The Dallas Mavericks may have a max slot available for a free agent, but a player who won’t cost anywhere near that fits with the team perfectly.
With upwards of $30M to spend this summer, the Mavs have been linked to several big name Free Agents like Kemba Walker and Khris Middleton, but there may be a great offseason target the Mavs should aim for with a much smaller price tag: Patrick Beverley.
Pat Beverley was a thorn in the Mavs side when he played for Houston and was key to the Clippers playoff run this year on a team who got rid of all their star players and still won 48 games in the West, guarding Kevin Durant who has a solid 11 inches on him. Pat is the quintessential defensive guard who is an unheralded deep threat, both of which would pair fantastically well next to Luka Doncic.
Luka showed last year that he is capable of a great number of things, but defending water bug guards was not one of them. Beverley, however, is a two-time All-Defensive team guard who can keep up with and pester the best player on the other team no matter what. He has a grit and tenacity that makes you hate him on another team, but absolutely LOVE him when he has your jersey on. This team needs defense and a veteran who can impart that level of competition to the younger Mavs could do wonders as they grow into the playoff contenders they should be.
Another thing this team needs is outside shooting, as the Mavs ranked 21st in the NBA in PPG. And Pat Beverley scores the 3 ball at a very nice clip. Over the past 2 years, he has shot 40% and 39.7% from 3. He’s not been asked to score very much (3.6 attempts/game), but knowing that when he is asked to take the shot that it is a high percentage shot is valuable. Add this percentage to a facilitator like Doncic and you’ll see Beverly’s PPG go up AND Doncic’s assist numbers as well, since Luka averaged 6 assists a game this year with below average shooters around him.
And for those MFFLs who are worried about Luka’s fit with a ball dominant point guard like Kemba Walker, Pat Beverley would be a dream come true. He is a point guard who is really a 3 and D guard to fit next to Luka’s point-forward amalgamation. The two would really complement each other well and potentially be one of the best versions of Carlisle’s preferred 2 guard offense. This would amount to Luka having free reign to facilitate however he likes on offense and Beverley would spot up in the corner where he shot 45.5% last year. Beverley would take the Russell Westbrooks and Damian Lillards on defense, leaving Luka to learn to defend at his own pace on either the second or third scoring option on the opposing team.
Again, the Mavs have money to spend this offseason. They have enough to pay a full max player like Kyrie Irving or Kemba Walker upwards of $30M a year, but Pat wouldn’t command anything near that level. This is mostly because he doesn’t produce like them on the scoreboard (career average of 9.0 ppg), but he would allow you to add at least one other player who can be a scoring threat from the wing to add to Beverley’s points getting you close or better than a max player’s output.
Simply put, while a max player would command $30M PER YEAR, Pat Beverley has earned only $20M TOTAL in his 7-year career. So, his price tag this summer should be half or less than a max slot. He should be gettable for somewhere between $10M-$15M/yr, leaving enough money in their cap to chase additional scorers like Danny Green or Bojan Bogdanovich for a similar price tag. Essentially filling 2 roster spots of need with vet players to pair with our young stars.
The Mavs might be swinging for the fences with a superstar to Dallas, but it would be a shame not to look at a guy who checks so many boxes without selling the farm to get him.
Patrick Beverley might not be the sexiest free agent on the market and he may not be anyone’s favorite personality, but he is a great role player at a great price to allow the Mavs to get better fast and in a hurry.
Start the Pat Beverley to Dallas campaign and look like a genius come June 30th.
Featured Image: Getty Images/Thearon W. Henderson