DALLAS MAVERICKS OFFSEASON
2012 Free Agents: Brian Cardinal, Jason Kidd, Ian Mahinmi, Jason Terry, Delonte West, Yi Jianlian
2013 Free Agents: Rodrigue Beaubois (R), Kelenna Azubuike, Shawn Marion, Lamar Odom, Brandan Wright
2011-12 Record: 36-30 (Eliminated in first round by Oklahoma City)
Positional Needs: depth on wing, starting point guard, backup power forward
Potential Draft Picks: Dion Waiters (Syracuse), Quincy Miller (Baylor)
1) Soooooo……Deron Williams eh?
It appears that the Dallas Mavericks are prepared to go all in this summer to obtain the services of one Deron Williams.
Why wouldn’t they? Deron is perhaps the missing piece the Mavs need in order to get back into championship contention. 39-year-old Jason Kidd is getting on in years and backup point guard Rodrigue Beaubois has proven to be too inconsistent on the court to be given full authority to run this team as its future starter. Deron Williams would become the new general and new leader that this roster so desperately needs.
If you take a look at all of the elite teams in the NBA (Spurs, Thunder, Heat, Celtics), you can see that they all have one thing in common. They all have outstanding playmakers who take the ball up the court and run their teams offense (Parker, Westbrook, James/Wade, Rondo). The Mavericks are severely lacking in that department. Jason Kidd was once in that company years ago, but that time has come and gone.
Williams is a 21 point, 9 assists a game all-star who paired up with Dirk Nowitzki, would make the Mavericks one of the title favorites out of the Western Conference. Dallas can give him a max-deal which will surely give him enough reason to want to play for his hometown team.
The Brooklyn Nets aren’t exactly full of assets to improve their own situation and build around Williams. The Nets lost out on keeping their top-10 pick in the upcoming NBA Draft. That pick would have been very enticing to many a team to help bring quality players back to the Nets.
The Mavericks (right now) seem like the best fit for Deron Williams. The Mavericks realize that and will push hard to acquire him. Mark Cuban got rid of so many key parts to his championship team (Chandler, Barea, Stevenson, Butler) in order to be financially ready for this summer.
It’s not Deron Williams or bust in Dallas, but it’s certainly close.
2) Jason Kidd, Jason Terry, Shawn Marion, Lamar Odom….who should stay and who should go?
Perhaps they all should go.
The Lamar Odom experiment was a complete disaster from day 1. His heart was always in Los Angeles and it clearly stayed there when he came to Dallas. He has no future with the Mavericks and will certainly be on his way out as soon as possible.
If we all learned anything from the Mavericks first-round sweep courtesy of the Oklahoma City Thunder, it’s that the core of the current Dallas roster (Dirk, Terry, Kidd, Marion) needs to be broken up. They had their championship run. Kudos to them. But now it’s time to call it a day.
The Mavericks need to start looking towards the future. Dirk Nowitzki is the cornerstone of this team and the greatest player in franchise history. His spot is secure. As far as everyone else is concerned, they should all be worried about keeping their spots in Dallas. If you’re 34 years of age or older and your name isn’t Dirk Nowitzki, I’d be counting down my days in Maverick country.
Marion, Terry and Kidd have not become useless shades of the players they once were by any means. They can still contribute on a winning ball club, just not on this one. Dallas needs to get younger and surround Dirk Nowitzki with fresher, more athletic bodies that can go toe to toe with the Thunders and Spurs of the West.
Jason Terry and Jason Kidd will be free-agents this summer and will more than likely be on their way out unless the Mavericks sign Deron Williams and Kidd can accept a backup role off the bench. Shawn Marion may have 1-2 good years left in him and the Mavericks will need more than just Dirk to entice Williams to come. With the right circumstances, those 2 could see themselves in the blue and white next season. Me personally, I’d get rid of them both, as well as Terry.
I don’t believe the Mavericks should tear the house down and start from scratch, but the formula they have used for the last 6-7 years needs to change.
Christopher Walder is a sports blogger and lead editor for Sir Charles in Charge. You may follow him on Twitter @WalderSports