Free Agency: How Can Dallas Become An Optimal Landing Spot?

By Emmanuel Dixon
Oct 28, 2016; Dallas, TX, USA; A general view of fans entering the arena before the game between the Dallas Mavericks and the Houston Rockets at the American Airlines Center. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports
Oct 28, 2016; Dallas, TX, USA; A general view of fans entering the arena before the game between the Dallas Mavericks and the Houston Rockets at the American Airlines Center. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports /
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The Dallas Mavericks have never been a place that free agents really want to go to. Are there things the Mavs can do to change that?

“It’s not you, it’s me.”

Have you ever been told this by someone you’ve gone all out to court? The blow from that gut check is incomparable. Unfortunately for the Dallas Mavericks, this has become an annual occurrence.

Spurned year after year by big name free agents, Dallas has become infamous for missing on their attempts to lure in top talent every offseason. Dwight Howard, Chris Paul, and even the extremely likable Mike Conley have all told the Mavs “thanks, but no thanks.”

You can read more about the aforementioned woes here. What more can we say? What more can we do? Here are a few ideas to help change the Mavs’ fortune:

Dec 16, 2016; Salt Lake City, UT, USA; Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban reacts during the first half against the Utah Jazz at Vivint Smart Home Arena. Mandatory Credit: Russ Isabella-USA TODAY Sports
Dec 16, 2016; Salt Lake City, UT, USA; Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban reacts during the first half against the Utah Jazz at Vivint Smart Home Arena. Mandatory Credit: Russ Isabella-USA TODAY Sports /

Less Is More, Mr. Cuban

Wait, put down the pitchfork, just follow me for a second. Listen, Mark Cuban is an amazing owner who will stop at absolutely no length to put his team in a winning situation. His loyalty to the front office, players and the entire city of Dallas should never be in question.

That loyalty doesn’t go unnoticed. Matter-of-factly, it’s reciprocated by the Mavericks organization and Mavs fans all around. However, it’s the rest of the league that doesn’t seem to care much for Mr. Cuban and his outspokenness.

The opinionated billionaire and business mogul is no stranger to controversial hot takes and calling out opponents and/or league officials. Cuban has never been one to hold punches when defending his squad. Consequently, he’s ruffled quite a few feathers around the league.

It’s one thing to be considered by a free agent but not chosen. It’s another story to be avoided altogether due to disdain towards our owner.

Should Cuban become the owner that’s seen and not heard? No. Should he suck up to opponents and the league? Absolutely not. Perhaps, however, a realization that today’s opponents are tomorrow’s free agency targets would help. After all, perception is reality, for some.

Free The Young Guys, On Purpose

The 2016-2017 NBA season saw an influx in playing time for the younger portion of the Mavs roster. Of course, that wasn’t until the second half of the season. At that point, the usual stable of vets were either injury-ridden or no longer on the roster.

It would not be out of reason to suggest that the late push for a youth movement wasn’t intentional. In a sense, coach Carlisle’s hand was forced. All he was left to work with was a slew of young, unproven talent.

Feb 24, 2017; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Dallas Mavericks guard Yogi Ferrell (11) helps up guard Seth Curry (30) in the third quarter against the Minnesota Timberwolves at Target Center. The Minnesota Timberwolves beat the Dallas Mavericks 97-84. Mandatory Credit: Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports
Feb 24, 2017; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Dallas Mavericks guard Yogi Ferrell (11) helps up guard Seth Curry (30) in the third quarter against the Minnesota Timberwolves at Target Center. The Minnesota Timberwolves beat the Dallas Mavericks 97-84. Mandatory Credit: Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports /

Much to the delight of Mavs fans, that wasn’t such a bad thing. In the midst of a bleak, disappointment of a season, Seth Curry and Yogi Ferrell turned things around. The two guards put together an impressive run post-trade deadline, resulting in the resurrection of playoffs hopes.

The addition of defensive-minded Nerlens Noel created a trio of hope for the Mavericks organization. Who knows how the season would turn out with an entire year of young players being trusted and utilized?

Now if you’re a top-notch free agent, who would you rather play with – a young nucleus of talented players or long-in-the-tooth veterans?

Next: 2017 NBA Draft: Three Players that Won't Be There at 9

Just opinions here. Only time will tell if and how the Mavericks break out of their free agency slump.

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