ages wouldn’t match up with their timeline either. RFA’s Randle, Capela, and Gordon however are much more interesting, and could create a big three of Smith, Doncic, and take your pick, that could make Dallas a scary team in the future. The Magic have expressed that they’re basically willing to do anything to keep Gordon, so he may be out. However, Randle and Capela are a little more interesting, because their respective teams have their eyes on other free agents, and even one in common. With both the Lakers and Rockets eyeing The King, and the Mavericks show up and offer Randle or Capela big money, then L.A. or Houston might consider not matching in order to maintain enough space for other free agent needs. Personally, the Mavs might as well give Capela the full $26M, because he can affect that game that much, and he’s a perfect successor to Dirk. Then they’d have a lineup of Smith/Doncic/Barnes/Dirk/Capela, which if you ask me is definitely a playoff team, and one that could get into the later rounds.
So yes, all the Mavericks did today was not offer Doug McDermott a qualifying offer. However, come July 1st, it could give them that little extra room they need to land someone like Clint Capela, which certainly is not an insignificant move.