Eddie Sefko, Mavericks beat writer for SportsDayDFW.com and The Dallas Morning News, answered your questions about the team during a live chat Tuesday. Here are some highlights:
Question: With the Mavs stacked at guard, could Wesley Matthews be on the way out, or does he fit into the Mavs’ plans for now?
Eddie Sefko: He’s certainly got value around the league, not only as a 3-and-D guy but with an expiring contract after this coming season. However, he’s also very valuable as a locker room asset. Somebody has to teach these new kids how to win in the NBA. Matthews, Barnes and Dirk have all been winners before and nobody hurts more than they do when they go through a 24-win season. I don’t think they can afford to surrender Matthews unless he is part of a package for a major free agent in a sign-and-trade type of scenario.
Q: What do you think Luka’s floor is? Joe Ingles?
Sefko: If Doncic averages 11.5 points, 4.8 assists and 4.2 rebounds in his fourth season, as Ingles did last season, then the Mavericks are probably going to be disappointed. They are expecting a lot more than that. Not that Ingles isn’t a good player. He’s a great shooter who has played better in the playoffs than the regular season. But again, the Mavericks need more than just solid players. They’re banking on Doncic’s floor being more along the lines of Gordon Hayward. His fourth season was 16.2 points, 5.2 assists and 5.1 rebounds. And he continued to get better.
Q: Can you see the Mavs not trying to sign [Julius] Randle because the Greek Freak is going to be a free agent soon and if they sign him he won’t fit?
Sefko: Greek Freak won’t be a free agent until 2020 — and that’s if he opts out of the final year of his deal. You cannot do anything with this team based on what MIGHT happen in 2020. Just add the best players you can right now.
Q: Everyone’s talking about Luka Doncic, but what about Jalen Brunson? Is he the Mavs’ backup PG of the future?
Sefko: Funny you should ask. Brunson was the subject of today’s story that you can read¬†here.
There is no question that Brunson has the demeanor of an NBA point guard. And Nova guards have done pretty well in the past decade or so in the NBA (Kyle Lowry, Randy Foye).
Q: Can you see the Mavs trading for [Hassan] Whiteside?
Sefko: Did you see him in the playoffs? He only played 15 minutes per game and was largely ineffective. Not sure that’s the guy the Mavericks want. He’s 29¬†and has two years left at more than $50M. I’d have to pass.