The Dallas Mavericks are trying to build an annual title contender around superstar Luka Doncic, but they dropped from 12th to 13th in ESPN’s yearly future power rankings (subscription required). The list attempts to project success over the next three seasons. Luka is likely to be the best player in the NBA during that run, so why are the Mavs so low?
Dallas ranked 12th or lower in each of the five categories. They were 15th in players behind the Hawks, Suns, Heat, and Raptors. Fans could argue that having Luka should put the Mavs ahead of all of those teams, but the roster around the 23-year-old superstar is just not good enough.
Here is a look at where the Mavs could and should improve between now and the release of the list in 2023.
How can Dallas Mavericks improve in ESPN’s future power rankings?
The Mavs have upside in management. They are currently 12th, but general manager Nico Harrison has done well in the trade market since taking over in 2021. Harrison could vault up the list if he continues to make trades like sending Kristaps Porzingis to Washington for Spencer Dinwiddie.
Dallas is 16th in money and tied for 21st in draft capital. This is where the Mavs should improve the most over the next year. The Mavs owe their 2023 first-round pick to the New York Knicks with a top ten protection. That pick should convey this year, and that will leave Dallas with all of the future picks available to trade.
The Maverick might dip in the draft capital because Harrison will instantly look to trade for a second star. Dallas wants to maximize their roster around superstar Luka Doncic, and giving him a second star to play next to is the fastest way to accomplish that.
Dallas cannot improve in the market category, but they have room for growth in the other four areas ESPN looks at for this list. The Mavericks need to if they want to keep Luka Doncic in a Mavericks uniform for his entire career. Will they do it? Stay tuned to find out.