Why trading Dorian Finney-Smith doesn’t make sense

Dorian Finney-Smith is not an elite basketball player. But he is the type of role player elite teams employ. He’s a solid defender who can knock down all three without demanding the ball. He is also extremely versatile defensively, having been tasked with guarding players in all positions, from playmaker to power forward.

Smart teams rate every player on the trade value of their roster at all times. Finney-Smith is not good enough to be “untradeable”. But the Mavericks shouldn’t trade him unless they receive real value for him. The first exchange mentioned in the article above is interesting because of Strus’ explosion as a shooter. However, one should always be concerned about the player development successes the Miami Heat are willing to pass on.

The Heat are perhaps the best team in basketball both for player development and for evaluating their own players. The Mavericks, on the other hand, aren’t particularly gifted either. Strus is not a similar replacement for Finney-Smith. He’s a knockdown shooter who isn’t the defender that Finney-Smith is. Plus, the Heat are unlikely to even make that trade. If they did, it would be a red flag regarding Strus.

The second trade that is featured in this piece was Finney-Smith for Troy Brown Jr. and a second-round pick. yuck. Brown Jr does precisely nothing on a basketball court as well as Finney-Smith. Finney-Smith does missing a few kicks from Luka Doncic bother you? Brown Jr makes him look like peak Klay Thompson. Finney-Smith protecting elite perimeter scorers frustrates you? Brown makes him look like peak Tony Allen defensively. Brown is a better athlete than Finney Smith but a much worse basketball player. Second-round picks are sold for cash each season. It would simply be trading Finney-Smith for him.

The problem is that the types of teams that would benefit Finney-Smith are teams that are currently in contention. Virtually all of those teams traded whatever assets they could use to make the deal worthwhile for Dallas. Finney-Smith would be a fantastic fit on the Utah Jazz for example, but they can’t trade a first-round pick until the end of the decade and they probably aren’t interested in trading any of their key plays.

The thing is, Finney-Smith is more valuable to the Mavericks than he would likely get in a trade at this point. This team is good enough to be dangerous in the playoffs this season. Finney-Smith is a big part of what makes them dangerous. Moreover, it is unlikely that Finney-Smith will get a contract as large as the one mentioned in the previous article.

Finney-Smith and Tim Hardaway Jr are completely different types of players. Hardaway Jr had restored his reputation to the point where he was considered a shooter with a capital S. Contested, uncontested, catch and shoot, pull-up, he could touch them all. He struggled to shoot this year, but that’s why he got paid. Finney-Smith, despite improving in shooting over the past three years, is more in line with the Jae Crowder types that typically get paid except mid-level.

At this price, Finney-Smith might not be an exceptional deal, but he certainly isn’t overpriced. Plus, while paying the luxury tax to keep Finney-Smith and Jalen Brunson around seems unattractive, remember Mark Cuban made over $1 billion on the Mavericks through capital gains and income. real estate over the past decade without ever paying the luxury tax. The biggest concern about paying the tax is the limitation of flexibility it imposes for future moves. But the Mavericks have been “keeping their powder dry” for a decade. Even dry powder eventually goes stale.

If the right deal presents itself for Finney-Smith, the Mavericks should definitely consider it. But they shouldn’t be looking to trade it. His cheap contract now makes it difficult to process him for great value due to the CBA’s salary cap match requirements.

The Mavericks shouldn’t be looking to trade him for the sole purpose of trading him. Finney-Smith on anything resembling a reasonable contract won’t be hard to trade. Plus, if he gets a number the Mavericks aren’t comfortable with, it’s likely they could extract more value than a second-round pick via a sign-and-trade that will remain an option as long as that he will end the season as Maverick. Finney-Smith is most attractive to the types of teams in contention that don’t have the cap space to sign him for an exceptional above-average deal.

Finally, not trading him, even if he does not resign, allows him to play this post-season with the Mavericks. There are no monsters in the Western Conference this season besides the Phoenix Suns and Chris Paul is used to not being able to hold on through the playoffs. The Mavericks have an improved defense and Luka has a history of absolute playoff dominance offensively. Finney-Smith is the most competitive Maverick and trading him would be a step backwards. As coach Herm Edwards once said, “You play to win the game” and trading Finney-Smith wouldn’t play to win.

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