Connect with us

Dallas Mavericks

Dallas Mavericks Off-Season: Reason For Hope?

Dallas Mavericks Off-Season: Reason For Hope?



As a lifelong fan of the Dallas Mavericks, I’ve witnessed firsthand how winning a championship changes the way you view every single transaction the organization makes. Whether it’s signing Harrison Barnes to a 4-year, $94-million contract, or giving Summer League standout Jonathan Gibson a 3-year partially guaranteed deal, I’m invested in every little bit of it. This wasn’t the case pre-2011 though.


Here is a list of some of the most important transactions that unpredictably led to winning the franchise’s first and only title:



With hindsight being 20/20, we know how important each of those trades/signings were to the franchise as it accomplished its ultimate goal. All of those players were crucial pieces in helping Dirk Nowitzki finally hoist the Larry O’Brien trophy that got away from him in the 2006 Finals. With that being said, most of those moves were overlooked at the time. I don’t remember there being much hype when the Mavericks acquired an injury-prone Tyson Chandler from New Orleans right before that championship season. If there’s one thing I learned after that year, it was that you really never truly know how things will turn out. So many things have to go right for your team to win a title. You need health. You need chemistry. You also need a little luck. The Mavs didn’t have the most talent that season, but what they did have is a roster full of players that had never won a title. A group of guys that felt like they had something to prove.


Does all of that mean I believe this year’s Mavs team will somehow find that unique chemistry and be a contender? Not at all. The Western Conference is so fierce right now that I would be thrilled if we could get the 6-seed again this season. I can, however, see similarities with this year’s team that was with that 2011 squad, with the main similarity being that almost every player is being doubted in some way.


Other than Dirk and J.J. Barea, every player on the Mavs still has something to prove. Yes, Harrison Barnes and Andrew Bogut have won a title with the Warriors, but neither played as big of a role for Golden State than what they’ll be asked to do for Dallas. Barnes has a lot to live up to in the next 4 years as Mark Cuban pays him the big bucks. He is 24 years old, athletic, healthy, and has the type of attitude you want a teammate of Dirk to have (I’m still getting over the Chandler Parsons ordeal). I don’t know if Barnes will ever turn into anything more than a 3rd option, but I do know this will be his first real chance in the NBA to be more than that. Bogut is on the downslope of his career, but proved last season that he still has plenty left in the tank. At 7’ tall, he is an incredible shot blocker that can also pass and finish at the rim. It also doesn’t hurt that Bogut has a mean streak to him. The Big Aussie has had his fair share of scuffles over the years (my favorite being the one against Deandre Jordan, but I’m biased). He will fit seamlessly next to The Big German. I believe that if Bogut hadn’t injured himself in this past NBA Finals, the Warriors would have repeated as champions.



As for some of the Mavs that were already on the team last year, Deron Williams is a fallen star with injury issues and has never won a title. Being a Dallas native, he loved being home last season and agreed to a 1 year, $10 million deal to give it another go this season. D-Will was arguably the Mavs second best player last season, especially in crunch time. Wes Matthews went undrafted in the 2009 draft and always uses that as motivation. On top of that, he has faced his own injury issues after battling back from a torn Achilles, something that many other players have failed to come back from. Add to the list that Wes has also never won a title, and you won’t ever have to worry about him not being motivated. I expect No. 23 to be shooting a lot more arrows this season. Devin Harris was on the 2006 Mavs team that lost to the Heat in the Finals. He hasn’t gotten close to a title since then, and the clock is ticking. Other newcomers from last season are still going to be looking to establish themselves as well. Justin Anderson, Dwight Powell and Salah Mejri can hopefully take last season’s late playoff push experience and build on it. Out of those three, I would expect Anderson to make the biggest leap. He’s young, supremely athletic, and has knack for making highlight reel chase down blocks when his team needs them the most. It’ll be to see him get more minutes this season.



Newly acquired guard, Seth Curry and forward, Quincy Acy have spent their time bouncing around the league up to this point. The Mavs will provide them with the first stable situations of their careers, being that both have been signed to 2-year deals. Both players are 25 years old and already have chemistry established with each other from playing in Sacramento together last season. Curry will look to build on what he accomplished this past April with the Kings. He’ll never fully step out of his 2-time MVP bother’s shadow, but he will finally be able to make a name for himself with the Mavs. Acy is a Texas native and played his college ball at Baylor. With the Mavs being his fourth team in 6 seasons, look for Acy to finally start to establish himself under Rick Carlisle.





Out of everybody, Jonathan Gibson probably has the most to prove, given his unique situation. Although he might not even make the final roster, Gibson is a very intriguing prospect that has played all over the globe. The man averaged 42(!!) points per game in the CBA last season. Lesser competition or not, that’s very impressive. His performance in Summer League play reinforced that he has a real chance to finally make an NBA roster at age 28.


We won’t know the final 15-man roster until after training camp, but if the season started today, I know we’d see a hungry group of players looking to earn respect from the rest of the league. After the way these last few off-seasons have gone, with impending doom seemingly waiting at the threshold of American Airlines Center, I’d have to say I’m pretty content with where we currently stand.


We as a fan base need to temper our expectations for the immediate future and realize that it’s all about building on one move after the other. And if something special were to happen? Well then we’ll all be in for a pleasant surprise. After all, that’s what the Mavs do lately, right? They get told over and over how they’re going to be a lottery team, then always find a way to make it work. Just know that the Mavs front office seems to have turned a corner this off-season. They’re getting younger. They’ve got some longer contracts now, something tangible to show future free agents. They own all of their future first round picks at the moment, although that could change with an unforeseen trade. And last but not least, the Mavs still have “that dude” on board for at least 2 more seasons. No matter how the team performs, 2 more years of Dirk one-legged fade-aways and new milestones is something to get excited about all its own.


Down times only make it that much sweeter when your team finally gets over the hump, as was the case in 2011. Be excited MFFLs. There’s a hope for the future.

Born and raised in Hattiesburg, Mississippi. I received my Bachelor's degree in Business Administration - Entrepreneurship from the University of Southern Mississippi. If you're unfamiliar with Southern Miss, think Brett Favre. I'm currently working full time as a salesperson for my family business. My fiancé and I are huge MFFLs, and we never pass up a chance to see the guys play in person.

Click to comment

You must be logged in to post a comment Login

Recent Posts