My expectations for the Dallas Mavericks were much higher last season. The Mavericks were one of the best teams in the NBA but were missing one piece and that was a solid point guard. The Western Conference is stacked with point guards and the Mavericks knew that to contend they needed a playoff experienced point guard. The Mavericks swung a deal with the Boston Celtics to acquire Rajon Rondo while keeping Monta Ellis, Chandler Parsons, Dirk Nowitzki, and Tyson Chandler. In return, the Celtics got valuable bench players and future draft picks. Both the Mavericks and Rondo have won a championship so they were thought to be immediate contenders. But Rondo made the Mavericks worse. The starting lineup played out of sync and the bench got much worse. Rondo has a bad attitude and has always been a coaches nightmare. He brought his bad attitude with him to Dallas. Rondo and Rick Carlisle never got along. He caused tension in the locker room leading to tension in the front office for making the trade. The Mavericks were still able to make the playoffs as the seventh seed in the West but wasn’t able to defeat the Houston Rockets in the first round. Rondo barely played in the playoffs and Rick Carlisle doesn’t expect Rondo back. Dallas needs to improve at point guard and center. Lets see who could be in Dallas next season.
PG Ty Lawson, Denver Nuggets
The Rajon Rondo project in Dallas was a disaster so the Dallas Mavericks need to find a new starting point guard. Lawson has also requested a trade if the Denver Nuggets decide to rebuild. Lawson would be a better fit in Dallas then Rondo. He is a small, scrappy guard that can score just like Monta Ellis. Lawson had off the court issues which kept him out of a few games. Rick Carlisle would have no tolerance to a player who messes up off the court. If Lawson keeps his act together he will excel with the Mavericks.
PG Delon Wright, Utah
There is the possibility that Denver and Dallas can’t come to an agreement on a trade. If that’s the case they have to draft a point guard at #21. Delon Wright is an interesting talent. He was a second team All-American and led Utah to the Sweet 16. He was the clear leader on Utah’s pro style offense. He is a pure passer that has great vision for the court. He is a crafty player and draws fouls at a consistent rate. He is quick and scrappy on defense and averaged 2.6 steals per 40 minutes over his two collegiate seasons. He would create a crafty offense in Dallas.
PG Cameron Payne, Murray State
Cameron Payne is placed all over the draft board and can range from picks 14-21. Dallas would be extremely lucky if he fell all the way to pick #21. He is used to always having the ball in his hands. He was accountable for 32% of Murray States offense and was named Ohio Valley Conference player of the year. I see Payne’s potential but he needs to add size. He only weigh’s 183 pounds which is puny for an NBA point guard. Payne is the third best point guard in the draft and if he falls to #21, he isn’t going passed Dallas.
SG Monta Ellis, Dallas Mavericks
Monta Ellis has a player option with the Dallas Mavericks hovering $9 million and I believe he will opt out. He could still sign with the Mavericks but on a new eight figure per season contract. Luckily, the Mavericks have money to spend. Ellis is a pure scoring combo guard. He averaged 18.9 points per game over 80 games. He exploded in the post season averaging 26 points per game in all 5 playoff games. Ellis was a bright spot on a tense and injured Mavericks team. I recommend the Mavericks find a way to keep him.
C DeAndre Jordan, Los Angeles Clippers
Tyson Chandler is good but the Mavericks need to think about their future. Dirk Nowitzki and Tyson Chandler are too slow and the Mavericks need to find a better defensive presence. DeAndre Jordan is more then a defensive presence; he is a defensive force. Jordan averaged 11.5 points, 15 rebounds, and 2.2 blocks per game and is exactly what the Mavericks need. Jordan has already expressed interest in the Mavericks. The Mavericks have the money for a max contract and are strongly going after DeAndre Jordan. DeAndre Jordan and Tyson Chandler could swap places.
SF Gerald Green, Phoenix Suns
Gerald Green is a freak athlete who is unhappy with his role with the Phoenix Suns. The difference with the Mavericks and the Suns is that the Suns have depth at the wing while the Mavericks don’t. He is the bench spark that the Mavericks need. He can shoot from all over the court and is a human highlight reel as a dunker. Green averaged 15.8 and 11.9 points per game in the last two seasons and is used to playing and accepting a bench role. He gives the Mavericks athleticism and a bench they have lost due to trades and free agency.
The Dallas Mavericks need to win this offseason. They have a ton of money to spend with Rajon Rondo and Tyson Chandler’s contracts off the books. With Dirk Nowitzki nearing the end of his career, the Mavericks need to find their next identity. They have the money for a max level contract and there are plenty of good free agents this offseason. Character will be looked upon each player entering Dallas after the Rajon Rondo nightmare.