The Dallas Mavericks have lost form since winning the 2011 NBA Championship. They let center-pieces of their championship team walk away in an effort to save cap space. The goal with the cap space was to sign one of a few ‘big fish’ free agents in an effort to set themselves up years of success.
The Mavericks unfortunately missed out on point guard and hometown product Deron Williams in the summer of 2012, and Dwight Howard the following summer. That left the Mavericks scrambling to find players to fill out their ‘Plan B’ for the second summer in a row. This time they moved past the one-year contracts and committed to a few players.
They signed shooting guard Monta Ellis, who had previously been with the Golden State Warriors and the Milwaukee Bucks. They also added Toronto Raptors point guard Jose Calderon. The Mavericks didn’t stop there in their quest to revamp their backcourt. They re-signed former Maverick Devin Harris, signed Gal Mekel and they drafted Shane Larkin to play point guard behind Calderon. At shooting guard they drafted Ricky Ledo and signed Wayne Ellington.
At center they signed former Philadelphia 76ers’ Samuel Dalembert, who most recently played for the Bucks last season. They also signed DeJuan Blair from the San Antonio Spurs to play power forward behind Dirk Nowitzki.
While it wasn’t exactly how the Mavericks had envisioned, Mark Cuban remains optimistic that this squad can compete in the Western Conference this season.
“I don’t make predictions. You know that,” owner Mark Cuban said, via ESPN Dallas. “But if we stay healthy, I think we’ll surprise some people.”
“Obviously, I’m positive every year, but when you talk to our guys who have been here, the first thing they’ll say is, ‘We’ve got some talent, we’ve got some depth.’ I think we have more talent and depth than last year, but we’ll play the games.
“I still really think it comes down to health. If Dirk stays healthy, Vince [Carter] stays healthy,Shawn [Marion] stays healthy, then I think we’ll be good.”
Those might be high expectations but not necessarily unreasonable ones.