Should the Dallas Mavericks bring back Stephen Silas to run their offense?

Dallas Mavericks, Stephen Silas
Dallas Mavericks, Stephen Silas / Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

The Dallas Mavericks are coming off a disappointing season where they shockingly missed the playoffs for the first time since Luka Doncic’s rookie season. Dallas was in the conference finals in 2022, and fourth in the Western Conference in February before winning just seven of their final 25 games to finish six games under .500.

The Mavs want to build a title contender around number 77, and the pressure on the organization is building. They must improve their roster this summer. Dallas traded their best defender, a starter in the backcourt, and three draft picks for Kyrie Irving before things fell apart. Irving gives the Mavericks a second star, but they need defense, rebounding, and shot-making flanking their elite duo.

The Mavs should not stop at roster improvements. Fans have been quick to blame head coach Jason Kidd for the team’s struggles, but owner Mark Cuban made it clear that the Hall of Fame point guard will be back next season. The organization could upgrade Kidd's staff by bringing back Stephen Silas, but should they?

Should the Dallas Mavericks bring back Stephen Silas to run their offense?

Luka Doncic is an elite offense on his own. The 24-year-old is one of the best shot-creators in the world, and he finished second in the league in scoring this season. Doncic can get buckets, and the Mavericks had the sixth-highest offensive rating in the league in 2023. Their offensive rating improved after the Kyrie Irving trade, but they finished tenth from Feb. 8 to the end of the season as all of the top offensives picked it up down the stretch.

Silas was an assistant for two decades, including two seasons with the Mavericks, before taking over as the Rockets' head coach in 2020. He thought he was going to coach James Harden and Russell Westbrook, but ended up stewarding a full-scale rebuild. The Rockets had one of the league’s youngest teams over his three years as head coach, and they won just 59 games. Silas was let go after the regular season ended, and he figures to be searching for a top assistant role next season.

Silas was the Mavs offensive coordinator in 2020 when they had one of the highest offensive ratings of all time. They led the league by 2.6 points per 100 possessions, and Luka was in arguably the best shape of his career. It was a special offense that the late Jonathan Tjarks profiled here.

One area the Mavericks struggled under Silas was late in games, and that is still a problem for Dallas. They must find a way to improve their clutch offense this offseason. Could bringing back a familiar voice help Luka? Could Silas unlock another aspect of Luka's game that helps Doncic take his team to new heights?

The Mavs used plenty of guard-guard pick and rolls when Silas was in Dallas, which would be even more dangerous with Kyrie Irving playing next to Doncic. The play was outstanding in the brief sample this season, but the Mavericks did not use it enough. Silas could unlock it, and take the current Mavs offense back to the top of the league.

The Dallas Mavericks would have to drop someone from their current staff to bring back Stephen Silas, which seems unlikely. Sean Sweeney is the defensive coordinator and head coach Jason Kidd’s top assistant. Greg St. Jean and Jared Dudley are two of the best young coaches in the league. The Mavs parted ways with offensive coordinator Igor Kokoskov after Jason Kidd’s first season, so they could be open to adding someone in that role to their mix.

Stephen Silas deserves another opportunity with a contending team, and the Dallas Mavericks should bring him back if he is interested in a reunion. Will they make the change? Stay tuned to see where coach Silas ends up next season.  

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