Think about the last “big fish” the Dallas Mavericks have signed, and don’t say Monta Ellis. Go ahead; I’ll give you some time.
It’s hard to think about isn’t it?
Year after year when the NBA offseason begins and free agency opens up, Dallas is always one of the eager teams to make moves early. To many outsiders it may seem like the Mavericks fail at landing one top-notch player (Deron Williams, Dwight Howard), and I understand how that can be taken as a loss, but in the grand scheme of things it’s not.
Yes, when Dallas was unable to convince Deron Williams to take his talents to the Lone Star state, the organization didn’t have a solid backup plan, signing players like O.J Mayo and Chris Kaman. That following season the Mavericks went an even .500 and failed to make the playoffs for the first time since the 1999-2000 season.
After that, owner Mark Cuban vowed to make the team better and a year later the Mavericks were in the same position to land a big player, but lost out to the Houston Rockets. This time it was different, because there was a legitimate Plan B.
With the signing of Monta Ellis and Jose Calderon, and bringing back Devin Harris to run the backcourt with them. The Mavs also signed Sam Dalembert, Wayne Ellington, Dejuan Blair, and resigned Brandan Wright to complete the offseason. The team put themselves in a position to be one of the deadliest offensive teams in the league.
If Dallas would’ve landed Dwight or Deron, that wouldn’t leave much cap space to sign anyone else leaving the Mavs stuck with pieces that wouldn’t help the team. So in a strange way, it actually benefited the Mavericks by not getting those big names.
Having the luxury of an elite coach like Rick Carlisle, you can get the same production of a first tier player, with a second tier players (Ex: Monta Ellis, Tyson Chandler, Jason Terry, etc.)
It also proved to work in 2011 when Dallas hoisted the championship trophy, because aside from Dirk and Jason Kidd, and Jason Terry, none of the players on the roster were considered top-tier players by anyone. Then, it almost worked again this year when the Mavs gave the NBA Champions a scare in the first round, proving to be the NBA champion San Antonio Spurs’ toughest competition.
Now, shifting our focus to this offseason, Dallas has a few big decisions to make. There’s quite a bit of players that can instantly add to the Mavs roster not named Carmelo Anthony. Although Anthony has expressed interest in Dallas, what are the chances he’ll end up there, and will the Mavs still be able to sign another piece, preferably a center?
Dallas is 0-2 in these situations and given the past history it’s better off that the Mavericks start to put their Plan B into action right now.