The Dallas Mavericks Are Finally Getting Younger
The Dallas Mavericks might have missed out on their initial targets, but they are turning to the fountain of youth to fill out the rest of the roster.
The Mavericks are entering their sixth summer since they raised the banner back in 2011. A sixth summer where chasing big free agents was the goal and a sixth summer of missing out on the biggest names available.
But even though Dallas always misses out, they seem to always rebound nicely and field a team around Dirk Nowitzki that is competitive enough to challenge for a playoff spot.
Usually, Dallas will settle for a couple of second tier free agents to fill out the starting unit and then fill out the rest of the roster with veteran players that can contribute immediately off the bench. Using the veteran minimum, bringing in veteran players just past their prime has been the norm.
Names such as Charlie Villanueva, Amare Stoudemire, Derek Fisher, Elton Brand and Richard Jefferson are all names that come to mind over the past couple of years.
But things are changing in Dallas.
First off, look at the three multiple-year contracts (besides Nowitzki) that Dallas has handed out so far this offseason. Harrison Barnes (24-years old) signed a max, four-year deal with the Mavs. Dallas also decided to keep their young, athletic 24-year old forward Dwight Powell on a four-year deal.
Then, in possibly replacing the 32-year old Raymond Felton off the bench, Dallas signed the 25-year old Seth Curry to a two-year deal.
But the roster youth cleansing didn’t stop there as Dallas was determined to add more roster spots for younger opportunities.
Dallas traded off Jeremy Evans in a salary cap dump to the Indiana Pacers and then waived JaVale McGee to create two more roster spots. Two veterans who could have been back on a cheap cap number, but was let go for extra roster space.
So after the Barnes, Curry, Powell, Hammons, Nowitzki, and Deron Williams signings, along with the Andrew Bogut trade, Dallas sat at 12 guaranteed contracts. This means three roster spots are up for grabs and eight more camp invites for the fall.
Once again, instead of signing a veteran on the market for the vet min, Dallas signed two 23-year old wings in Nicolas Brussino and Dorian Finney-Smith.
With a Las Vegas Summer League team that is full of names people know, roster spots and camp invites are up for grabs.
Cuban is making it very clear that this roster is going to be full of young talent and opportunity, something that has not always been the case in the past. At the current rate, Dallas could have over half of their 15 man roster under the age of 25.
Realistically, the chances of Dallas being put in the same category as teams like the Warriors and Cavaliers are slim, so why not fill out the rest of the roster with younger talent in hopes of finding a next cornerstone?
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The turn towards youth has been something that fans have been crying for many years. Even though it isn’t high draft picks, adding younger talent to the roster is still beneficial in the long run. You never know when you are going to find the next Wesley Matthews.