The Dallas Mavericks face a whole lot of questions heading into their offseason. It seems like unanswered questions has been part of the Mavs organization since they won their championship in 2011. Instead of bringing back the championship team for the 2012 season, the Dallas Mavericks decided to break away from the team to create cap space for a rebuilding transition.
Over the last three seasons, the Mavericks aimed for star fee agents Deron Williams, Chris Paul, and Dwight Howard. Dallas swung for all three of them and missed on all three. In the 2012 season following the championship, the Mavs had pieces from their championship team still around but with key pieces, Tyson Chandler, JJ Barea, and DeShawn Stevenson leaving via free agency; it definitely affected the Mavericks during the 2012 lockout year.
The Mavericks did trade for Lamar Odom. Most people loved the trade at the time. Lamar Odom did win the sixth man of the year award during the 2011 season. When Odom got to Dallas, everyone could tell something wasn’t right. Odom was deactivated before the season even ended after he got into a confrontation with owner Mark Cuban during a regular season game against the Memphis Grizzlies.
At the end of the 2012 season, the Mavs attempted to sign hometown grown Deron Williams. The Mavericks offered Williams a max deal but Williams declined and re-signed with the Brooklyn Nets after the Nets traded for Joe Johnson.
The Mavs then did a restructuring of their roster trading and signing one year rentals of OJ Mayo, Darren Collison, Dahntay Jones, Chris Kaman, Mike James, and others. The 2012-2013 season featured Dirk Nowitzki missed nearly half the season due to injury. The Mavs got off to a 13-23 record until Dirk came back. Dirk tried to revive the Mavs the best they could but it was too late. The Mavs finished 41-41 and finished 4 games out of the final playoff spot.
At the end of the 2013 season, the Mavs attempted to sign Dwight Howard away from the Lakers and Chris Paul away from the Clippers. Chris Paul finally put an end to his free agent rumors and signed a max deal with the LA Clippers. Most people expected Chris Paul to do that at some point. Nobody knew what Dwight Howard wanted to do. Over the course of Dwight’s career with the Magic and the Lakers, he had been very indecisive on where he wanted to play.
After a nightmare season with the Lakers, Dwight decided to pursue free agency and the Mavs pursued him hard. The Mavs had Mark Cuban, Donnie Nelson, Dirk Nowitzki, and other representatives take a summer trip to Los Angeles to try to meet and pursue Dwight. That attempt failed as Dwight bolted the Mavs and the Lakers and decided to go play with James Harden and the Houston Rockets.
The Mavericks then had a plan B and decided to go with Monta Ellis, Jose Calderon, and Samuel Dalembert as their prime free agent signings. This season, the Mavs fought very hard to make the playoffs and they did on the 81st game of the NBA season. The Mavs battled all year through a very tough western conference.
This offseason, the Mavs face another hand of questions involving free agency. Dirk Nowitzki, Vince Carter, Shawn Marion, Devin Harris, DeJuan Blair, Jae Crowder, and Bernard James are all eligible to become free agents.
Dirk Nowitzki has indicated that he will resign with a hometown discount so that the Mavs have more flexibility sign other free agents. Dirk Nowitzki who turns 36 in June doesn’t have a long window left and he would like other stars to play with him in his golden years. With free agents Carmelo Anthony, Luol Deng, Marcin Gortat and others all available to possibly improve the Mavs team, we may have seen the final days of Shawn Marion and Vince Carter wearing Dallas Mavericks uniforms.
Free Agency doesn’t begin till July 1st. The Mavericks will be in the free agency hunt once again for the third straight year and we can also expect trades to be made at some point this summer to try to improve the team. What those trades will be? At this point, nobody really knows. There is speculation that with Phil Jackson now running the New York Knicks, Tyson Chandler could be involved in a trade to help with the rebuilding of the Knicks. Roy Hibbert of the Indiana Pacers has had tough NBA playoffs and may need a change of scenery if Indiana doesn’t win it all.
When Mark Cuban bought the Mavs, he put them in a comfortable position that lasted over a decade. Mavs fans got pretty spoiled and loved the 50 and 60 win seasons. We loved the deep playoff runs o f 2003, 2006, and 2011. We have definitely gotten a little spoiled. Expectations are higher. We don’t like missing the playoffs and fighting for the 7 and 8th seed. With that said, we knew a rebuild was coming at some point, and we can only hope that Cuban and Nelson get it right so we can have one more final hoorah with the best player in Mavs history, Dirk Nowitzki.