3 defensive-minded free agents Dallas should be watching closely in the playoffs

SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA - FEBRUARY 04 (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)
SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA - FEBRUARY 04 (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images) /
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Dallas Mavericks: Luka Doncic, Phoenix Suns: Jae Crowder
PHOENIX, ARIZONA – MAY 04 (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images) /

2. Jae Crowder, Milwaukee Bucks

The Mavericks were reportedly interested in bringing back a former player to give them a boost on the wing earlier this season. According to Heavy.com’s Sean Deveney, Dallas had some talks about trading for Jae Crowder earlier this season when he requested out of Phoenix. However, nothing transpired, and Crowder ultimately ended up with the Milwaukee Bucks. As the Bucks look to win another NBA championship, the Mavericks should be monitoring Crowder’s play.

At 6-foot-6, Crowder is a versatile wing who can defend multiple positions. He brings toughness, grit, and experience to that side of things, which would be a big lift for Dallas. The forward is also a solid outside shooter, having shot 37.4 percent from behind the arc over the past three seasons in Phoenix and Milwaukee. Simply put, he’s the ideal mold of a 3-and-D wing in today’s NBA, and the Mavericks need more of those before next season begins.

Crowder’s performance in the postseason will dictate how much he earns on his next deal when he hits unrestricted free agency this off-season. After sitting out a good chunk of the season due to some differences in Phoenix, Crowder has something to prove and likely has a massive chip on his shoulder. If he plays well for the Bucks, no shortage of teams will be looking to get him on their team ahead of next season, the Mavericks potentially included.