Dallas Mavericks – Off Season Report

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2015/2016 Record: 42-40 (1st round exit)

Ins:

Harrison Barnes FA – 4yrs / $95mil
Andrew Bogut TR – Warriors
Seth Curry FA – 2yrs / $6mil
Quincy Acy FA – 2yrs / $2.2mil
AJ Hammons DR – Pick 46
Jonathon Gibson FA – 3yr / $3.8mil (1st year guarantee)
Keith Hornsby FA – 2yr / $1.6mil (Non-Guaranteed)
Dorian Finney-Smith FA – 3yr / $3.8mil (Non-Guaranteed)
Nicolas Brussino FA – 3yr / $3.8mil (Non-Guaranteed)
 Jameel Warney FA – 2yr / $1.6mil (Non-Guaranteed)
 Kyle Collinsworth FA – 3yr / $2.7mil (Non-Guaranteed)

Outs:

Chandler Parsons FA – Grizzlies
Zaza Pachulia FA – Warriors
Jeremy Evans FA – Pacers
Raymond Felton FA – Clippers
JaVale McGee FA – Warriors
David Lee FA – Spurs

Off Season Analysis:

Ah, Dallas. Like the ever optimistic ‘Rocky and Bullwinkle’, every year we are told that Mark Cuban and team are going to pull a rabbit out of the hat. And every year, they seem to be tightrope walking between ‘doing it for Dirk’ and contending, and on the verge of the inevitable rebuild that probably should’ve happened a season or two ago. Would offseason 2016 give this team a clearer outlook on their future? Yes and no.

After being left at the alter by DeAndre Jordan last offseason, Dallas were intent on putting the handcuffs on their prime Free Agent target, Hassan Whiteside, early in free agency. While several reports had Dallas as the frontrunner, Whiteside quickly accepted a maximum FA deal with Miami, and for all intents and purposes it appeared that Dallas were going to be once again a FA afterthought. Enter Kevin Durant.

KD’s decision to join the Warriors had several trickle down effects. The first, most important aspect, was that Harrison Barnes became available – and the Mavericks did not hesitate to handcuff him to a maximum contract as soon as possible. While Barnes should be a coup for the Mavericks, he is not without his question marks. He had a SHOCKING NBA Finals. Watching HB build a house with those wide open bricks would’ve been nauseating for Dubs fans, and one would’ve thought it would impact his 2016 free agency a lot more than it actually did. Often you need to pay overs for Restricted Free Agents though, and one would assume that with more opportunity to contribute to the offense – Barnes should be a candidate for Most Improved Player this coming NBA season.

The second KD casualty was Andrew Bogut. The veteran center also became available through the need of the Warriors having to shed guaranteed salary, and as one of the elite passing bigs in the NBA and a defensive stalwart, Dallas jumped at the opportunity to add him to their ranks. While Bogut is injury prone (you can’t guarantee he will play more than 60 games in an NBA season), he has showed that at his best he is a truly unique big that will provide rim deterrence, passing, and a lob threat for the next couple of seasons. Given Dirk’s defensive deficiency, he is a fantastic fit next to the big German. Ironically, Dallas’ two Centers from 2015/16 – Zaza Pachulia and the always comical JaVale McGee – have joined GSW this offseason, creating a further link between the two franchises.

The other notable FA to depart is Mark Cuban’s former BFF and recruiter extraordinaire Chandler Parsons, who has taken his microfractured talents to the Memphis Grizzlies. The decision essentially came down to Parsons or Barnes for Dallas, and they decided to gamble on Barnes’ potential rather than re-up Parsons after a couple of disappointing years in Dallas after crossing from Houston.

In addition to the Dubs double, Dallas also agreed to new deals with a couple of their own veteran Free Agents. The face of the franchise, Dirk Nowitzki, GOT HIS. After several reduced deals to give the team maximum FA flexibility (without much to show for it), Dirk doubled down and got a 2 year $50 million dollar deal that will see him finish his illustrious career in the blue and white. Dallas also agreed to terms to bring back former All-Star Deron Williams to a 1yr $10 million dollar deal. D-Will had a solid first season under Rick Carlisle, but question marks still remain on his ability to get in shape and stay on the court. Williams appears to be gambling on having a solid, healthy season to cash in on a longer term deal next offseason. Dwight Powell also got himself a nice little deal (4yr / $37 million) after having a reasonably solid season for the Mavs. At 25 years of age, the best should be ahead of him, and he will get a good opportunity to contribute on this Mavericks team.

Given all of the offseason activity, Dallas still goes into season 2016/2017 with a lot of question marks. Featuring a starting lineup of a bunch of past-their-prime vets and a young “maybe” Small Forward, lots will need to go right for the Mavericks to give the playoffs a decent shake. If this was an episode of Shark Tank, I’d be passing.

Grade: C+

2016/17 Prediction: 45-37

League Pass Meter: 6/10

Whether this team merits watching really depends on their health. The starting 5 is solid, and should compliment each other well, but any hint of injury and this team could be brutal viewing. An early 7/10 and a late 5/10 after the inevitable injuries. Take the average.

Depth Chart:

PG: Williams Barea Harris
SG: Matthews Curry Gibson Hornsby* Collinsworth*
SF: Barnes Anderson Finney-Smith* Brussino**
PF: Nowitzki Powell Acy Villanueva Warney*
C: Bogut Mejri Hammons

** Salary Guarantees 20th Oct 2016
* Salary Guarantees 10th Jan 2017

Salary Cap Situation:

2016/17 salaries: $109,563,866 (over the cap team)
2017/18 salaries: $59,492,284

Max room: $42,507,716
Min room: $4,840,160

Future Assets:

Incoming:
2019 2nd (Warriors)

Outgoing:
2017 2nd (Houston)
2018 2nd (Lakers)

2016/17 Questions:

Will the real Harrison Barnes please stand up?

How much does Dirk have left in the tank?

Which Wes Matthew’s are the Mavs gonna get?

Is Seth Curry an NBA player, or did he have a good two weeks?

Will Dwight Powell emerge as a better than average bench big?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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