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Early Projection: Dallas Mavericks All-Star Players Next Year

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Of the 17 years since Dirk Nowitzki’s debut with the Dallas Mavericks, the future hall of fame power forward has made 12 appearances as an All-Star. 13, including the one he’ll make this weekend. Tim MacMahon broke the news:

Only Steve Nash (twice in ’02 and ’03), Josh Howard and Jason Kidd have accompanied Dirk as an All-Star over that span making the narrative that the Lone Star State Mavericks are a lone star team even stronger, year after year. Unfortunately, the 36 year-old franchise player is not getting any younger.

That’s why owner Mark Cuban and GM Donnie Nelson have made some upgrades, bringing Monta Ellis, Chandler Parsons and Rajon Rondo in hope to add youthful exuberance and star power to the team. They also brought back Tyson Chandler to protect the rim behind their aging star.

Now then, it’s pretty obvious that projecting possible Maverick All-Stars for next year now would classify as “way too early”. But you love these kinds of stories so we will just jump in and give our opinion on which players are the most likely to make the team. Who are the candidates for Mavericks all-stars next year?

Technically to project this list, we must mention that Rondo, Monta, and Tyson may disrupt things by testing the free agency waters this off-season. But assuming Cuban is willing to spend his money on them (we know he would), our search for Mavs’ best player will move on.

Let’s start with our newest addition, Rajon Rondo. He’ll enter the off-season as unrestricted free agent. According to HoopsHype’s list, Goran Dragic is the only point guard more coveted on the market. We’re assuming that that Monta it’s going anywhere, and it’s hard to foresee Dragic playing back court mate with him. Thus, Rondo is our best option. The already four-time All-Star point guard is an excellent facilitator and sure would make a strong case to push for another appearance next year in Toronto. With that being said, he still needs to improve his atrocious shooting to a better number and continue to lock up the league’s point guards on a nightly basis.

Moving on to our next offensive star, Monta Ellis. Now Ellis could be a tricky one, as the continuous chatter from the community wanting to have him come off the bench in a Jason Terry-like role have gone through the roof. Sure, there are tons of great sixth men in league history. From Kevin McHale and Toni Kukoc, to Jamal Crawford and our own Jason Terry plus his headband. But since the millennium, only three players have won the Sixth Man of the Year while also having it translate into an All-Star appearance – Antawn Jamison, Manu Ginobili and James Harden.

But enough with James Harden. The good news is that Monta will always have it all.

See? Winning is all that matters for him. He may be the second highest scoring player in history that never got called up by the league to play in All-Star game, but as long as he keeps playing “Monta Basketball” under Rick Carlisle’s system, he’d continue to thrive no matter what.

Now we’re going to skip over to the guy in the middle, Tyson Chandler. When Tyson made his way back to Dallas, we knew what we would get from him. He fit with Dirk, he was a major defensive upgrade over Samuel Dalembert, he came home fresh after winning Defensive Player of the Year and his first All-Star game as a Knick.

But the truth tells lies to us. He has performed even better than the community was expecting. Tyson is clearly the most important and irreplaceable player for this year’s Mavericks. At 32 years young, he’s still in great shape, finishing above the rim, crashing the boards, setting terrific screens, barking at teammates, a being a complete interior defender for this team.

The odds of Chandler making his second trip to All-Star game next year, however, are pretty slim. Not only he would turn 33 this October, the Western Conference provides some big names on the front court place. And it is all but enough to close the case of Tyson representing Dallas Mavs in ASG.

Now onto another Chandler. Early in the season, there were signs of Chandler Parsons not living up to expectations of the $46 million contract. We’ve already seen him shoot the ball inconsistently, chucking up shot after shot. At one point in his first month playing 18 games for the Mavs, he shot a horrible 29 percent from deep. But to date, through 52 games, he has upped his 3-point range shooting to 37.5 percent and owns a respectable 15.6 points per game, a point lower than his last season with Houston.

Making the next season All-Star case for Parsons has never been so difficult. Sky’s the limit for the 26 years old. If he could get more of his pump fake and take it into the rim more often, there’s no reason not to see his points per game get better next year.

Finally, your Dirk Nowitzki. Raise your hand if you think 2015 NBA All-Star Game will be Dirk’s last. Nobody? Good.

It’s natural for sports fans to always root for their franchise player, especially one who will spend all of his professional career wearing just one uniform.

By the beginning of next year’s All-Star game, Dirk will be 37. Even so, we all know very well that Dirk will never stop scoring and being clutch. Who even knows what Dirk and Holger might do in the off-season. Adding an extra dimension to one-legged fadeaway, perhaps?

After considering all the text above, it shouldn’t be that surprising if nobody makes the cut for next year All-Star. Would that be a bad thing? Of course not. Think of 2004 Detroit Pistons team.

But this team needs a leader, and if it’s not coming from Dirk, then Monta Ellis is going to takeover the team starting next year.

Next: Best All-Star Moments in Maverick History

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