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Dallas Mavericks: Star or Stud as the Starting Four?

Apr 2, 2017; Milwaukee, WI, USA; Dallas Mavericks forward Harrison Barnes (40) reacts after scoring a basket in the fourth quarter against the Milwaukee Bucks at BMO Harris Bradley Center. The Mavericks won 109-105. Mandatory Credit: Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports
Apr 2, 2017; Milwaukee, WI, USA; Dallas Mavericks forward Harrison Barnes (40) reacts after scoring a basket in the fourth quarter against the Milwaukee Bucks at BMO Harris Bradley Center. The Mavericks won 109-105. Mandatory Credit: Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports /
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Who should start for the Dallas Mavericks at power forward next season? Here’s a comparison between Dirk Nowitzki and Harrison Barnes.

It’s the offseason, and the Mavericks are getting ready for yet another exciting year in free agency.

As the focus on a starting PG shifts from fan to organization alike, there are still underlining questions on next year’s starting squad. Nerlens Noel is a definite focus to be signed. But, you wonder who will start this next season at power forward? Dirk or Harrison? Here’s my opinion.

Harrison Barnes (19.2 PPG, 5.0 RPG, 1.5 APG) – STUD 

Okay, so maybe the numbers don’t suggest the STUD-type numbers you see from LeBron and  KD, but Barnes can only get better.

This guy showed us what he could actually do placed in the starting role. He’s quick, agile, and he’s not afraid to pull up or penetrate to the basket. You’re thankful for a guy like him. He appreciates the opportunity and shows it by his game on the court.

Assuming that Noel signs in the offseason, you have a potential one-two punch near the goal. Two athletic guys who can help spread the ball not only outside, but inside as well. It would be nice to see a bunch of quick dishes to the basket, or outlet passes for an open three. With time, Harrison can be a force on the team.

Hopefully, he’s placed around a young, productive roster he can build with in the future.

Dirk Nowitzki (14.2 PPG, 6.5 RPG, 1.5 APG) – STAR

There’s really nothing negative you can say about Dirk. He’s a legend, he’s exciting, he’s entertaining. The only bad side is that Father Time never loses a battle, and with Dirk coming into his 20th year, there’s really not much more production we will be able to see.

Don’t get me wrong, Dirk can light up a team any given night. He is unguardable. You truly can’t defend his turn around jumper and leaving him open is a death sentence. If you are not careful, Dirk will move past you to the basket for an easy lay up.

Yes, Dirk’s best years are behind him, but he’s still a dangerous threat every time he steps on the court. With the right pieces around him, Dirk could help spread the floor for guys like Seth, Yogi and Wes.

So who starts?

My gut says Harrison Barnes.

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Not simply based off these stats, but looking towards the future. Harrison Barnes will benefit the most by playing alongside his future running mates for years to come. Seth Curry, Harrison Barnes, Yogi Ferrell, Nerlens Noel plus a few more young guys gives you a core that has potential to make noise.

But, you don’t exclude Dirk out the equation. Dirk could simply play 6th man. With this, you realize that you have some type of scoring threat coming off the bench that will (AGAIN) open up the floor.

Dirk playing in the 6th man role reminds me of Jordan Crawford for the LA Clippers. He is a dangerous guy who can put up points when he’s in the game. He’ll be able to maintain the flow of the offense and defense when necessary. He’ll be more healthy with a reduction of minutes.

Next: Gauging the Free Agent Market for Power Forwards

Although it’s unfortunate that we don’t see ‘Vintage Dirk’ like the yesteryears, we still see the glimpse of his greatness. With a young Barnes carrying the majority load, Dirk can council, coach and mentor Barnes as he hands the reigns to the next man in charge.

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