3 Dallas Mavericks players who won’t be back next season

(Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

With the Dallas Mavericks’ first-round exit from the 2021 NBA Playoffs, here are three players that won’t be back next season.

The Dallas Mavericks had two chances to close out their first-round series against the LA Clippers, but they failed to capitalize. They have a franchise player to build around in Luka Doncic, but it’s clear he’s carrying too much of an offensive load. The Mavericks front office is in turmoil and head coach Rick Carlisle resigned last week. Needless to say, changes are afoot in Dallas.

With that in mind, here are three Mavericks players we can’t see returning to the team next season.

3. Nicolo Melli

30-year-old Italian power forward Nicolo Melli is an accomplished professional, but he has only played two NBA seasons. Traded to Dallas in 2021 along with J.J. Redick from the New Orleans Pelicans, Melli played 23 regular-season games as a Maverick and appeared in three playoff games.

In the regular season, he managed 4.0 points and 2.8 rebounds in 14.1 minutes per game. Those numbers aren’t bad for a guy with a limited role, but he saw the court very little come playoff time. He did not score a point in his 19 minutes of action.

Melli could be a restricted free agent should the Mavs choose to extend a qualifying offer of $4.9 million. Frankly, we just don’t see that happening. Dallas will offer Doncic the maximum contract extension he’s eligible for and the team has big decisions ahead regarding Tim Hardaway Jr., their third-leading scorer this past season. Spending nearly $5 million on Melli doesn’t make much sense for their current situation, and they could look to pick up players of a similar caliber on veteran-minimum deals.

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