Josh McRoberts , Jeff Withey , Dennis Smith JR. (1st Round #9)
Nobody of note
The Mavericks seemed to have been treading water since lifting the NBA title in 2011 at the peak of Dirk Nowitzki’s powers, remaining competitive but not advancing past the first round of the play offs since. They’ve repeatedly swung and missed in the free agent market (Chandler Parsons , DeAndre Jordan debacle) & have been slow to embrace the youth movement neccesary for a full rebuild. Rick Carlisle enters his tenth season as coach with his reputation fully intact but with a roster that will need coaching up if they are to have any dreams of playing in May.
A 4-17 start last season, due in part to a raft of injuries, put the Mavs into a hole from which they never recovered. Free agent signing Harrison Barnes exceeded all expectations & carried the team in Nowitzki’s absence. A summer spent working with Dallas assistant coach God Shammgod clearly bearing fruit as he showed an off the dribble & iso game rarely seen at Golden State whilst getting to the line at a career high rate. Big man Nerlens Noel arrived from the Sixers at the trade deadline and provided some much needed athleticism and rebounding but after badly judging the free agent market this summer he’s back with a sour face on a one year team friendly deal. He has a point to prove, yet Carlisle has already indicated he may not start.
Explosive guard Dennis Smith Jr. fell to the Mavericks at #9 and should have every chance to nail down a starting position. Carlisle is not known for his love of rookies but after an impressive Summer League showing, developing him should be one of the teams main priorities going into the season. Smith has Russell Westbrook level athleticism & figures to be a youtube sensation straight out of the gate. How much of a leash Carlisle is willing to give him will be a interesting development. Last years G League sensation Yogi Ferrell remains on deck.
Wes Matthews remains capable of guarding opposing wings but his shooting has dropped off badly since the injury that ended his time in Portland. Seth Curry proved he belonged in the league, shooting a high percentage and leading the team in win shares, though he may be more suited to a sixth man role ala his old man moving forward. Wing depth still remains an issue for Dallas. Dorian Finney-Smith started 35 games as a rookie but needs to improve on his .293 three point shooting before he can be considered a 3&D guy. Back up big man Dwight Powell signed a 4 your deal last summer & whilst athletic , still remains a work in progress.
The Mavericks shouldn’t have any real motivation to make the play offs only to get swept by one of the West’s powerhouses, so a season of developing their young core whilst waiting out the Warriors and Dirks career would seem a wise move.
Over / Under 35.5 wins
Take The Over