After a forgetful first round performance in the Western Conference playoffs that I’m sure most would like to forget, much of the same questions remain for the Mavericks as they enter the offseason again with so much uncertainty, with the biggest question mark being at the point guard position.
While much attention is centered around the small potential of Dallas signing LaMarcus Aldridge or Deandre Jordan, what everyone should be paying attention to is who will be point guard next season. The Mavs haven’t had a stable point guard who could direct traffic on the court since 2012 with Jason Kidd running the show, and since then Dallas has had three different point guards in the past three seasons (Darren Collison, Jose Calderon and Rajon Rondo).
The constant shuffling at the guard position plays a big role in chemistry, which this team has been lacking in the past couple seasons. This season proved that now more than ever Dallas needs a strong leader to run point who will be able to mesh well with head coach Rick Carlisle as well as the other four guys on the court.
The Rajon Rondo experiment clearly didn’t pan out well, and now the Mavs must answer the same question for the fourth-straight summer who will be the starting point guard?
Right now the point guards Dallas has on its roster are Devin Harris, JJ Barea and Raymond Felton, who is exercising his player option for the upcoming season to stay with Dallas. None of these options are exactly appealing for Dallas despite Barea’s ability to step up during the playoffs when needed.
Unfortunately for Dallas the point guard position isn’t exactly glimmering with exciting names this summer, with Goran Dragic being the best available, but he is expected to re-sign with Miami. So, the next best option which I’m sure Mark Cuban hates is getting a solid PG in the draft who can play now.
This year the draft is really deep with a lot of hidden gems who don’t go to Kentucky, and with the Mavericks having the No. 21 pick in the first round there’s a decent shot of them landing reigning National Champion Tyus Jones from Duke. Jones is a freshman, which is a little pause for concern considering he just turned 19 nine days ago, but he averaged 11 points and five assists while scoring 23 points in the title game to lead Duke to a win over Wisconsin during March Madness.
There is no telling if Jones would be an immediate contributor should he fall to Dallas in the draft, especially considering how adamant Carlisle is about playing young players. Carlisle might have to change his philosophy for this season, because I don’t think Dallas will be a legitimate contender if Harris, Barea or Felton are their only options at point guard.
Dallas needs to fill the point guard position before they look to lure Aldridge or Jordan to Dallas, because if the Mavs don’t have a solid point guard they can forget signing either of them. Why would Aldridge leave Damian Liilard, or Jordan leave Chris Paul to come into an uncertain situation? Sure, the idea of playing in front of an amazing home crowd and playing with a future Hall of Famer in Dirk is appealing, but let’s face it the Mavs need to bolster their roster before they try and go for the big fish.
It’s hard to say if Dallas’ point guard woes will be answered this summer, but the Mavericks need to address the problem sooner rather than later otherwise it will be another season of instability.