After bringing back their 2011 defensive anchor, Tyson Chandler, the bar was raised for the Dallas Mavericks this free agency.
Prior to locking up Dirk Nowitzki for three more seasons, the Mavericks entered the offseason with around $26 million in cap space to play around with. Now with Nowitzki signed, the team is left with an estimated $16 million to improve the roster.
Despite being linked to the likes of Luol Deng, Trevor Ariza, Chandler Parsons, and Isaiah Thomas, the team has once again put all of its efforts into signing the “Big Fish”. You know, the same “Big Fish” they’ve struck out on over the last two seasons – Deron Williams and Dwight Howard.
They’ve met with Carmelo Anthony and are waiting on his decision. The team has spoken with LeBron James‘ agent and hopes to crack the top three, so they can just have the opportunity to sell the NBA’s best player on playing in Big D.
While obvious you have to chase the elite level talents, the Mavs must not forget the big picture.
Improving the roster!
It’s day four of free agency and the Mavericks have yet to show anything of it Potential contributors – Shaun Livingston, Jodie Meeks, C.J. Miles and Thabo Sefolosha – have already inked deals. The starting point guard and small forward positions are vacant and Nowitzki still needs a backup. While free agency as a whole has been quiet, the Mavs need to make moves.
Once Anthony and James determine their futures, the frenzy is expected to begin, but will the Mavs be behind the curve? Have they put all their eggs in one basket and are now at a point where they are out of contention for Ariza and Deng?
Anthony is expected to make his chose this weekend, but there’s not guarantee he will. James’ decision may drag on past July 10th (when teams are allowed to officially sign players). At this point, every day and every hour is valuable.
So, now do the Mavs wait out this process, risking to strike out on other key names and getting stuck with Evan Turner and Raymond Felton in the starting lineup as they swing for the fences? Or, do they take the conservative rout and go for the singles (Al-Farouq Aminu/Mario Chalmers), doubles (Deng/Ariza), and maybe even triple (Isaiah Thomas/Lance Stephenson), while retaining Devin Harris, Vince Carter, and/or DeJuan Blair?
It’s a tough decision, but one that needs to be made, and preferably soon. If the Mavs believe they truly have a shot on landing these franchise changing players the more power to them, as they’ll most likely have to move Brandan Wright in the process to make it happen. But if they know their chances are slim and unlikely, they are better served to admit they once again have failed in their pursuit of a super star and quickly change their plan.