With Luka Doncic, Spencer Dinwiddie, and Christian Wood, the Dallas Mavericks have a solid core of players that should have the team competitive in the West next season.
But the loss of Jalen Brunson is expected to take a toll on the team, who made a run to the Western Conference Finals this spring.
Without their second-highest leading scorer, many would say that Dallas did not get better this offseason. But for head coach Jason Kidd, the loss of Brunson just creates a new opportunity.
“We can’t replace Brunson. He’s a great player [and] I’m happy for him and his family,” Kidd said. "[But] We believe we’re going to be a bigger team. Nothing against JB’s height. With Spencer (Dinwiddie) starting, our starting five is gonna be big with JaVale (McGee)at center. We believe that we’re going to be having a lot more offense coming off the bench.”
After his breakout season, Brunson was believed to be a lock to re-sign with Dallas before reports surfaced about his plans to join the Knicks. By the time free agency began, Brunson had already made up his mind and didn't even take a meeting with the Mavs.
So, how will the Mavs respond to losing him? So far, they haven't made a ton of moves and are likely to just run it back with the guys they have. However, it should be noted that they have been mentioned as suitors for Kyrie Irving.
"Kyrie Irving is one guy who I think we've gotta pay attention to. He has several suitors involved when you talk about Lakers, 76ers, Mavericks. I would keep an eye on Kyrie Irving over the next couple of weeks, as well as a guy that is likely going to potentially get moved, and Kevin Durant asking out probably opens the window for him too. There are several teams engaged in trying to get Kyrie Irving as well."
Whatever the Mavs decide to do, they need to make the most of Luka Doncic's game. As one of the best players in basketball, he has the power to make Dallas a title threat for years to come.
But first, the front office will have to build a proper team around him. Losing Jalen Brunson for nothing was not a step in the right direction.