Blog Entry

Five offseason questions for the Mavericks

Posted on: June 13, 2011 3:51 pm
Edited on: June 14, 2011 9:28 am
Posted by Royce Young

MIAMI -- That championship feeling won't wear off for a couple months, but eventually, the Dallas Mavericks will have to lace 'em back up and get ready to defend their title. (Hopefully sooner than later. I'm talking to you, lockout.)

The Mavericks completed a fairly improbable championship run, overcoming a serious injury to a starter, playing with just one real star and winning completely as a team, top to bottom. You don't see that much any more not just in the NBA, but professional sports.

But there will be a next season -- I think -- and the Mavs obviously are going to try and do it all over again. Winning once is great and validates a lot and redefines legacies all over the place, but it's not like they're all pulling a George Costanza and throwing their hands up to say, "That's it! I'm outta here!"

So what kind of offseason things will the Mavs be dealing with? Five questions for the champs.

1. What to do with Tyson Chandler?
Clearly, the Mavs want him back. Problem is, he may have played a little too good. No doubt Dirk was the Finals MVP, but if you told me to pick someone other than him I wouldn't have gone with Jason Terry. I would've said Chandler. Nobody impacted the series more than him in those six games, Dirk included.

The Hornets dealt with this exact same issues as Chandler put together some great numbers playing with Chris Paul, but Chandler's contract came back to bite them because it was too long and for too much. He made $12.6 million this past year and at just 28, he should have some good years left.

But he has been prone to injury and at 7 feet, that's not good. He has played 10 seasons already and 662 games. It would be a pretty scary endeavor for Dallas to extend him long-term for a big amount. But he earned a new paycheck and it's impossible to deny how important he was to the Mavs winning a trophy. Dallas wants him back, but it's about whether or not the numbers line up.

2. What to do with Caron Butler?

Remember him? The Mavs' No. 2 scorer and second or third best player? How many other teams could have survived losing their second or third option and still won an NBA title? We'll go with "not many."

Butler worked his butt off to try and get back to play in the postseason, but after having major knee surgery in January, that was just impossible. But he'll be 100 percent again next year and despite concern over the knee, he'll likely return to form. Question is, does Dallas want him back?

He's expiring this summer and is a $10 million a year player. The free agent market this summer is a bit thin but if the Mavs have visions of Dwight Howard, Deron Williams or maybe Chris Paul in 2012, locking up Butler and/or Chandler for multiple years will have major consequences in getting a big deal done like that in the future.

3. Do they need to get a little younger?
Everyone knows the Mavs are old. Jason Kidd is 58. Dirk is something like 52. Ballpark figures, of course (38 for Kidd and 33 on June 19 for Dirk are the actual numbers). They only have a couple of young players (Roddy Beaubois, J.J. Barea, Dominique Jones, Ian Mahinmi, Brian Cardinal -- just making sure you were listening on that last one). Pretty much every key player on the roster is in their late 20s or 30s.

But this isn't a franchise that operates on a long-term sustainability mindset anymore. They've already had their long-term sustainability and it finally paid off. They've won at least 50 games for 10 straight seasons and now have a championship. At some point the Mavs will have to start over, but not now. They have a few good years left with Dirk, Jason Terry can still play and Rick Carlisle is a wonderful coach. Cuban will spend big when he has to, but for now, they can stay as old as they want because it didn't hurt them a bit this year.

4. Where can they improve?
It's always a funny thing to ask after a team wins a title because if this roster was good enough to win it all once, why can't they do it again? But the reality is 29 other teams will spend a summer trying to get better -- or 28, depending on your view of the Timberwolves -- so Dallas can't stand pat and hope Dirk is unreal again next year.

The Mavs need to lock up J.J. Barea and keep him as part of the core. But they could get better at shooting guard for sure. Jason Terry sees the bulk of those minutes and DeShawn Stevenson played his role well, but the vision is Beaubois in that spot. Either he gets it together, or the Mavs find a replacement.

Shawn Marion was wonderful in the postseason, but that may have been a last hurrah. A little more depth behind him at small forward is definitely something the Mavs should look at.

5. Can they repeat?
Can they? Absolutely. When you have a Nowitzki, you are a threat in every single situation.

But let's face it -- a lot went right for the Mavs in these playoffs. They got hot at the right times, got huge unexpected efforts from Peja Stojakovic, Shawn Marion, J.J. Barea and even Ian Mahinmi at one point. Brendan Hawyood hit free throws. They had games where they hit 75 3s (again, slight exaggeration -- that would be a record of some note).

They were the best team, no doubt, but it would be a lot to ask to have another perfect postseason next year. The Mavs will be very good again next year because they always are. Are they contenders? For sure. But I wouldn't put them as a favorite or anything. Which is probably just how they like it.


Since: Dec 27, 2007
Posted on: June 16, 2011 5:35 pm

Five offseason questions for the Mavericks

Don't change a thing. The Mavs have chemistry, character and are a real team. Unlike the Miami Mercenaries, they have each others back and play a team game. Their superstar also does his talking on the court.

The West is tough with OKC, Memphis, LA Lakers and the Spurs.  However, the Mavs know know they can beat anyone and that will go a long way in both the regular season and playoffs. They'll be tough to knock off if Dirk is healthy.

Meanwhile, the Heat think they're good enough, but aren't. Watch Chicago or Boston take them out, if not an upstart like the Knicks.

Since: Sep 5, 2006
Posted on: June 16, 2011 9:53 am

Five offseason questions for the Mavericks

in response to the truth:

1. i have to agree here. kidd's minutes have to be reduced, particularly towards the latter part of the regular season. is barea the answer to take those minutes? this is a tough question. if you ask me, they need to be angling for deron williams or cp3, which wouldn't help them next season. i don't think they're weak at the position heading into next season, but it's not going to be quite as strong.

2. the idea would be to sign butler, and bring marion off the bench. assuming that anyone is going to miss major time due to injury is absurd. you can't base predictions off of the idea that there could be an injury. you could assume that rondo will get hurt again next year too then??? no. this argument doesn't work. dallas will be tough at the sf spot.

3. the chandler situation should probably be ranked number one. he is a crucial part of this team's defense. dallas needs him back, and the cba will have to be figured out before we know what might happen with chandler. i think dallas will find a way to retain him, but what will it cost them?

4. this team did not live by the 3 or die by the 3. that theory is what got them booted the previous four or five times. that's why this season was so much different. sure, shooting 3's is a part of their offense, but their effectiveness from outside came from spacing the floor and creating offense through dirk. it also came through barea's penetration through the middle of the defense. instead of thinking 3's first, this team used 3's the balance the floor.

5. the west is tough, but it's not quite as predictable as before. still, anyone coming out of the west will have to work their tails off.

i disagree about miami. i actually think next year will be much more difficult on them. i don't think they will get out of the east next year. it's not cause i hate them or anyone on their roster. i just think they still need more time. i think they've got the talent to win at some point, but next year is not it either. both miami and dallas will have their work cut out for them next year. they're both contenders though.

Since: Sep 5, 2008
Posted on: June 16, 2011 9:44 am

Five offseason questions for the Mavericks

Of course they got HOT at the right time, what team in what sport wins the championship NOT playing hot?  Doesn't happen.  Instead of "looking into the future", can they do it again, will they trade Mo and Larry, enjoy the fact that a team that has won tons over the year finally made it over the hump and won the big one.  They have a great Coach, a sporatic owner, a deserving of the title superstar, and a team around the star that pulled all the parts together to win.  Dirk was the MVP but he wasn't a loudmouth MVP, he knew his job, his strengths, his weaknesses, and his team and used them all and they won.  Enjoy it now and let the future hold what it may.

Since: Aug 24, 2006
Posted on: June 15, 2011 10:37 pm

Five offseason questions for the Mavericks

No matter what people think, it will be nearly impossible to repeat as champions. Here are my 5 reasons that they will not repeast.
1. Jason Kidd is 38 years old. He can still play for the team as a role player, but his days of playing so many minutes are probably over.  Barea can play the point, but not as a starter. His size makes him a defensive liability.
2. Marion played well in the playoffs, but did very little in the regular season. The Mavericks will need Butler to take his place in all probability, but is has been a few years since he has played an entire year without missing substantial playing time.
3. Chandler will have to play again, and at the same level to take the pressure off of Dirk. He will have to be paid a lot of money to stay with Dallas. Many teams will be seeking a 7ft. center with his abilities. The new salary cap will have a big affect on the status of many players.
4. Live by the 3, die by the 3. In the playoffs and the regualr season, Dallas did pretty well shooting the 3. Terry was hot, Kidd was hot both in the playoffs. This will be a factor in their season next year.
5. The biggest problem for Dallas is that they play in the wild wild West. There are many up and coming teams in the West to include Oklahoma City and Memphis, not to mention the past champions in LA, and the Spurs. They cannot stay the same and repeat champions.
  All this is just my opinion. I have been wrong before. This is the last team that beat the Heat pretty handily. Time will tell.

Since: Feb 13, 2009
Posted on: June 15, 2011 9:22 pm

Five offseason questions for the Mavericks

Oh, No, He didn't . He wouldn't. He simply couldn't. But he did.

Nobody impacted the series more than him in those six games, Dirk included.

Are you  kidding me? Again?

The man just has done what everybody thought was unthinkable.
He took down the mighty Lakers.
Ripped appart the fastest team in NBA.
He dethroned LeBron (and Wade for that matter).
He completely dominated in 4th quarters - in a clutch when it mattered the most.

The man has just put one of the most impressive postseasons in history (and yes I watched the game for the last 25 years) and THE most impressive comebacks in playoffs history.

And yet somehow he did not impact the series enough to equal the impact of Tyson Chandler.
The one who was lost for a couple of years between Paul and Novitzky.
Don't get me wrong - I love Chandler. But better than Dirk. Common man , please!
No matter what man does he still can get no respect - Dirk is the Rodney Dangerfield of basketball.
Why can't he be better than the others?
Just because he's white, or German, or does not dunk all the time?

Just Sad.

Since: Feb 10, 2007
Posted on: June 15, 2011 8:47 pm

Five offseason questions for the Mavericks

Deron Williams is a Dallas native and visited their locker room this Finals. I think the Mavs resign Tyson Chandler, let Caron Butler go and sign Deron Williams. I think J.J. Barea will sign with another team. He has shown his talent and will most likely want a larger role then what he has on this Mavs teams. I think other teams offer him the better deal.

Since: Jan 13, 2011
Posted on: June 15, 2011 5:37 pm

Five offseason questions for the Mavericks

If the Mavericks can keep Chandler and Barrea and avoid major injuries, they have a great chance of winning again next year. It's because of the way they play- excellent team ball. They've found a way to play good team defense, and there are no ball hogs on offense. That style of play always gives a team a chance to win. And they already know they can and what it takes. Injury and cba aside, though, I think Miami will be very very good next year. LA, too.

Since: Jun 3, 2008
Posted on: June 15, 2011 5:08 pm

Five offseason questions for the Mavericks

The ranking depends on whether you are referring to a one-on-one player who doesn't need help to get open, or to a player on a team with a decent point guard and speed to get down court before defenders. It also depends on whether you are talking about offense only, or defense too. By the way, I'm a Piston's fan, and I wouldn't select anyone from my team in the top 50. We had AI, and he convinced me that great offensive one-on-one skills are not enough.

Durant, Anthony, Stoudemire are belo
w average defenders. Nowitzki has improved to average. Griffin I'm not certain about. I wouldn't put them near the top of a list of players I'd pick first to be on my team.

If I had to start a team and needed a year or two for it to gel, then age would be a factor and I'd start a team with Howard, then Rose. LeBron would have been my top choice a year ago, but the media's intense focus on his every move may affect him pyschologically. He's not the guarantee I would have thought. I'd still pick him third. Then I'd select people receiving votes for the all-defensive team lists, like Chris Paul, Rondo, and Chandler

Tyson Chandler

Since: Dec 10, 2008
Posted on: June 15, 2011 4:28 pm

Five offseason questions for the Mavericks

after watching the the postseason and especially the finals I'd have to go a lil different.. handling pressure to me is a big part of making a top 10 players and lebron james has proven He can't do that yet.

I'd go this order, for this year anyway...

Dirk Nowitski
dwayne Wade
Derrick Rose
Kevin Durant
Lebron James
Kobe Bryant
Dwight Howard
Chris Paul
Paul Pierce
Carmelo Anthony

Just an opinion tho haha

Since: Dec 29, 2006
Posted on: June 15, 2011 4:12 pm

Five offseason questions for the Mavericks

MAVS have to hope all the older players are still"hungry" next season..and i think they will be..since noone seems to give them much credit for winning..seems it was HEATS bad play that won it for DALLAS..or as some stupid person on scott van pelts show commented today DALLAS won cause the league was down this year??? what idiots..and why is lebrick still everyone's #1 player in the league ? that seems idiotic too

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