After coming off a strong year and getting back to the playoffs, the Mavericks have some key decisions to make this offseason to restore the team to it’s 2011 glory. The first decision the front office needs to make, is who do they need to bring in to improve the Mavs overall defense. Samuel Dalembert and Shawn Marion were the only two defensive minded players on the Mavs roster this past season which led to being only the 22nd best defensive team in the NBA. In the 2010-2011 championship season the Mavericks were the 7th best defensive team. Defense wins championships right?
Defense isn’t the only thing that needs to be fixed to make a push for the Finals. The Mavericks also need a quality and consistent 3rd scoring option. Last season, no one was the consistent 3rd option the offense needed, instead it was a trade-off between Jose Calderon, Vince Carter, and Devin Harris. While this worked a good percentage of the time, it is not a way to win championships.
The last major point the Mavericks need to address is age. The average age of all the players on the Mavs roster is 30.3 years old making them the oldest team in the NBA. Vince Carter is 37, Dirk is 35, Jose Calderon is 32, and Shawn Marion is 36. The youngest consistent rotation player is Brandon Wright at 26, and Monta Ellis is the only starter under 30. The Mavs are in dire need of youth.
This offseason, the Dallas Mavericks have to bring in a player or combination of players that will fix these 3 glaring weaknesses in the team. I feel that the two best options for the team are to…
1. Sign Luol Deng through free agency to acquire a solid 3rd scoring option and a younger solid defender at small forward. If you can’t sign Luol Deng, try to acquire the restricted free agent Chandler Parsons who would be a perfect young 3rd scoring option.
2. Make a trade for Tyson Chandler, who will be the perfect defensive presence next to a defensively challenged Dirk Nowitzki (which as we have seen in the past works pretty well).
If the front office can pull off either one of these scenarios, along with the development of Jae Crowder and Shane Larkin, the Dallas Mavericks will be on a solid path back into the handful of teams capable of winning a championship. Hopefully this offseason, we make the moves that will bring the Larry O’Brien trophy back where it belongs within the near future.