Dallas Mavericks Turmoil: Is it time for a rebuild?

Dallas Mavericks Luka Doncic and Kristaps Porzingis (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
Dallas Mavericks Luka Doncic and Kristaps Porzingis (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images) /

After another first-round playoff exit and some key members of the front office leaving, is it time Dallas Mavericks to consider shaking the team up?

The Dallas Mavericks have had a turbulent offseason after losing in another contested seven-game first-round series to the LA Clippers. Luka Doncic provided his usual dominance, while questions were raised about why the Mavericks had not provided their superstar talent with more help.

Despite the rise of Doncic and consistent playoff appearances, the Mavericks seem stuck and recent offseason moves have led to questions about whether the team is set for a rebuild.

With the departures of their president of basketball operations Donnie Nelson (who spent 24 years with the team) and long-time head coach Rick Carlisle, it seems the Mavericks are shaking up the team from top to bottom. The news of the departure of these two key figureheads of the Mavericks organization comes after reports that Kristaps Porzingis was unhappy with the organization and his role within the team.

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"[Tim MacMahon via ESPN]“The Mavs’ franchise cornerstones admittedly aren’t friends, a distant dynamic that team owner Mark Cuban has compared to the early stages of the partnership between Dirk Nowitzki and Jason Terry, which ultimately produced two NBA Finals appearances and a championship.But Porzingis has been frustrated, often feeling more like an afterthought than a co-star as Doncic dominates the ball and the spotlight, sources told ESPN.”"

However, while Porzingis could be moved along to make way for another co-star for superstar Luka Doncic after a very bland post-season campaign that saw the Unicorn average 13.1 points and 5.4 rebounds per game, the Mavericks are also reportedly nervous, due to the front office turmoil, that Doncic could leave the organization.

Doncic still reportedly wishes to sign the supermax extension with Dallas, which will lock him with the franchise for the foreseeable future/ However, while this may seem like a promising sign for the team, Doncic could merely be trying to net himself a nice payday before looking elsewhere. Further turmoil in the organization could lead to the Mavericks burning some bridges with their young superstar.

As mentioned previously, this leads to the question of whether the Mavericks should scrap their current roster and rebuild. With Doncic’s talent, it is obvious the team must continue to try and keep him happy while offering the superstar a supporting cast to help the Mavericks win their first championship since 2011.

Taking some strain off Doncic’s shoulders will allow him to play his style of game while knowing that he has a cast of players around him that can offer support. Currently, he does not have that, even though players like Tim Hardaway Jr. and Jalen Brunson have provided solid contributions during the regular season, they both went missing at times in the playoffs.

The Dallas Mavericks should rebuild around Luka Doncic

Porzingis remains the main issue though, with the 25-year-old Latvian star not being the answer for the Mavericks. Attempting to trade the big man for either another star or a collection of assets from teams desperate for a big man presence should be the first objective. Some draft picks and young players ready to ascend could just be what Dallas needs in order to get their team back on track.

Finding Doncic some playmaking assistance is also ideal, as the Slovenian star had his work cut out for him running plays and being the primary scorer in the playoffs. Filling that role with a young guard or even a veteran such as Ricky Rubio or Rajon Rondo could be ideal. The Mavericks also need to find some other scoring options, with Porzingis not being a consistent second option.

Teams such as the Trail Blazers may even be interested in a big star-studded deal to shake up their rosters, perhaps a CJ McCollum for Kristaps Porzingis trade would be an intriguing prospect for both teams. If McCollum is not something the Mavericks are interested in, there are a number of sharpshooting and consistent scoring role players around the NBA that they should attempt to poach.

The Mavericks other main focus in the offseason will be finding a new head coach to try and take them to the promised land, with the current NBA environment leaving a number of coaches looking for positions. The Mavs could choose to stick with who they know and promote Assistant Coach Jamahl Mosley, which would satisfy Doncic who reportedly endorses Mosley as a future head coach. 

However, other intriguing prospects include Jason Kidd, Becky Hammon, and Chauncy Billups, all of who provide a fresh set of eyes and have been doing great things in the assistant coach position at their respective clubs. Cuban and the Mavericks organization will not rush the move, being certain to ensure the person for the job is the right fit for Doncic and the roster they hope to develop.

Dallas sits in an unusual spot, as the playoffs continue to push on without their presence. They could choose to try and continue the push for immediate success by trading Porzingis for another star talent. However, considering Doncic’s age and his longevity, the Mavericks could try and trade for some developing talent and give the young guys a chance to grow.

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While it is unclear what route the Mavericks will take, this roster looks unlikely to survive until next season, with a major restructure and potential rebuild likely to occur around Doncic. Whether it all pans out remains to be seen, however, Dallas needs to do something to change their fortunes.