The past few summers haven’t been kind to the Dallas Mavericks on the topic of free agency or upgrading their roster. After winning the NBA Championship in 2011, the Mavericks have been seeking to once again find that championship formula which has seen them focus on free agency. The prime example of the Mavericks struggles came last summer when they had a verbal agreement from center DeAndre Jordan to come to Dallas. But Jordan had a change of heart and he decided to return to the Los Angeles Clippers which left a void for the Mavericks. The Mavericks have continued to be a playoff team, but they’ve been unable to get out of the first round since winning the NBA Title. The Mavs do have a solid brain trust of owner Mark Cuban general manager Donnie Nelson and head coach Rick Carlisle that are determined and committed to putting a contender around veteran power forward Dirk Nowitzki. And this summer that trio has to be happy with what the Mavericks were able to accomplish.
The marquee NBA free agent this summer was small forward Kevin Durant and his decision was going to have a ripple effect on the rest of the moves that would go down. On Independence Day, Durant would announce that he would not re-sign with the Oklahoma City Thunder as he was going to join the Golden State Warriors. Durant’s arrival in Oakland would mean that the Warriors no longer had a need for small forward Harrison Barnes. Prior to Durant agreeing to join the Warriors, the Mavericks had signed Barnes to a four-year offer sheet for $94 million. Barnes was a restricted free agent which gave the Warriors one week to match any offer from another NBA team.
Barnes was the seventh overall pick of the 2012 NBA Draft and he has averaged 10.1 points per game for his NBA career. But Barnes is a scorer and his low points per game average can be attributed to the fact that he was not the primary scoring option with the Warriors as that honor went to point guard Steph Curry, shooting guard Klay Thompson, and power forward Draymond Green. However with the Mavericks, Barnes is going to have an increased role in the offense and his points per game should drastically increase.
Like Barnes, center Andrew Bogut was a member of the Warriors squad that won the NBA Championship in 2015. And like Barnes, Bogut took a backseat to the stars on the Warriors in order to make things work.
Earlier this month the Warriors traded Bogut to the Mavericks, and although that he won’t be confused with a player that is going to score 20 points per game, he is going to provide Dallas with a body that can plug the middle while also being a facilitator from the center position that will definitely help the Mavericks next season.
The additions of Barnes and Bogut are not going to make the Mavericks a title contender as the writing is on the wall to see the Warriors and Cleveland Cavaliers get it on for a third consecutive year in the NBA Finals. But it shows that the Mavericks are trying to still be a player in the Western Conference as they have brought in some talent to put alongside veteran power forward Dirk Nowitzki who is still showing that he can put the ball in the hoop consistently as he turned 38-years of age last month while also leading the Mavericks in scoring last season at 18.3 points per game last season.
Carlisle is still one of the best coaches in the NBA which is evident by his 661 career victories which are 20th all-time on the league’s win list for coaches. And the Mavericks have an owner in Cuban that is committed to winning which means that they should never be counted out which means that there should once again be excitement at the American Airlines Center in Dallas when the NBA season rolls around in October.