The Mavericks are about to start one of their strangest season in franchise history.
Last season, the Dallas Mavericks were one of those teams that played good basketball during the regular season, but just couldn’t keep up with the pace of the playoffs. The Mavs started the 2014-15 campaign pretty well; they were looking like a potential title contender, given their amazing offense and solid defense. Rajon Rondo joined the team after a trade with the Celtics and was expected to largely improve the Mavericks; things did not work out exactly as planned though. When the point guard was on the floor the entire offense looked lethargic and ineffective as compared to when he was on the bench. Unfortunately for Dallas, Rondo did not give 100% when he played and that was one of the main reason for their failure in the playoffs, where the squad lost in the first round to the Rockets. The ex-Boston player chose to leave the team and not convincing him to stay maybe was the smartest thing the Mavericks did during this summer.
That may be the only smart thing Dallas did. Sure, the Mavericks were able to sign Wesley Matthews and sure, they got a very versatile player who can shoot the three and who has a solid defensive ability, but they also gave a guy that suffered a gruesome Achilles injury last season a four-year, $70 million contract. Nobody is saying that Matthews does not deserve the money, especially the way he played during the 2014-15 campaign, but paying a player that much after coming back from a serious injury is risky. The Mavs also signed Deron Williams to a two-year, $10 million deal, which is a steal considering how much the point guard was paid in Brooklyn. Williams definitely is not the player he once was when he played for the Jazz, but as we know, Dallas has one of the best coaches in the NBA and it will not be surprising if the guard regains some of his old form under Rick Carlisle’s guidance.
Though both of these signings may impact the team positively, missing out on DeAndre Jordan was a disaster. Sadly for the Mavs, Jordan decided to stay with the Clippers after previously agreeing with Mark Cuban that he will sign with Dallas when the offseason begins. This was a big blow for the Mavericks, especially after seeing Monta Ellis, Tyson Chandler and Amare Stoudemire leave the team. Even with DeAndre in the squad, Dallas most likely would not have been title contenders, but now reaching the playoffs may even be very unlikely.
Losing so many key players will undoubtedly hurt Dallas next season. They still have Chandler Parsons and Dirk Nowitzki in the team, however the latter is in his twilight years and cannot carry the Mavs the way he used to. Carlisle still does not have a quality center in his roster and if the management cannot find a way to sign a decent defense oriented big-man, the Mavericks will have a lot of problems stopping opponents in the paint. All in all, with this roster, all Dallas players will have to play out of their minds in order to reach the playoffs in the over crowded Western Conference.