The annual NBA GM Survey was released a few days ago and it appears most GMs are weary of the Dallas Mavericks' potential success.
According to the NBA GM Survey, the Mavs tied for second under the category: "Which team’s level of success this season is toughest to predict?"
Dallas received thirteen percent of the vote, tied with the Oklahoma City Thunder for second place. The team that received the most votes, the Philadelphia 76ers, was likely projected as the toughest team to predict due to star guard James Harden's offseason trade request.
NBA GMs are doubters of the Dallas Mavericks according to recent survey
Although Harden did report to training camp, trade talks are still ongoing between the 76ers and Harden's preferred destination, the Los Angeles Clippers. It's looking increasingly likely that a trade will not occur. Forcing Harden to play the season out in Philadelphia. But, crazier things have happened.
As for the Mavericks, the confusion is warranted. Dallas reached the Western Conference Finals in 2022, before missing the playoffs altogether a season ago. The Mavs began the year as a middling squad with playoff hopes but completely faltered down the stretch, even missing the play-in tournament.
The Mavs defense was flat-out bad last year. After suffering from such a porous defense, the front office focused on improving the abysmal unit. Dallas added Grant Williams via sign-and-trade and Olivier-Maxence Prosper via the draft, to shore up the perimeter defense.
And perhaps most importantly, Dallas drafted Dereck Lively II out of Duke in hopes of finally adding a prominent interior defender. A season ago, the Mavs averaged a paltry 3.7 blocks per game, good for 28th in the association.
While the Mavs have seemingly made the necessary additions to improve the defense, many are still skeptical of Kyrie Irving, who re-signed this offseason for three years and $126 million. His fit next to franchise stalwart Luka Doncic is still a work in progress, as the two have only played in sixteen games together.
No matter how the GMs, analysts, or the rest of the league perceive the Mavericks, one thing is clear: the roster has a lot of potential.
Any team rostering Doncic should compete for a playoff spot and the Dallas front office prioritized fixing the defense during the offseason, thus an improvement looks extremely likely.