Dallas Mavericks: What would constitute a failed season for the Mavs?

Stephen Lew-USA TODAY Sports
Stephen Lew-USA TODAY Sports /

The Dallas Mavericks need to figure this thing out. Since adding Kyrie Irving prior to the NBA Trade Deadline, the Mavs have been struggling. While their offense has been nothing but great between the Luka Doncic – Irving pairing, team defense has been suffering.

It’s become clear they cannot score enough points to make up for their terrible defense and need to improve their weaknesses in order to give their strengths a fighting chance.

The Dallas Mavericks had the conference championship on their minds when they traded for Kyrie Irving this season

There’s still hope the Mavs can right the ship this season. They have arguably the best front court in the NBA and still have some time to work things out before the playoff start. But the clock is ticking and the Dallas Mavericks are falling fast.

Last season, the Dallas Mavericks overperformed and advanced to the Western Conference Finals before getting rolled by the Warriors. Sensing they caught lightning in a bottle and the success wasn’t something they could confidently repeat, the Mavs intended to amp up the roster last summer.

Unfortunately they did the opposite, losing Jalen Brunson, and setting them on a collision course for a desperate midseason trade. In February, they did just that, sending picks, Spencer Dinwiddie and Dorian Finney-Smith to Brooklyn for Kyrie Irving and Markieff Morris.

Irving, playing on the last year of his deal, instantly made Dallas a contender but he also was only a rental. Unless Mark Cuban and company could re-sign him, the cupboards would be bare in the summer of 2023.

Dallas Mavericks expectations and hopes

When the Mavs pulled the trade off, the expectation was it would be enough for Dallas to advance past the first round and possibly even the second round (depending who you ask). The hope was the Mavs would make it again to the WCF and maybe even advance to the NBA Finals.

The way things look today –  is just making it past the first round might be a challenge.

Dallas Mavericks fears and failures

The thinking was, even if Irving left in free agency, a trip to the WCF or beyond would make the effort well worth it. But if the Mavs lose Irving and don’t even have a successful postseason series to show for it, it’s hard to call this transaction anything but a colossal failure.

if the Mavs lose Irving and don’t even have a successful postseason series to show for it, it’s hard to call this transaction anything but a colossal failure.

The Mavs are focused on building a contender around Luka Doncic and convincing the young star that Dallas is a place to carve out a career. If Dallas loses early in the postseason and loses Irving in free agency, they will have to move mountains to make up for it. Sure, the Dallas Mavericks will have money, but when have they ever been able to lure a star player to Dallas in free agency and why would this time be different?

If the Mavericks fail in the postseason and fail to retain Irving (which I think is very likely), they will have failed quite significantly in the trade. It will set the franchise back and possibly even warrant a salary dump and fire sale so they can take one more big swing while Doncic is still in Dallas.

Next. Are the Mavs a real threat in the West?. dark


Possibly, but it’s hard to not be dramatic when this franchise is threatening to waste the NBA’s best young super star because of roster mismanagement.