Mavericks fans can certainly be excited for the future of the franchise thanks to Luka Doncic. His rise to stardom has rejuvenated the Mavericks and made them an exciting teams to watch for the next decade. That doesn’t mean this team can be ignored in the here-and-now. Doncic looks poised to make a run at MVP and the team around him seems to fit nicely together.
The Mavericks, in my opinion, had one of the best off seasons of any team. None of their moves were all that flashy, but they did things that improve the team and fit how the team wants to play. Dallas revolves around Luka and the kind of moves they made reflect that. I think the additions will fit nicely next to the Slovenian superstar and help the team be near the top of the Western Conference. The players who became synonymous with the team last season and have now departed will be missed, but I think it was for the best.
Dallas had a busy draft night as they made three selections and executed a trade. I really like all three of the rookies that landed with the Mavericks. Josh Green is an athletic wing who can a little bit of everything. He has gotten a good number of minutes in preseason games, showing Carlisle trusts him; that’s a rarity for rookies. Tyrell Terry is one of the better shooters in the draft who should, in theory, replace Seth Curry’s production. Seth has been one of the best shooters since entering the league and it will be tough to have a rookie duplicate that same success. I think Tyrell could do it, though. Lastly, Tyler Bey was selected with the 36th pick. I love this guy. He’s an athletic, hard-nosed, forward who rebounds, hustles, and plays lockdown defense. Did someone say Shawn Marion?
The trade Dallas was involved in was one that seemed to have no loser. Seth Curry was traded to Philadelphia where his shooting will be put on full display while the Mavericks received Josh Richardson. The former Tennessee Volunteer is a great perimeter defender who will be able to take some of the ball handling load away from Luka. Richardson’s fit as the third best player on the team when KP is healthy should make for a formidable starting five. Josh isn’t quite the volume scorer needed to be the number two guy, but his versatile skillet screams super-role player.
The other moves the team was involved in seem somewhat insignificant, but they could end up making a difference. Delon Wright was traded to the Pistons, which could hurt. His two-way ability was useful and may prove to be a move Dallas lives to regret. In terms of additions, the Mavericks added James Johnson, Wes Iwundu, and Willie Cauley-Stein into the mix. Johnson and Cauley-Stein will be solid backups for the team and should add some toughness. For Iwundu, this was more of a flier; he’s an athletic wing who has shown flashes of two-way ability. If he puts it together in Dallas, it could be an absolute steal.
Dallas is poised to make a leap this season once again. I expect Luka to continue to improve and situate himself into the MVP race from here on out. That plus a great coach in Rick Carlisle and a supporting casts that looks great on paper makes this a dangerous team. The health of Porzingis is still a major question and may put a ceiling on this team if he ends up on the injured list when they need him most.