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Trail Blazers opened door for Mavericks to get crucial bargain

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In the 2023 NBA offseason, Mark Cuban and the Dallas Mavericks desperately sought to add a forward to help Luka Doncic and the recently acquired Kyrie Irving. One player they set their sights on was two-time NBA All-Defensive Second Team wing Matisse Thybulle. Thybulle agreed to the Maverick’s three-year, $33 million offer, only to have Portland quickly match it.

Portland matching Matisse Thybulle’s offer sheet worked out in Dallas’ favor

As a result, Dallas pursued alternative solutions as they looked to improve their wing depth. Their “consolation prize” was Derrick Jones Jr., who they signed to a veteran minimum contract. That has worked out exceptionally well for the Mavericks.

Jones has become an elite two-way role player with his 7-foot wingspan and insane athleticism. This season with Dallas, Jones has averaged a career-high 8.6 points, 3.3 rebounds, 1.0 assists, 0.7 blocks, and 0.7 steals per game on 48/34/71. Lately, he’s been contributing significantly to the offensive end in the playoffs. In the past two playoff games against the Oklahoma City Thunder, Jones has averaged 18 points.

The Mavericks found a gem in Jones, who has undoubtedly played his way into a pay increase this offseason.

Will Mavericks try to trade for Thybulle this offseason?

The Blazers would likely be open to parting ways with Thybulle, but he doesn’t make as much sense for the Mavericks this time. The Mavericks’ formula with Jones is working. He fits in exceptionally well on offense as a lob threat, complementing Luka Doncic’s game perfectly. With Jones thriving in his new situation, Dallas no longer has much of a reason to pursue Thybulle.

Not to mention, Dallas would have to give up assets to get Thybulle in a trade. They already unloaded assets at the trade deadline to get P.J. Washington and Daniel Gafford. These were both incredible moves that ultimately raised the Mavericks’ ceiling. It also means they are in a better situation than when they offered Thybulle the contract. They have more depth and don’t need him as much anymore.

Instead, it’s more likely that they bring back Jones. Per The Athletic, Jones’ agent, Aaron Turner, has said that Jones wants to continue playing for Dallas next season. Retaining Jones would make sense from both sides, as Jones Jr. has played his best basketball alongside Doncic and Irving.

Jones has been the type of contributor the Mavericks hoped to find when they first offered Thybulle a significantly larger contract.

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