Another offseason and another MFFL disappointment as the big name on the market finds another team, leaving the Dallas Mavericks to pick from the bottom of the free agency market. In the meantime, Mark Cuban and the rest of the Dallas front office were sitting around twiddling their thumbs waiting for an indecisive big man to make a decision as most of the free agency market cleared out leaving Dallas left fishing for bait.
For such a long time the Mavericks front office has been labeled as the group that can get things done and spend money willingly. However, they haven’t had a chance to spend that money because they can’t bring in the big payroll players to dish out that cash.
In the last decade, the biggest offseason signing was bringing in an injury plagued Tyson Chandler that appeared to be heading towards the decline of his career. The Dallas medical staff got him on the right path, Dallas won a title that year and Tyson went on to New York to win a Defensive MVP award.
Bringing in Chandler was a luck roll trade with the Charlotte Bobcats. Charlotte were look to get rid of Chandler and signing Eric Dampier was one of the biggest mistake the Mavs had ever made. Bobcats took Dampier, Matt Carroll, Eduardo Najera and cash considerations in exchange, Dallas gets Chandler and Alexis Ajinca and in all fairness no one would have predicted Chandler to have that sort of impact for the team.
A rather ugly trade for Charlotte when you look back on it, but nonetheless it gave Dallas is first title in franchise history. Where this trade worked out for the Mavs, the following result was simply much more than what they expected from what is now one of the top big men in the league.
That being said, the Dallas front office really doesn’t appear to know what they’re doing unless they can find a way to get a bit lucky.
At the beginning of the 2012 free agency rush, Cuban started talking about the grand master plan that included Dwight Howard, Deron Williams and a player later to be named during the 2014 free agency market – one that is constantly talked about as the biggest free agent rush that the NBA has ever experienced. Now, Dallas has struck out on both Williams and Howard with seeming no effort at all, giving the team virtually no chance to land a player they want in next year’s free agency blockbuster.
It is becoming more and more apparent that the master plan laid out a couple years ago by the Dallas front office has been nothing but smoke and mirrors to try and get the Mavericks name in the media. Though they might have srious implications in bringing these players in it appears that none of the pursuits were serious.
Without doubt, the Mavs will likely be in conversation with LeBron James and Carmelo Anthony this time next year and like the previous two off season’s the story will be no different.
This Mavericks lineup is full with new players that simply do not fit the mold of Rick Carlisle’s defensive system. With the new roster, if Shawn Marion is to be traded like many predict, Dirk Nowitzki and Samuel Dalembert could very well be the best defensive players in the entire rotation.
Then throw in the fact that they simply over played an aging point guard in Jose Calderon and a very inconsistent off-guard in Monta Ellis, Dallas appears to be in panic mode.
This team on paper appear to be an offensive juggernaut and could score 115 points per game, but it becomes tough to win when the other team puts a 125 spot on the scoreboard every night.
Not too long ago, Cuban and the rest of the staff made a type of promise to Nowitzki that they would bring another elite level player to the team to take some of the weight of an entire franchise of his shoulders. So far, the so called promise to the Big German has been nothing less than hollow.
Dallas is losing its championship flash that it leased after 2011 and sooner rather than later, it could be looking at a rebuilding era with Dirk playing tennis during his retirement or playing in an opposing teams colors. For the MFFL, prepare for Dirk trade talks once again because at this rate it appears that may be the direction Dallas is heading if, and when, the Mavs strike out again in 2014.
Looking at the Mavericks from my angle, I see a team in a state of panic looking to get any recognizable name on the roster for the upcoming season and in the process over playing for them at the same time.
I can only hope that they don’t think that this team is the foundation for this so called contender that Dallas keeps trying to build. The only situation where this works out is if some desperate team at the end of the trade deadline would be willing to take on the contract of recently signed Monta Ellis as the centerpiece of the trade. Like I said, that team would have to be desperate for an off guard of Ellis’ abilities.
My recommendations to the Mavericks is leave the A-list players alone and get a head start on the players that you can get and would usually miss out on, waiting for decisions from the elite players. Lastly, actually use the draft original draft picks rather than trading 20 times before eventually picking you a rookie.
Now, just like last year after striking out on Deron Williams, Cuban came out to the media and said that the team is better off without the superstar that they were chasing. It becomes tough to take these statements by Cuban seriously when his precious Mavericks failed to break .500 in the previous season because quite frankly Cuban is looking to win a second championship immediately instead of making it a multiyear project which best suits this team.
Right now the Mavericks are in what I like to call the questions class just like every other Dallas based professional franchise. No one seems to know what direction the franchise is heading or what is planned next.
The Mavs are now a team with lots of questions but no clear answer. Dallas needs to go back to the drawing board because something is off in the grand scheme and time is running out to make second run towards another title with a legitimate superstar leading the way.