Going into this summer, the Dallas Mavericks had a boatload of cap space at their disposal, and were hoping to land a star such as Mike Conley or Hassan Whiteside; however, that never came to fruition, but they still managed to improve their roster with very under the radar moves.
The Dallas Mavericks Off-season was Productive
The biggest move the Mavericks made was bringing in Warriors forward Harrison Barnes to replace small forward Chandler Parsons. Barnes inked a 4 year/ 94 million dollar max deal with Dallas. Barnes has fallen under everyone’s radar in recent years, playing behind what was a big three in Golden State with Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, and Draymond Green. While not a star, Barnes is one of the better two way forwards in the NBA. He can hit the outside jumper, is a high flyer, and is most importantly, a lockdown perimeter defender. Parsons, while a very good offensive weapon, never became the elite scorer he was expected to become. In reality, neither Barnes or Parsons is worth a max contract, but if you had to choose one of them to give that deal to, you take Barnes. Barnes is a more complete player, and a much better fit on this Maverick team than Parsons. Barnes and Wesley Matthews will be a lethal perimeter defender combo. Barnes and his former Golden State teammate Andrew Bogut, will provide some much needed assistance.
A Golden Steal
After the Warriors pulled off the ultimate stunner in signing the NBA’s second best player Kevin Durant, the Warriors needed to clear cap space in order to finalize a deal with Durant, and the Mavericks took full advantage of that. Shortly after Durant announced his decision to go to Golden State, the Mavericks acquired Warriors center Andrew Bogut. Bogut, is a defensive backbone who never got the credit he deserved in Golden State. While Curry, Thompson, and Green’s games became Hollywood like, Bogut became forgotten about, even though his presence was vital. While under appreciated in Golden State, Bogut’s impact will be felt in Dallas. He will be the defensive force in the middle that Tyson Chandler provided them with. Bogut will be a great fit next to future hall of fame forward Dirk Nowitzki, who also cashed in this offseason.
Paying Respect to the Face of Dallas Basketball
After years of being underpaid, and taking paycuts, the Mavericks rewarded Nowitzki with a 2 year/ 50 million dollar deal. Nowitzki, while not the lethal scorer he once was, is still one of the NBA’s best scoring big men. He’ll be the face of this franchise until the day he retires, and it’s remarkable that he’s still a great scorer at this stage of his career. Nowitzki was one of three Mavericks to receive a pay raise.
Taking the Bargain Route
Considering how insane the market for guards was this offseason, the Mavericks decided to take the bargain route in resigning point guard Deron Williams to a one year deal. His one year deal will pay him ten million dollars. Last season, Williams proved that he was still a reliable scorer after two rough seasons in Brooklyn with the Nets. Looking at what Williams provided for the Mavs last season, bringing him back was a no brainer especially at his price tag, and the same goes for forward Dwight Powell. Powell inked a four year deal to resign with the Mavs; last season, Powell was a pleasant surprise on the defensive end of the ball, and proved to be a valuable piece off the bench.
The Western Conference Underdogs
At first glance, this Maverick team may look like a bad squad, but they’re really not. Deron Williams is a reliable scorer along with his fellow guard Wesley Matthews. Harrison Barnes is by no means a superstar, but he provides the Mavericks with the two way forward they’ve been deprived of in recent years. Andrew Bogut is the man in the middle the Mavericks need next to Dirk. While center Zaza Pachulia did play well for Dallas last season, he is an at best average defender, and not the best fit next to Dirk Nowitzki; Dwight Powell will provide energy off the bench on both ends of the ball. This Dallas Mavericks team is much improved, and is one of the more underrated teams in the Western Conference.