The Dallas Mavericks are one of the most underrated teams in the NBA right now. They had lofty expectations coming into the season, but COVID issues and injuries were behind a slow start. Since Feb. 2, Luka Doncic has led the Mavs to 32 wins in 47 games. That winning percentage would be third in the Western Conference if they produced it for the entire season.
The Mavericks are fighting to avoid the play-in tournament over the final week of the regular season. They are two games ahead of the seventh-seeded Los Angeles Lakers with four to play. Only the top six in each conference advance directly to the playoffs. Teams seven through ten must take part in the play-in tournament. Find out more about the play-in here.
Looking beyond this season, the Mavs have one of the premier talents in the league. Luka gives them an enormous ceiling, so why did they slip in ESPN’s Future Power Rankings (subscription required)? Let us take a closer, before determining if they got it correct.
Dallas Mavericks fall to tenth in ESPN’s Future Power Rankings
The Mavs slide from sixth to tenth in this year’s version of the rankings. It comes as a bit of a surprise as Dallas made minimal moves in the offseason. They swapped Seth Curry for Josh Richardson and a second round. The Mavericks have the cap space this summer to make a splash, but there are questions about the long-term health of Kristaps Porzingis.
ESPN also released the scores in each category (subscription required) of their Future Power Rankings. It was surprising to see the Mavs below the Grizzlies and Hawks in the “Players” category. Dallas was hurt by its lack of future draft capital too. They ranked 26th in that category.
The Dallas Mavericks should be ranked higher and have a ton of upward mobility. Luka Doncic is already a top-five player in the NBA as a 22-year-old. The Mavs need to put the pieces around him to jump into title contention.
It will take some maneuvering this offseason. Can Mark Cuban and Donnie Nelson pull off another blockbuster trade? Will the Mavericks sign a third star in free agency? Stay tuned because a massive offseason lies ahead for the organization.