Although there are still just over two weeks until the NBA Draft – when the trade rumors really start to gain momentum – offseason planning for the Dallas Mavericks is already in full swing. After enjoying an encouraging run to the Western Conference Finals, the Mavs are focused on upgrading key areas of the roster while keeping most of the team chemistry intact.
On Monday, Mavs GM Nico Harrison joined the Ben and Skin Show on 97.1 The Eagle and explained what kind of summer the team is looking for heading into the draft and free agency.
“We need rim protection. That’s something we don’t have a lot of in our team,” Harrison said candidly. “I think that’s the easiest thing to say. Of course, you always want to add more talent, but the thing you have to beware of is that we were a very good team. If you look at the games individually, not much stands out, but as a team, together, we were really, really good. We had a great culture, we liked each other, we played for each other. It all matters and you don’t want to lose it.
While the Mavs greatly appreciate the team chemistry and culture that’s been in place, that doesn’t mean Harrison won’t be active in finding that rim guard he’s mentioned as the primary need. of the team. We think Indiana Pacers big man (and DFW native) Myles Turner should be the Mavs’ top trade target on draft night to fill that need.
“We listen to everything,” Harrison said. “We’ll call the teams. We listen to everything. I don’t think we’re actively trying to trade our pick, but we’ll listen and if something makes sense and makes our team better, we’ll absolutely do it.
The Mavs own the No. 26 pick in the June 23 draft, and there are a number of intriguing prospects to choose from if they actually decide to use him. Dallas didn’t have a pick in last year’s draft, so we can consider this Harrison’s true first draft as general manager.
The draft and potential trades are probably the most feasible ways for the Mavs to improve this summer given their salary cap restrictions, but that doesn’t mean free agency is completely off the table either. Harrison thinks Dallas is ready to attract the league’s biggest stars in the future.
“I think the city is selling out,” Harrison said when asked what his pitch would be to potential free agents. “I think most players, if you ask them, they like Dallas. They had a great time in Dallas, good food, good weather.
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“I really think what attracts the players is the culture. Who is the coach? How does he treat the players? Will they let me play? I think that’s all if you watch us play – I always try to say People’s culture isn’t what you write on the boards, it’s what people feel when they watch you do what you do I think people watch them play and they can say, ‘I want to be in.’ To me, that’s the culture there.
When asked if it’s “safe to say” that top talent really wants to be a part of what the Mavs have built, Harrison replied with this:
“It’s safe to say that. I came here thinking Dallas is a place where the best talent wants to come, and I think what Jason [Kidd] has created in terms of culture, it has and will continue to do so.
Harrison has already proven he isn’t shy about making big changes when the opportunity presents itself, as evidenced by the Mavs who traded Kristaps Porzingis to the Washington Wizards for Spencer Dinwiddie and Davis Bertans in February. He’ll do whatever he thinks is best for the Mavs, and when it comes to believing in him, he’s earned the benefit of the doubt with the moves he’s made so far. It should be a fun and interesting summer in Dallas.
You can follow Dalton Trigg on Twitter at @dalton_trigg
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