The Dallas Mavericks finished out the 2017 -2018 season with a record of 24-58. This morning the team had its annual exit interviews to reflect on what went wrong this season and where the team needs to improve in the offseason. Dirk Nowitzki announced yesterday that he plans on coming back for what would be a record 21st season with one franchise. He sat out the remaining five games of the season, as he prepares for offseason surgery on his left ankle. He was asked if next year would be his last and Dirk would respond by saying he hopes that his ankle will allow him to play some decent basketball next year after the surgery and go from there. He also wants to leave the end open because it is hard for him at this point to commit for more than one year.
Wesley Matthews, open his exited interview by responding to a question in regards to what happened to the team this year? He stated that they struggle early on in the season, but were able to improve in specific areas. He pinpointed that they had the opportunity to win games this season, but were not able to get the job done. He did not single anyone out and stated as a collective group the team as a whole need to improve. This will be the second season in a row that the Mavericks will miss the playoffs. He wants to make sure the team put in the work now and make sure the conversation is a lot different next year. Matthews stated that he wished that he did not suffer an injury on a back to back because he would have still been playing into the ladder half of the season. The goal for everyone in the franchise is to bring hardware back to the city.
As for his player option, he has not thought about it but doesn’t plan on going anywhere else. Matthews would end his exit interview by highlighting some of the things rookie Dennis Smith Jr. did well this season and he was able to himself considering the circumstances of the team record. He took it upon himself to learn and become a better defender at the end of the season. He would like for him to play basketball over the summer to continue to improve his game and watch the playoffs.
Harrison Barnes wants to take a couple of weeks off to reflect on the season and then get back into the gym to start improving his game. Barnes thought Dennis did a great job being consist as a rookie at the point guard position with the level competition at the position. He thought he was able to consist on both ends of the court, but he does see the need to improve especially in late games.
Barnes stated that the rebuilding process is tough, but we do need to see an upward trend. Where you look at the progression from rebuilding to a team that is competing deep into the playoffs. He is willing to help the organization in the recruitment process in free agency, and a large part of it all depends on who they select in the draft.
“There a lot of things that lead up to it, but what every the organization needs me to do I’ll try to help out the best I can.”
Doug McDermott began his exit interview by discussing how he enjoyed playing with the Mavericks in 25 games after being traded from the New York Knicks for a second-round pick in a three-team trade that sent Devin Harris to the Denver Nuggets. He felt that he fit into the system here in Dallas perfectly and loved his time here. McDermott will be a restricted free agent this summer and hope that Dallas will be his permanent resident for a while.
Dennis Smith Jr. would finish his exit interview with giving his thoughts on if he should be in the Rookie of the Year conversation more. He would go on to say it not his decision, but he will be working this summer, and we will see how next season plays out.
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