Dallas Mavericks: Zach Lowe believes Mavs may be next team with a “Big Three”

By Kohl Rast
Dallas Mavericks Luka Doncic Copyright 2019 NBAE (Photo by Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE via Getty Images)
Dallas Mavericks Luka Doncic Copyright 2019 NBAE (Photo by Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE via Getty Images) /

The NBA has fallen away from the “Big Three” model of team building for the time being, with a plethora of teams opting into the “Big Two with depth” lineup. The Dallas Mavericks are among those teams.

The change in the league from a team based around three star players (or five if you are Golden State) into a balanced league with no more than two stars on any particular team is a really fascinating change. Over the past several seasons, it was a foregone conclusion that the Warriors were the best team in the league because of the number of stars they had.

Now, there are a number of teams that have what could be considered a “Big Two”. The Dallas Mavericks are among those teams, and even more important than that, they are setup completely different while having the same idea behind the team. Let me explain.

The Dallas Mavericks stars are younger than any other team’s stars across the league. Luka Doncic is 20 years old and Kristaps Porzingis is 23. There are a couple teams that have a star under the age of 25, but none that have two.

The Mavs are also in a unique situation in that Kristaps Porzingis is coming off his rookie deal and Luka is still on his rookie deal. This means that the Mavs likely have the smallest amount of money going towards their two stars from any team in the league. This leads to some of the flexibility that Zach Lowe talks about in his piece for ESPN.

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In the piece, Lowe talks about how the financial situation for the Mavericks is a key reason they may go seeking for another star to join the team in the summer of 2021. This would be the last possible summer for the Mavs to do it as they would need to pay Luka the next year. If they were able to get another star, they could still pay Luka thanks to Bird Rights.

The other side of things is that Luka and KP could very easily show a third star how good they could be together if they show up in a big way this season like we expect them to. Good players on bad teams usually want to get to a place where they can compete for a title. The Mavericks are an exciting looking team, but most people need proof that these two can be who they should be together.

Once that is proven, don’t be surprised to see some good players more interested in signing with Dallas.

The one part about Lowe’s piece that I disagree with is his evaluation of the Mavs supporting cast. He talks about how the Mavs decided to pay a handful of players what it would have cost to pay one star. The guys he mentions are Seth Curry, Maxi Kleber, Dwight Powell, Delon Wright and Dorian Finney-Smith.

He says that even if they meet expectations, the Mavs will still never be competing for a title with that core of guys around Luka and KP. I think that undersells both what those guys are capable of as well as how good Luka and KP can become together over time. I’m not sure that they will ever compete for anything with this team, but if they did hit their potential, this team could be very, very good.

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The Mavs could very well be the next team to land a big three in the league, making them immediate contenders for a title. If that does happen, however, it won’t be for another couple years.