Mavs Confident In Keeping Brunson, Finney-Smith; Execs Expect Trade

Dallas Mavericks, Jalen Brunson, Dorian Finney-Smith, NBA Trade Rumors
NBA Analysis Network

The Dallas Mavericks’ main focus at the moment is on pulling off a strong end to the 2021-22 NBA regular season before ideally making it out of the first-round of the playoffs.

After all of that takes place, the Mavericks will need to focus on what’s next with their roster. Luka Doncic is set to begin a supermax contract while Jalen Brunson and Dorian Finney-Smith will be reaching unrestricted free agency after having career-years.

The Mavericks currently are not a title contender as constructed and risk being stuck like the Portland Trail Blazers—paying for role players then having no room to grow. However, letting them walk could leave Dallas even worse off if since they lack financial flexibility and draft assets to replace them easily.

It has been reported that Brunson is seeking $20+ million per season on his next deal while Finney-Smith is seeking $15+ million for his next contract.

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What each player seeks versus what they end up getting remains to be seen, but for Brunson, it sounds as though he has a highly motivated suitor in the New York Knicks. Brunson, in addition to the Knicks, also has a ‘mystery suitor’ willing to offer big money—likely the Detroit Pistons.

It’s far too early to be putting too much stock into the threat of a potential suitor since plans can change as other opportunities become available. For now, it’s at least something to watch. Some feel as though waiting and watching may be a dangerous option, however.

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One point raised by HoopsHype’s Yossi Gozlan is the threat of the luxury tax the Mavericks face if they are to pay Jalen Brunson and Dorian Finney-Smith—requiring them to spend big to keep a non-contender together.

They’re already set to be at the luxury tax heading into next season. As good as they’ve been recently, I don’t see them paying the tax unless they get another star. Re-signing one of these guys would require some reshuffling to stay below the tax next year. I’m sure the Mavericks are gauging what the market will look like for these guys right now. If they feel that they are going to get offers that are way more than they’re willing to spend or could get deals that they think could be negative values, I can see them moving on from them now.

According to Bleacher Report’s Jake Fischer, the Dallas Mavericks have expressed confidence in their ability to retain both Jalen Brunson and Dorian Finney-Smith in free agency. However, they anticipate having to ward off the New York Knicks’ pursuit of Brunson.

While rival personnel continue positing Dallas will have to choose one of Jalen Brunson or Dorian Finney-Smith to sacrifice ahead of their upcoming free agency windows, the Mavericks have expressed a confidence they will be able to retain both key contributors. To do so, Dallas will need to stave off the expected advances from New York for Brunson.

As the Mavericks may be expressing confidence in their chances of keeping both Brunson and Finney-Smith, rival NBA executives are keeping tabs on potential trade opportunities. There will be options for Dallas to clear salary cap space by moving other players, but again, that’s working hard to keep largely the same team intact.

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It seems the situation for the Dallas Mavericks comes down to the willingness to pay the luxury tax to keep a team together that doesn’t appear to be a title contender.

About Grant Afseth 1082 Articles
Grant Afseth is a contributor to NBA Analysis Network who specializes in creating in-depth analysis. He also covers the Texas NBA teams for FanNation.