Season Previews: Dallas Mavericks

Season Previews: Dallas Mavericks

Last Season:

36-30, 3rd in Division, 7th seed. Lost in 1st Round.
Going into the offseason, the Mavs had 2 objectives
1. Replace Jason Kidd with Deron Williams.
2. Somehow, get Dwight Howard. Either via sign/trade/kidnapping.
The Mavs went 0-fer-2. Both men went to bigger, yet shared markets, leaving the fourth biggest market with one third a trio. Cuban basically blew the title defense for no reason, and then had to scramble to do something while Dirk is more Kevin Garnett than Juwan Howard.
This year’s Mavs are going to look drastically different than last year, but can they compete in the top-heavy West?

Departures: 

 Good:
Jason Kidd– Age 87, signed with the New York Knicks. Kidd, statistically was again one of the worst starting PGs in the NBA, yet the Mavs did attempt to bring him in as a backup to Deron, not only did that strategy give NY time to get Kidd, but might have cost them an attempt at Nash as well.
Lamar Odom– Great signing at the time, but it ended up being the worst addition of the Cuban era, passing Dennis Rodman.
Bad:
Jason Terry– To continue the baffling departures of good pieces, the Mavs allowed Terry to go to the Celtics. Is Jason Terry going to win you a title? No. Is Jason Terry going to keep you close enough so Dirk or Wade can win it for you? Absolutely.
Brendan Haywood– I have no issue with gaining salary, IF it is used for Howard/Nash/Deron/etc. But not used for much? Haywood is a guy you can throw on the floor for 12 minutes a game and end the game with a decent +/-. Am I happy Haywood is on the Bobcats? Nope.

Additions:

Good:
The Mavs are wanting THIS Elton Brand
Elton Brand: Let’s keep in mind, if this was the guy leaving the Clippers, we would all be thinking this was the second part of the Dallas Trio, Problem is, we got an Elton Brand coming out of Philly that is older, slower and just not there anymore, he has a MAJOR rehab to do both on and off the court. But he’s cheap, and if he works out, this is a STEAL.
Chris Kaman: I LOVE THIS GUY. He eats up space, gets rebounds in his (limited) range and is pretty good at getting offensive rebounds in the rim. Not that he’s a hardass defensively, but he rarely eats cheap fouls and while no threat to Dwight Howard’s throne, he’s well worth 8M a year in today’s NBA.
These two guys are on 1 year deals, with 10.1M coming off the books, that’s a max deal.
OJ Mayo: The Savior of USC Basketball has been mostly miss in a hit or miss career. He’s almost gotten worse as time has gone on, but I think he’s a 12-15 PPG player in the Mavs system, and he HAS to know if he fails in Dallas, he’s gonna have to learn a foreign language.
Bad: None

Re-signings: 

Delonte West: 9.6 PPG – Just a rotation guy. No harm no foul
Brandan Wright: 6.9 points, 3.6 rebounds and 1.3 blocks in 16.1 minutes- Stay in school kids! He’s a pretty good defender, but still needs to hit a Carl’s Jr more often.
Vince Carter: 10 PPG, 35 years old, non-clutch, 35 years old, no defense, 35 years old. WHY?

Draft/Trades:

You got my back, right? Right?
I’m putting those together as that’s what they did.
I like Tyler Zeller (17th) I thought/think he’s a good 2nd string center to take up minutes. He’s smart, works hard-ish and will be in the NBA for a decade on 3-4 teams. Considering half the lotto is going to be in Europe when this guy is on NBATV says something.
The Mavs traded him for the 24th, 33rd and 34th picks, Jared Cunningham, Bernard James and Jae Crowder. If this was the Cowboys? Excellent move. But in the NBA, only the Heat can roll out 2nd round picks for 12 minutes a game. Cunningham is the only one that lasts through training camp, in my mind. Jared can pick off lazy passes on defense and is not scared of anyone in the lane. Had he come out of the ACC or Big East, he might have been a late lotto pick with his skillset. James did nothing for me at Florida St. and Crowder does nothing for me, needs major work on everything but scoring- and 6’6 small forwards are not going to live on just scoring.
2nd round pick Darius Johnson-Odom was dumped for money, like Cuban needs more.
The main trade was Ian Mahinmi for Darren Collinson and Dahntay Jones.
I’ve always liked Collison, I thought he was wasted in Indy, and back when I was a Bobcats fan, I wanted them to pick him up. Collison is a 10/5 guy, and a valid starter.

Depth Chart:

C       Chris Kaman       Brandan Wright     Bernard James
PF     Dirk Nowitzki      Elton Brand     Jae Crowder
SF     Shawn Marion     Vince Carter             Dahntay Jones
SG     O.J. Mayo          Rodrigue Beaubois     Dominique Jones
PG     Darren Collison     Delonte West     Jared Cunningham

Prediction:

The Mavs are going to be interesting to watch. They have a lot of players that need to do well to succeed, but they know that they are all Plan B, if not Plan C.
There is a solid possibility that the Mavs pull together in an “us against them” mentality. They have a VERY good coach and can do a lot on the floor. If they hit on 2 of every 3 guys, they can be pretty good. I don’t see a reason they cannot compete with OKC and the Lakers IF OJ Mayo gets back to his rookie year stats, Brand gets nine boards a game, and Kaman does his double-double on 75% of the nights he shows up for work, and Marion gives me 20 P+R+A (but he’s 34). I think the Mavs end up with the second best record in the West and the Southwest title.

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About David Snipes 1383 Articles
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2 Comments

  1. I like the Mavs too actually. There are a lot of good signings on that roster. Not too sure about Brand getting nine boards a game but they are definitely a playoff team.

  2. I liked Collison when he stepped up after Chris Paul’s injury during his rookie season. I hated to see him go.
    In hindsight it would’ve been nice to hang onto him in case Paul wanted to leave. (which I would have done)

    Like him or hate him, Kaman put the makeshift Hornets on his back for a stretch last season. Some parts of his game I like, some parts I….. well…hate.

    It’s very interesting to see how everyone flew the coop after the Mavs won a title. They’ve assembled this motley crew that looks pretty good, much better than their team of last season. Maybe they’ll push for a playoff spot, but the West is always tough.

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