In the likely event that the Mavericks have to go to Plan B to find a point guard, Jarrett Jack’s name should be at or near the top of the list.
There are a lot of things to like about Jack. He’s got a deadly midrange jumper and an effective floater, the kind of shots that come in bunches for guards who run pick-and-pops with Dirk Nowitzki. He doesn’t commit many turnovers. He possesses the kind of mental and physical toughness Rick Carlisle wants from his point guards.
Jack would be a significant upgrade for the Mavs, but he wouldn’t be a perfect fit. In fact, there are some red flags.
Start with the fact that Jack isn’t a pure point guard. He’s a combo guard who thrived as Golden State’s sixth man, often paired with Stephen Curry. He has never averaged more than 6.3 assists per game in a season, and his career assist average (4.4) is lower than Darren Collison’s. When he’s running the point, Jack has a tendency to over-dribble, a big don’t in Carlisle’s flow system.
The 6-foot-3, 200-pound Jack is a tweener defender, too. He struggles to stop a lot of point guards because of his lack of lateral quickness, and his height often puts him at a significant disadvantage against shooting guards. (Jack’s defensive issues were exploited during the playoffs, when Warriors opponents averaged 5.8 more points per 100 possessions with him on the floor than when he was on the bench.)
And then there’s the money.
Jack, who made $5.4 million this season, has made it clear he would prefer to stay with the Warriors. Golden State wants to keep him, too, although the Warriors are in serious jeopardy of paying luxury tax. The Mavs – or any other team bidding on Jack – would have to make an offer out of the Warriors’ comfort range to get him.
How much are you willing to pay for a combo guard who turns 30 in October and has bounced around to five teams in the last six seasons? That’s a question the Mavs must be prepared to answer if they don’t hit a home run and sign Chris Paul.