The Dallas Mavericks aren’t that far away from making the playoffs, currently sitting at the 13th spot in the Western Conference but being just 3 games behind the 8th seeded Los Angeles Lakers.
Still, even if they put together a nice run and wind up making the playoffs - which seems unlikely, to say the least - we actually believe they could fare quite better should they follow a series of simple steps to make them one of the driving forces of the league next season.
But how? How to turn a non-contending side into a Championship caliber team in just a couple of months? Especially in the Wild Wild West?. Sit back and relax, as we walk you through the perfect plan the Mavs need to follow to become a super team in no time.
Trade Everyone Until The February Deadline
Wesley Matthews and Dwight Powell
Wesley Matthews is set to become an unrestricted free agent and he could still contribute off the bench for a contending team with his 3 and D expertise. He’s making 18.6 million this year, and they’d be lucky to get some 2nd rounders for him while they clear the Salary Cap.
Dwight Powell is roughly averaging 16 minutes per game for the Mavericks, yet he’s making 9.6 million dollars with a player option for 10.2 more million next year. There’s no way in hell he’s opting out of that deal, so they’re likely going to have to attach some 2nd round picks with him to sweeten the deal.
Dennis Smith Jr.
Dennis Smith Jr was the Mavericks’ 9th overall pick last year, and even though he has shown some glimpses of greatness throughout his rookie campaign, inconsistency, a lack of a jump shot and his proneness to get hurt have raised several questions over him being the team’s point guard for the future.
Also, Luka Doncic’s presence has made Smith kind of regress, as they’re both ball-dominant players that need touches to get going and develop, and Doncic already being All-Star bound, Smith’s kind of the odd man out. He should be dealt away in return for several future picks. Just picks.
It’s time to face the truth: Harrison Barnes is never going to become the dominant scorer we all thought he’d be coming out of college. He’s overrated, overpaid, and a unidimensional player that should not be a team’s 1st or 2nd scoring option by all means. Don't forget that he is averaging only 1.1 assists per game. Unbelievable.
The Mavericks need to give Doncic as many shots as they can to try and help him become the star he looks ready to become a couple of years from now. Moving him is going to be tricky though, as he’s making 24.1 million this year and has a player option for 25.1 more next season.
Dallas Mavericks Must Tank This Season
The Mavericks need to start tanking right now. They can’t afford to lose their upcoming 1st round pick to the Atlanta Hawks. Remember, the pick is top-5 protected in 2019, top-5 protected in 2020, top-3 protected in 2021, top-3 protected in 2022 and unprotected in 2023.
That being said, they desperately need to get a top-5 pick this year and the only way of resting assured of doing so is tanking the hell out through the season. That way, they could get a franchise talent of the likes of Zion Williamson, RJ Barrett, Cameron Reddish or Ja Morant.
2019 NBA Summer In Texas
Now that they have a strong young core and enough salary cap space, it’s time for them to pursue at least one All-Star. Jimmy Butler is a bit of a reach, but he’s a Texas native and you already know what he’s capable of bringing to your squad. Kawhi Leonard is off the table, as he’s either joining an LA-based team or staying with the Raptors.
Also, they could convince DeAndre Jordan to stay, even if that means taking a slight pay-cut in order to make a run at another top-tier free agent. Kemba Walker and DeMarcus Cousins are just a handful of the top names in this upcoming free agency.