The Dallas Mavericks have agreed to a four-year, $52 million extension with forward Dorian Finney-Smith, according to The Athletic’s Shams Charania. This is roughly the maximum Finney-Smith could legally earn on an extension, as players making below the league’s average salary can get up to 120 percent of that average in the first year of an extension. Finney-Smith would not have been bound by that restriction in the offseason as an unrestricted free agent, but he chose security in Dallas with this extension.
Finney-Smith has evolved into one of the best and most versatile defenders in the NBA. He is the linchpin of the No. 5 ranked defense in the NBA this season, but just as importantly, he has developed into a fairly reliable 3-point shooter. After shooting roughly 30 percent from behind the arc in his first three seasons, he’s at almost 38 percent over the last three. That includes a stellar 41.4 percent mark from the corners in that span. That essentially makes him the perfect role player for a Luka Doncic team.
Dallas had plenty of motivation to strike a deal now. They might have been able to play hardball in the offseason before this week’s flurry of trades, but with Indiana and Portland creating meaningful cap space, they likely feared an offer too big for him to refuse was coming in free agency. They therefore acted quickly to get Finney-Smith locked up immediately after the deadline.
The Mavericks stand to be one of the NBA’s most expensive teams even after trading Kristaps Porzingis to Washington for Spencer Dinwiddie on Thursday. They are already above the projected tax line, and that is before they potentially re-sign Jalen Brunson. That’s a less-than-ideal place for the Mavericks to be without anyone on the roster that looks to have superstar potential.
But Finney-Smith is not an easy role player to find. If and when they do find a replacement for Porzingis in that slot for a potential second star, having Finney-Smith locked up is going to go a long way in maximizing that player’s talent. He’s been integral to the success Dallas has had with Luka Doncic, and now, he’s going to be in Dallas for the foreseeable future.