In an age when most serious NBA teams are investing in ready-now talent to take their team to the next level, the Dallas Mavericks are banking on growth and natural progression
The NBA has always been about the superstar. Even before the Super Team Era, teams prioritized the high end of free agency above all (At least those teams that expected to compete for a championship did). We saw that trend continue this summer. Teams all around the Dallas Mavericks swung for the fences so they could add that one big star to take their team to the next level.
The Mavs themselves took a stab at established elite talent. If it wasn’t for a surprise opt-out by Al Horford, we’d probably be writing about how Kemba Walker is going to fit on the Dallas Mavericks this season.
But as we all know, the Mavs struck out on Kemba. And Danny Green. By failing to lure established talent, the Dallas Mavericks took the road less traveled – they focused on rising talent.
Already employing one of the fastest risers in the league (Luka Doncic), the Dallas Mavericks added another young riser in Delon Wright. With a core of Doncic, Kristaps Porzingis (3 years of NBA experience), Wright (2 years), Jalen Brunson (1 year), Seth Curry (5 years), Maxi Kleber (2 years), Dorian Finney-Smith (3 years) and Justin Jackson (2 years) the Dallas Mavericks are banking on organic talent progression to improve their fortunes.
The “OG” of this roster is sixth-year player, Tim Hardaway Jr (Sure Courtney Lee and Boban are old, but they aren’t expected to be big parts of the team). Youth is the key word when describing this team. As such, it’s safe to say with the exception of Hardaway, the best is yet to come for each of these players.
Finney-Smith has shown progression throughout his career – up until last season, that is. Virtually everyone around the team is excepting a big step up from the three year vet. Maxi is a player some in the national media thinks is set to explode. His offensive ability is efficient and versatile. Best yet, he’s locked in for the few years.
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Seth Curry had a career year the last time he played for the Mavs. Last season his health rebounded so many expect this season to be the time he puts it all together.
Luka and Jalen are both entering their second seasons and will be leaned on heavily this coming season. The Mavs are expecting big things from their 2018 draft picks.
The biggest mystery is Kristaps Porzingis. Last we saw him player he was operating at nearly league MVP levels. Nearly two-years removed from the game, no one’s expecting him to pick up there this season. But at only 23-years-old, it’s safe to say his best basketball is still ahead of him. It may take another year of NBA experience to regain his status, but it’s coming.
The Dallas Mavericks are building something. They may have preferred an established star who’s operating at peak levels, but they pivoted their strategy and have the pieces necessary to organically grow a team by developing high-ceiling players.
- Published on 08/03/2019 at 12:00 PM
- Last updated at 07/29/2019 at 12:58 PM