The Dallas Mavericks are trying to prove they’re still relevant in the NBA landscape. After having their Plan A for the offseason fall through yet again the Mavs made some quick moves adding guards Jose Calderon and Monta Ellis.
They wanted to find a start to take over the team and let Dirk Nowitzki ease into a complimentary role. It looks like Dirk will have to be the main scoring threat again for the Mavericks. Mark Cuban maintains that Dirk can still play MVP caliber basketball.
ESPN Insider Joe Kaiser recently listed 10 NBA stars with something to prove in 2013-14 and he didn’t share Cuban’s optimism with Dirk.
“It’s certainly possible that Father Time has finally caught up with the future Hall of Famer,” Kaiser wrote, via the Dallas Morning News. “Prior to last season, he appeared in 73 games or more in every full-length season as a pro. That doesn’t even factor in his 128 career playoff games. But his (Player efficiency rating) last season dropped to 19.2, his lowest since 1999-2000, and his 1,661 minutes played was a career low. Nowitzki has to prove that he still has something left in the tank in 2013-14, a contract year that guarantees him $22.72 million. If not, the new-look Mavs will be lottery-bound and the window to win another title with Nowitzki will have closed.”
In all fairness the list also included Houston Rockets’ Dwight Howard, the Lakers’ Kobe Bryant and the Thunder’s Russell Westbrook.