Dallas Mavericks fans were disappointed with the way free agency unfolded but a deeper dive proves they’re one of the most improved teams in the entire NBA.
Let’s be honest. We expected more from the Dallas Mavericks this summer. After jettisoning viable talent (Harrison Barnes) for virtually nothing more than cap space, the Mavs were armed with funds to sign that illusive max free agent this summer.
Alas, that never came to be. We weren’t diluted enough to think Kawhi Leonard or anything, but we certainly thought Kemba Walker, or even Danny Green, was an option. Insert <sigh>. So with only Delon Wright, Seth Curry, and Boban Marjanovic added, the disappointment was undeniable. But we’re overlooking something fairly important…
Now, one has forgotten Kristaps Porzingis. The Mavs tried selling us on him again after striking out in free agency. Yes, we ALL know we have KP. But we were positioned for more. Again. And we struck out. Again. We’re not being greedy as fans, we’re just setting reasonable expectations based on the actions of the Mavs and the players on the market.
But instead of rolling our eyes, perhaps we should ponder the situation. FiveThirtyEight recently rolled out their predictions forecast. Using their CARMELO forecasting system and their depth-chart algorithm (even factoring in load management) and accounting for game specifics like home, away, travel time, rest time, etc…, they determined the Dallas Mavericks improved massively from last season to this season. And KP played a huge role in that.
The Dallas Mavericks added Kristaps midway through last season, but given his injury situation, KP never played. They effectively started their free agency early, knowing the immediate impact would be negative and the real impact would be down the road. They then proceeded to sign Porzingis to a multi-year deal during free agency. While it was expected, it was also big. VERY big. So while the addition of KP is old news, it’s still a yet-to-be-realized-addition.
How big of an addition?
Significant. Like second biggest upgrade in the league, kind of significant.
With the additions of Curry, Wright, and KP, the Dallas Mavericks added 7.2 in WAR. The loss of Dirk, Harris, Salah, and Burke LOST them -0.4 (meaning addition by subtraction). That means the net gain in WAR is 7.6 – the second biggest improvement in the league. Only the L.A. Clippers improved more in the WAR column.
Many will say, “Big deal. We stunk last season. Significant improvement is expected. It doesn’t mean the Mavs are contenders in 2019-20.” While, yes, that’s true, the CARMELO model is optimistic about the Mavs playoff chances.
According to aforementioned article, the Dallas Mavericks have a 1578 CARMELO score. This rates them seventh in the West and positioned to make the playoffs. It seems advanced analytics are more optimistic than most MFFL!
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The summer didn’t go as well as we wanted but it did bring a Porzingis extension and Porzingis (along with the other signings) makes the Dallas Mavericks one of the most improved teams in the NBA this coming season. That’s not too shabby.
- Published on 08/01/2019 at 12:00 PM
- Last updated at 08/30/2019 at 07:03 AM