5 Mavericks who are playing for their future in Dallas

Tyler Watts
Dallas Mavericks, Kyrie Irving
Dallas Mavericks, Kyrie Irving / Petre Thomas-USA TODAY Sports
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The Dallas Mavericks need every victory over the final 12 games of the regular season as they attempt to qualify for the playoffs. They are currently eighth in the Western Conference, but just one game behind sixth and a guaranteed playoff berth. If Dallas finishes seventh through tenth, they will be in the Play-In Tournament. The Mavs are just 1.5 games up on 11th, which misses the postseason entirely.

First, they need to get healthy. Luka Doncic, Kyrie Irving, Christian Wood, Maxi Kleber, Reggie Bullock, Tim Hardaway Jr., and Markieff Morris have all missed at least one of the team’s last five games. Dallas has been shorthanded every night and trying to figure out how to win with what they got left. It has not worked as the Mavericks have lost nine of their last 13 games.

The team is playing for the postseason, and Dallas has seven soon-to-be free agents on their roster. There is a ton to play for down the stretch, and here are five players that are auditioning for their future with the Mavs.

Mavericks who are playing for their future in Dallas: 5. Dwight Powell

The Mavs signed JaVale McGee last offseason to replace Powell as the team’s starting center, but things have not worked out. Dallas will likely be in the market for an upgrade at the five this summer, but that does not exclude them from bringing back DP as the team’s backup center.

Powell is an unrestricted free agent coming off a three-year deal worth $33 million, but the Mavericks cannot bid against themselves. The 6’10 big man is unlikely to get that average annual value elsewhere, and Dallas just cannot afford to offer him a raise that no team would match.

Dwight Powell has strong chemistry with Luka Doncic, and he can be a valuable rotation big man. Will the Dallas Mavericks recognize that and sign him to a reasonable contract that works for both sides? DP playing well down the stretch and into the postseason, while developing chemistry with Kyrie Irving could be what keeps Powell in Dallas this summer.