Dallas Mavericks could quickly become division favorites if Ja Morant is out
Memphis has won the Southwest Division for two straight years, but the Mavs know they cannot waste another year of Luka Doncic’s prime. Dallas is going to do whatever they can to improve their roster. They need multiple pieces, but remember that the Mavericks were fourth in the Western Conference in February. Dallas is closer to contention than fans think.
If Memphis is without Ja Morant for 20 games next season and they play .500 basketball in those games and win at the same percentage they did this season over the other games, the Grizzlies end with 48 victories. Dallas won 52 in 2022, and they could be right back there with some defensive improvements.
The New Orleans Pelicans are the wildcard in the division. Can Zion Williamson and Brandon Ingram stay healthy? They could win 50-plus games with both players in the lineup for 70 contests, but that is a massive if at this point.
The Spurs and Rockets are hoping to improve, but they will not be ready to take over the division. It is truly wide open, especially with Ja Morant likely facing a lengthy suspension to begin the 2023-24 season.