May 2, 2014; Dallas, TX, USA; Dallas Mavericks forward Dirk Nowitzki (41) celebrates during the first half against the San Antonio Spurs in game six of the first round of the 2014 NBA Playoffs at American Airlines Center. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

Are the Dallas Mavericks now a legitimate contender?

Once again the Dallas Mavericks had their eyes on a big star and once again, they struck out. That, however, has not stopped them from having an excellent offseason.

The Mavericks started off their offseason by making a trade with the New York Knicks. The Mavericks acquired center Tyson Chandler and point guard Raymond Felton and sent center Sam Dalembert and guards Jose Calderon, Shane Larkin and Wayne Ellington and the Mavericks’ two second-round picks in the 2014 NBA draft – the 34th and 51st overall selections – to the Knicks (Those picks wound up being former Wichita State Shockers’ forward Cleanthony Early and Greek and Delaware 87ers’ swingman Thanasis Antetokounmpo).

Chandler was limited to 55 games last season and averaged 8.7 points, 9.6 rebounds, 1.1 blocks and 1.1 assists per game while shooting 59.3% from the field and 63.2% from the free throw line. Felton averaged 9.7 points, 5.6 assists, 3.0 assists and 1.2 steals per game while shooting 39.5% from the field, 31.8% from three and 72.1% from the charity stripe last season.

The Mavericks then re-signed point guard Devin Harris to a three-year, $9 million deal and got a huge favor from star forward Dirk Nowitzki, who re-signed for just $25 million over three years.

They used the extra money to lure forward Chandler Parsons away from the Houston Rockets with a three-year, $46 million deal.

Bill Ingram of Basketball Insiders is very high on the Mavericks, believing they can challenge the San Antonio Spurs in the Western Conference.

If they add Mo Williams, yes, I absolutely think they have. Parsons will give Leonard all he can handle and Chandler is a huge return on the front line. Mavs have a great bench, like the Spurs. I can’t wait for the WCF!

Williams, who is looking for an expanded role, averaged 9.7 points, 4.3 assists and 2.1 rebounds per game while shooting 41.7% from the floor, 36.9% from beyond the arc and 87.6% from the free throw line for the Portland Trail Blazers last season. He could serve as a replacement for Calderon.

Be sure to check FanSided’s official NBA page to keep up to date on the latest news and rumors from around the league all summer long.

Tags: Chandler Parsons Dallas Mavericks Dirk Nowitzki Mo Williams Tyson Chandler

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