5 Free Agents Dallas Mavericks Must Avoid

Ross Bentley@@imrossbentleySenior Analyst IMay 22, 2013

5 Free Agents Dallas Mavericks Must Avoid

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    The Dallas Mavericks will certainly be in the market for some new faces to bring in for the 2013-14 season.

    With only five players currently under contract for next year, the Mavericks will need to bring in several new players based on the assumption that there are many from this year’s roster who will not be returning.

    While the Mavs’ primary focus may be on landing a top-level free agent such as Dwight Howard or Chris Paul, they still have to prepare for the possibility of not picking up a superstar.

    If that is the case, they will have to look elsewhere to improve. 

    While there are certainly plenty of free agents available, there are some that just would not be good fits in a Dallas Mavericks uniform next season, and it's these players that the organization would be smart to stay clear of.

5. Chris Kaman

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    Chris Kaman just never seemed to be a good fit with the Mavericks this past season.

    The big man put up respectable numbers on offense, averaging over 10 points per game, grabbing five rebounds and shooting over 50 percent from the floor. However, his defense is what really brought him down this year.

    Kaman's lackluster defense paired with Dirk Nowitzki's typically lackluster defense contributed to the Mavericks having the 27th-worst defense in the league in terms of opponent’s points per game in 2012-13.

    Kaman can be a valuable piece to a team in need of an offensive big man, but bringing him back to Dallas, especially for anywhere near the $8 million it cost them in 2012-13, would be a huge mistake. 

4. Mo Williams

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    More likely than not, the Dallas Mavericks will be on the hunt for a new starting point guard next year.

    Mo Williams will be a free agent after his most recent stint with the Utah Jazz, and Williams certainly can provide a big scoring threat when on the floor.

    However, the Mavericks and Williams are far from a perfect match.

    Williams is the exact type of point guard the Mavs need to avoid bringing in next season.

    Williams is a shoot-first guard, which doesn't fit the Dallas system, already having a go-to scorer in Dirk Nowitzki who needs to be passed to on a regular basis. Although he can be a decent passer at times, Williams’ career average of five assists is also far from what the Mavs are looking for in a lead guard.

    Plus, simply put, Williams a bad defensive player. 

    The Mavericks need to bring in a point guard who can help them turn their defensive backcourt around, not make it worse like Williams would do.

    Bringing in a veteran point guard to compete with Darren Collison for a starting spot wouldn't be a bad strategy for the Mavericks, but Mo Williams is not the answer. 

3. Nate Robinson

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    Nate Robinson brings about many of the same problems as Mo Williams does in a free-agent point guard.

    He shoots too much and has been inconsistent in his career. In addition, his height makes him less than ideal for dealing with the physical point guards in the West on the defensive end.

    However, up until a few months ago, there was a major attraction to the possibility of bringing in Robinson: You could do it for cheap.

    Robinson was signed to the Chicago Bulls this season for an astonishing $854,389, making him easily one of the most underpaid point guards in the league.

    He showed it by basically carrying the Bulls offense on his back en route to a first-round playoff victory over the Brooklyn Nets. Robinson even led the Bulls to a Game 7 win on the road without Derrick Rose, Luol Deng or Kirk Heinrich in the lineup.

    The problem with Robinson's playoff performance from the Dallas Mavericks’ perspective is that it now has raised his price tag considerably. 

    Robinson won't sign somewhere for under $1 million next season; in fact, some NBA team will likely offer him a multi-year, multimillion-dollar deal. 

    That team, however, should not under any circumstances be the Mavericks. Dallas has too many holes to fill to commit that kind of deal to Robinson based on two productive playoff series. 

    While Robinson could be valuable coming off the bench, the price will simply be too high for the Mavs. 

2. J.J. Redick

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    In his seventh NBA season, J.J. Redick enjoyed somewhat of a breakout campaign in split time between Orlando and Milwaukee.

    Redick averaged a career-high 14.1 PPG while shooting 43 percent from the floor. For the first time in his NBA career, Redick showed the capability of being more than just a three-point threat, and it just so happened to coincide with him being a free agent this upcoming offseason.

    Redick's performance this year will likely get him a sizable multi-year NBA contract in free agency. After all, many teams could use a player with Redick's offensive skill set.

    However, the Dallas Mavericks need to be smart and avoid the temptation of going after Redick this offseason. 

    If the Mavs don't bring back O.J. Mayo, they will have a need at shooting guard with Vince Carter staying in his sixth-man role.

    Redick, however, is not a good enough defender for the Mavs to consider bringing him in. When there are players out there like Tony Allen, Andre Iguodala or even Lance Stephenson who could transform the Mavericks defense, why commit instead to a player like Redick who would just bring them down? 

    Plus, Redick has not shown nearly enough consistency to warrant the money he will inevitably make this offseason. While Redick surely has improved as a player, anything over $8 million would be too much to pay for a player like Redick, especially for multiple seasons.

    If the Mavericks really want to land a shooter, they can bring back Anthony Morrow or sign Kyle Korver or Marco Belinelli for a much cheaper price. 

1. Josh Smith

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    Even if the Mavericks strike out in the Chris Paul/Dwight Howard sweepstakes, they still will be looking to land an All-Star-caliber player this offseason.

    After Paul and Howard, the next group of players they may look at includes: O.J. Mayo, Brandon Jennings, Monta Ellis, Andre Iguodala, Al Jefferson, Paul Pierce, David West, Andrew Bynum and Josh Smith.

    Of that list, the player who makes the least sense for the Mavericks to bring in is Smith.

    While Smith certainly is a star in the NBA, he just would not fit playing next to Dirk Nowitzki.

    With Dirk locked into the power forward position, Smith would have to move over to small forward, a position that he has had less success with during his career with the Atlanta Hawks.

    Smith split time between small forward and power forward, but he is able to make a bigger impact defensively and in rebounding the ball when he plays the 4. 

    In addition, the Mavericks already having a capable small forward in Shawn Marion, and moving him to the bench would make little sense. 

    Then, there is the issue of money. Smith, to his credit, is a top-level NBA player; but is he worth a max-level contract? He certainly thinks so. 

    Smith is asking for around $16.5 million a season, and the Mavericks simply cannot put that much money into a player like Smith, who is not a superstar. 

    Even when playing beside Joe Johnson, Smith was never able to lead the Hawks past the second round of the playoffs. As athletic as he is, he doesn't have a good enough jump shot or a solid enough post game to get into the 20-points-per-game range.

    This is not meant to be a knock on Smith, as he will undoubtedly make a serious impact wherever he signs, but the Mavericks would be smart not to rush to overpay for Smith if their Plan A in free agency doesn't work out.