3 reasons for Dallas Mavericks fans to stay optimistic about the future

Dallas Mavericks, Luka Doncic
Dallas Mavericks, Luka Doncic / Tom Pennington/GettyImages

There are plenty of reasons to be down on the Dallas Mavericks now following a crushing 127-126 loss to the forever-middling Wizards that dropped Dallas to 25-24 on the season.

No draft pick this year. An old roster with little upside. A lack of flexibility when it comes to cap space. Baffling defensive problems from a team that was a top-10 defense just last season. These are all completely valid reasons for frustration.

However, the season is long. That may mean a prolonging of pain, but there are still plenty of reasons to be optimistic as a Mavs fan besides Luka Doncic’s MVP campaign. Let’s take a deep breath and look at some of them to understand why things are not all doom and gloom.

Yes, the Dallas Mavericks have some youth

On a team full of role players who all seem to be approaching or have already hit their 30s, two young gems shine on the team. Josh Green and Jaden Hardy continue to glimmer as two pieces that could age with Doncic as part of the Mavericks’ future.

Green especially seems to have taken the step that many were hoping he would before the season. After disappointing in the playoffs, Green has become one of the better and most versatile players for Dallas this season. He’s averaging a career-high in points at 7.6 on a crazy 69.4 percent effective field goal percentage.

It’s sure to come down at some point, especially if his role increases, but Green has proven himself as an NBA player.

Hardy on the other hand is literally a walking bucket. On a team that lacks players with solid handles and creative finishing, the rookie shines as the team's third-best driver. He’s not quite ready to play playoff minutes and his 3-point shot isn’t there yet, but he’s definitely shown more than one would expect from a second-round pick.

Still opportunity for Dallas Mavericks in the West

Yes, Dallas has shown a puzzling (or not so puzzling) inability to consistently beat teams that it should be better than. Standings-wise though, it hasn’t quite caught up to them yet.

At 25-24, the Mavericks at the sixth spot are still out of the play-in tournament, despite being nearly .500. The West this year is simply soft in the middle, with multiple teams hovering around the 24 to 26 loss range.

A pessimistic person would say that the Mavs could soon be out of even the play-in if this skid continues. An optimist such as myself though, says that Dallas could easily finish within the top five if they make a push and figure some things out. It might seem unlikely, but the Mavericks have been missing Christian Wood for the last couple of games, and making a push in a weaker West is not out of the question.

Regardless of a push though…

A brighter future ahead for the Dallas Mavericks

A championship is likely not on the cards for the Mavs this season. Even with Doncic’s ability to be the best player in any given playoff series, it will probably be too much on his plate to handle.

Why is this a reason to be optimistic? Because Doncic’s new contract just started this year. If he was three years in on his extension and the Mavericks still looked like this, there would definitely be cause for concern.

But he’s not, and after the 2023 NBA Draft, the Mavericks will finally have recovered from the Kristaps Porzingis trade. It’ll open them up to the ability to build through the draft and potentially find a second star via trade.

Wasting a Doncic season of this caliber is disappointing, no doubt about it, but if he’s what we think he is, our Slovenian superstar has not reached his peak just yet.

The Dallas Mavericks have messed up some great Luka Doncic years with some head-scratching moves. Regardless, the opportunity for the franchise to redeem itself is upcoming. It may be foolish to believe in an organization that hasn’t given much reason for faith thus far, but what is a fan if not a foolish believer?

Next. Ranking Mavs trade assets from peanuts to blockbusters. dark