Dallas Mavericks: Organic growth over wild trade scenarios

Dallas Mavericks Dennis Smith Jr. Luka Docic Copyright 2018 NBAE (Photo by Glenn James/NBAE via Getty Images)
Dallas Mavericks Dennis Smith Jr. Luka Docic Copyright 2018 NBAE (Photo by Glenn James/NBAE via Getty Images) /

The Dallas Mavericks should use the Minnesota Timberwolves case a lesson in the dangers of bending players until it negatively impacts team chemistry.

NBA draft day in 2017 was full of intrigue and hope, per usual for the world’s most active sport’s league. The Dallas Mavericks selected Dennis Smith Jr. in the lottery that evening. The Bulls trading Jimmy Butler to the Minnesota Timberwolves being the biggest pop of the night, seeing the hard-nosed all-star reunite with a like-minded coach in Tom Thibodeau was a beautiful moment.

Butler’s no-nonsense approach to the game would take young star Karl-Anthony Towns and potential all-star wing Andrew Wiggins to new heights. At least, that’s how it was proposed at the moment. Another sad case of the potential being greater than the outcome.

Life comes at you fast.

Per reports from The Athletic’s Shams Charania and Jon Krawczynski,  Butler asked for a trade during the meeting he scheduled with Tom Thibodeau and put forth a list of three teams his eyes are set on. His targets are the Los Angeles Clippers, New York Knicks, and Brooklyn Nets.

As far as the Dallas Mavericks are concerned, the future is set with Dennis Smith Jr. and Luka Doncic slated as the franchise cornerstones. However, with all of the hoopla surrounding fantasy trades and signings, a “need” for adding another veteran star to the mix is in the air. There is something to be said about organic growth over chasing giants only to stunt team chemistry.

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Society is all about microwave results. We as people, with our in-your-palm access to the world’s issues and news, won’t accept being told to wait. Mark Cuban said the rebuild is over, although quite frankly, it didn’t feel like the rebuild ever commenced. We are only two years removed from Dallas being in the playoffs.

Don’t let aggregated reports of trade news give you this false sense of necessity regarding a player acquisition. Not to say Jimmy Butler wouldn’t be a great fit in Dallas with championship level coach Rick Carlisle, but it’s more to focus on the precious first few seasons in the league for their franchise players.

As much as fans want the Mavericks playing basketball beyond April, personal development trumps risking it all, just for it to blow up in their face. For years, finding a superstar in free agency was Mark Cuban’s focus, while simultaneously wasting Dirk Nowitzki’s post-championship career. With Nowitzki’s career coming to an end soon, the consistent reckless approach of going all in from the front office is fading away.

Superstars or not, Dallas has its core.

DSJ and Doncic are in an enviable position for young prospects in the league. Mavericks’ fans are hungry for exciting basketball, and of course playoff success, but ultimately they want reasons to attend the games. Pressure from local and national media is nonexistent. Optimism is the theme of the city. Dallas is thirsty for fresh faces to take the once playoff-expected franchise back to league relevancy.

In the time being, let them mature into suitable franchise players without adding unnecessary stipulations, such as roster-corroding trades. Besides, DSJ and Doncic have Harrison Barnes and Nowitzki for veteran leadership. For every trade proposal you humor, remind yourself of all the damage the unknown did to the Mavericks post-2011.

For the first time in what seems like ages, the Dallas Mavericks have certainty beyond this season. There is no emphasis on chasing unlikely-to-sign free agents to build around. Dallas has security in its roster. Any player added to the mix at this point shouldn’t involve shaking up Dallas’ core.

ESPN’s trade machine is a fun exercise. Most people forget the keyword: fun. Enjoy this roster and stop obsessing over aggregated reports of trade rumors involving the Mavericks.

Dallas fans are no longer deprived of excitement. Dennis Smith Jr. and Luka Doncic are everything you need for now.

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Pressure is inevitable in competition, for the meantime, enjoy the easy-going moments of their careers.