3 Teams Mavericks should want to face in next year’s playoffs

Last season, the Dallas Mavericks missed the playoffs for the first time since the 2018-19 season. Assuming Dallas bounces back, who are three possible teams they might want to face?
Philadelphia 76ers v Dallas Mavericks
Philadelphia 76ers v Dallas Mavericks / Ron Jenkins/GettyImages
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NBA training camp is less than a month away. For many teams, this means improving their roster and competing for the playoffs. The Dallas Mavericks wasted no time sticking to this motto as the team announced the re-signing of NBA Champion Markieff Morris and the soon-to-be departure of center JaVale McGee.

Last month, it was announced that Dallas was planning to waive or trade McGee after he failed to live up to the team's expectations. The Mavs had already boosted their frontcourt with the additions of Richaun Holmes and Dereck Lively II.

Other transactions included resigning Kyrie Irving to a $142 million deal while bringing in new players such as Grant Williams, Seth Curry, and Dante Exum.

Recently, Dallas signed former NBA slam dunk champion Derrick Jones Jr. to a one-year contract. Adding Jones to the mix gives the team an extra wingman to pair alongside Williams and rookie Olivier-Maxence Prosper.

Yet, with all the new faces in Dallas, the team has one goal: get back to the playoffs.

Last season, Dallas had a chance to compete for a playoff spot. Near the end of the season, the Mavs were in contention for the ninth or tenth play-in spot. However, the team chose to tank.

Assuming the team makes it back to the postseason, there is a variety of organizations the Mavs may want to avoid. The list includes reigning champion Denver Nuggets, the improved Phoenix Suns, and the up-and-coming Sacramento Kings.

But, what about the rest of the group?

Here are three possible teams Dallas should want to face in next year's playoffs.

Los Angeles Clippers, Paul George, Kawhi Leonard
Phoenix Suns v Los Angeles Clippers / Harry How/GettyImages

3. The Los Angeles Clippers

One team the Mavs are no stranger to in the playoffs is the Clippers. During the 2020 and 2021 playoffs, Dallas matched up with the team in back-to-back postseason appearances. In the first series, the team fell to the Clippers in six games, as the team was unevenly matched on both sides. In 2021, the Mavs forced LA to seven games, but home-court advantage and Kawhi Leonard proved to be the difference.

However, there is hope for Dallas this time around.

Currently, the Clippers are in a complex state. At the beginning of the summer, rumors began about the team gauging trade interest for Paul George. Those rumors eventually were shut down as the team agreed to keep their star player.

With George and Leonard heading into their fifth season together, their championship window may be closing. It's been two years since the duo won a playoff series.

Last season, the team failed to make it past the first round as Leonard suffered a sprained right knee in game 2. This would be the same injury that would cause George to miss the latter half of the season.

Injuries and age are two main reasons this year's Clippers are not the same team as before. This is one team Dallas should want to play against.