2015-16 NBA Record: 42-40
Additions: Andrew Bogut (traded from Golden State Warriors), Harrison Barnes (Golden State Warriors), Seth Curry (Sacramento Kings), Quincy Acy (Sacramento Kings)
Subtractions: Chandler Parsons (Memphis Grizzlies), Zaza Pachulia (Golden State Warriors), Javale McGee (Golden State Warriors), David Lee (San Antonio Spurs), Raymond Felton (Los Angeles Clippers), Jeremy Evans (traded to Indiana Pacers)
Projected Starting Line-up:
PG – Deron Williams
SG – Wesley Matthews
SF – Harrison Barnes
PF – Dirk Nowitzki
C – Andrew Bogut
Whenever the Mavericks have made the playoffs the past few seasons, they’ve failed to make it past the first round. With Chandler Parsons and Zaza Pachulia gone, Dallas are hoping the additions of Harrison Barnes and Andrew Bogut, former NBA champions, will lead the Mavs into deeper playoff success. Barnes especially, earned a 4 year/$94.4 million contract and management are hoping his potential matches his deal. They have one of the top coaches in Rick Carlislie, but need the roster to contend with the Warriors and Spurs.
The sun is starting to set on Dirk Nowitzki’s career, but he continues to carry the franchise on his back. Last season, he led the team with an average of 18.3 points and is the go-to guy in clutch situations. He’s probably the best international player to ever play in the league, with his slick fadeaway and unorthodox footwork that is still effective today. Dirk’s hoping for one last run to the Finals just like in 2011. Deron Williams has slowed down the last few years, but is still the Maverick’s primary playmaker. Williams is fortunate to have veteran guards JJ Barea and Devin Harris as backups. Harrison Barnes gets his chance to prove he can be a weapon without the Splash Brothers around. However, he’s coming off a NBA Finals series to forget and would like to start fresh with his new team. Andrew Bogut is an underrated passer in his position and was a key role player as the Warriors’ rim protector, but will need to stay healthy. Wesley Matthews is the best perimeter defender and shooter on this team, but will need to get back to the form he had back in Portland two years ago before he suffered a devastating knee injury. Justin Anderson continues to develop and has potential as a top defender, but will need more minutes in order for this development to happen. Seth Curry is a top shooter who has shown promise in the pre-season.
Dallas has a strong starting five that can make the playoffs. The veteran presence on this team is handy in clutch situations, as guys like Nowitzki and Williams know how to handle themselves under pressure. The main question this season is whether Harrison Barnes is more than a role player. If he can break out of the shadow of Steph Curry and Klay Thompson, then the Mavericks are set to make the postseason. As always, the Spurs will lead their division, but the fight for 2nd in the division is close and anyone can take it out/ Even though this roster is one that can make the playoffs, it lacks the star that can lead them all the way to the Finals. If they make the playoffs, expect another first-round exit.
Prediction: 2nd in Southwest Division