For the Dallas Mavericks, bringing in a new roster has become routine practice since winning the NBA Championship in 2011. This upcoming season will be no different with the additions of Tyson Chandler, Raymond Felton, and the other players soon-to-be named as free agency takes it’s course.
In the three seasons since 2011, the Mavericks have two first round playoff losses and one .500 season to show for it. Things could be worse if it was not for their head coach Rick Carlisle providing the right guidance as players cut from different cloths try to make a decent looking quilt. Fans have endured the Lamar Odom, Eddie Curry, Mike James, Chris Kaman, and O.J. Mayo bad decisions all set in motion from Mark Cuban’s decision to not keep the championship team intact. A decision that we all hope will pay-off eventually, and hopefully soon.
In a quest to get younger, the Mavs tried to build the next wave of players through the draft. They lack of development from Jared Cunningham, Bernard James, Shane Larkin, and Jae Crowder have changed the minds of the front office. The added pressure of Dirk Nowitzki’s looming retirement play a big part of the new mindset also, maybe more than the later. The Mavs now look to add free agents with a “win now” mentality. For that, they started with familiar faces like Devin Harris and Tyson Chandler returning, along with adding Monta Ellis for a few years.
The Mavs have been active in recruiting top-tier free agents this offseason more than in seasons past. The short two-hour meeting with Carmelo Anthony was all business. The talk with LeBron James’ agent Richie Paul was the same. They have inquired about Houston Rocket Chandler Parsons, Isisah Thomas, and even Luol Deng in the hopes they will see the team’s seven game series with the NBA champion Spurs as a sign that they could be the one piece that is missing to move forward. The difference this offseason, is the availability of a magnitude of role players. With or without the more sought-after free agents agreeing to play here, the Mavs have the chance to build their best roster since 2011.
Talking with Rick Carlisle during the NBA finals gave the sense that the excitement about the possible options to rebuild permeates through the entire front office. For that, he should take most of the credit. No other coach historically has been able to duplicate the record that Carlisle had over the last three seasons with as much roster turnover. At least no other coaches come to mind.
At this point, they can keep a “wait-and-see” attitude next week. Once the shoe drops on where Melo and Bron-Bron will play next season everything else will work itself out. The Western Conference will be as competitive as always, so adding the best available will be critical.