Positive Outlook on the Dallas Mavericks Free Agency


If you’re like me, you are sick of hearing, reading, and following the infamous ‘change of heart’ from DeAndre Jordan. As a Dallas Mavericks fan, of course I was devastated to hear that Jordan had potentially, single-handedly forced Dirk Nowitzki and the Mavs into a rebuild for the foreseeable future.

This was the mindset I held after hearing the indecision from Jordan; well aware at that point that Mark Cuban wasn’t going to admit a rebuild, yet worried it was going to happen regardless.

Accepting this fate was not something I was ready to do with my optimistic attitude, so instead I chose to look at the positive effects of the DAJ flip-flop this offseason.

A major impact that DeAndre created with the Mavericks was bringing in a high caliber player in Wesley Matthews. Matthews, Jordan, and Chandler Parsons all met up before the free agency period began and kicked around the idea of playing together in Dallas.

Even though Matthews decided to stay after Jordan dropped out, we can still infer that the reason he initially chose Dallas was to build a championship level team around these three players.

More from The Smoking Cuban

In the shadow of the Clippers swooping in to reclaim Jordan, Dallas also added a player named Zaza Pachulia. Now one interesting thing you’ll learn about me is that I am a big fan of European born players. I love the way they play and have followed many of their careers closely over the years. That being said, I already knew a bit about the 12-year veteran Pachulia, and, I’ve got to say, he is a great addition to our team.

Don’t believe me? Well let’s look at the numbers a little bit because Pachulia did much better statistically than many recognize. Aside from points, rebounds, and assists, the NBA also keeps a statistic known as Real Plus/Minus (RPM), which takes a player’s combined estimated offensive and defensive performance measured in points scored/allowed per 100 possessions.

Zaza Pachulia is number 16 in the entire NBA for RPM with a rating of 4.80, including a 3.42 rating on the defensive end. To put that into perspective, we could compare his ratings to DeAndre Jordan (4.46/2.43) and Tyson Chandler (4.58/3.54). Although Pachulia may be a stark contrast to these two physically, it’s clear that he does have value as a center in the NBA.

Mar 5, 2015; Portland, OR, USA; Portland Trail Blazers guard Wesley Matthews (2) shoots over Dallas Mavericks at Moda Center at the Rose Quarter. Mandatory Credit: Jaime Valdez-USA TODAY Sports

Wesley Matthews also touched on an important point when he signed with the Mavericks. Shortly after the dust had settled, Matthews stated, “We want people that want to be here and people that believe in what can happen here.”

I love the loyalty that Wes Matthews already brings to the team despite having been a Maverick for mere hours at that point. That devotion and determination will not only positively affect the locker room and the way the team gels together behind the scenes, but will also affect the on court performance and the energy and enthusiasm of the Dallas fans.

Loyalty to Dallas has always been a strong indicator of how the players perform for the team, and when loyalty isn’t a factor, you end up with public enemies like Rajon Rondo, Lamar Odom, and Derek Fisher.

Myself, and the rest of the Mavericks faithful are still naturally upset, but I say that our team is fully invested in the coming years and that we as a fan base should do all that we can to show our investment to our team in return.

Next: Mavericks Reserves: Who is the best of the bunch?

More from The Smoking Cuban