NBA Draft and Free Agency Preview: The Dallas Mavericks are Desperate for Dirk’s Sidekick
Dallas has made it clear that they intend to shed as much cap space as possible so that they can become major players in the next two major free agency crops this summer and next. Owner Mark Cuban wants to maximize the last couple of productive seasons by Dirk Nowitzki (who reportedly said that he would be willing to take less money on his next contract in order to allow the team to sign the players necessary to make one more NBA Finals run during his career). Nowitzki may indeed have two or three fine seasons left, but the Mavericks have several holes – most importantly at point guard, as they are not 100% sold on Darren Collison. F Jae Crowder has been a revelation, and F Brandan Wright has slowly come into his own, after being a complete non-factor in his first few years in the NBA.
OJ Mayo is most likely going to exercise his option for 2013-2014 and seek a long-term deal elsewhere. It is believed that Mayo is not in Cuban’s plans going forward (although he is a fine scorer). Shawn Marion could potentially be an attractive piece for a team that is needs a wing defender who can also guard in the post at times. With his contract expiring after the 2013-2014 season, the dual benefit of a good defender who can hit an occasional open shot and $9.3 million of cap space coming off the books after the season could make Marion a key component in what Dallas does this offseason and next.
Overall, the Mavericks are primed to be able to jump on some of the key free agents available this summer, as the attraction of playing with Nowitzki being a key factor. Additionally, the Mavericks have the 13th pick in the 2013 NBA Draft, which may not prove to be beneficial. There aren’t many eye-popping talents in this upcoming draft, and the Mavericks are still going to need to get important youth for their rotation and backup roles. It will be palpable to watch the Mavericks on draft night and into July, because they have the ability (and more importantly, the willingness) to make the shrewd move, and could be dangling their 1st Round pick as a means to not only engage in a sign-and-trade deal, but also signing a max player outright. Dallas will definitely be one of the key players this summer.
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