The Dallas Mavericks came up short in free agency for another summer. This time big fish DeAndre Jordan got cold feet and decided to re-sign with a comfortable and familiar team in the Clippers.
This is a move that has severely handicapped the Mavs in finding other options to make themselves better through free agency this summer.
Last week when DeAndre verbally committed, Mark Cuban went on Sportsradio 1310 The Ticket and hinted that it was all or nothing this offseason. They went after Jordan and if it hadn’t worked out the team had no other option but to pull back and focus on developing talent.
One week later, Jordan is gone and the Mavs have to do just that. Though, the way they are going about getting and developing talent sure is interesting.
They sent a second round pick to Milwaukee for center Zaza Pachulia and the rumors have the Mavericks signing former big fish free agent Deron Williams. Both of these moves seem like half steps at the very least for a team that the owner claimed would be focused on developing.
The treadmill of mediocrity in the NBA is the idea that teams will have very difficult times being good if they are in the middle of the pack. Really good teams can lure free agents and superstars and really bad teams can draft superstars to reach the upper echelon.
Those teams that find themselves constantly in the middle are there because they are unable to draft low enough to get superstars and they aren’t good enough to get big free agents to play for them. They are stuck, and once there, it is incredibly difficult to move up to the next level.
The Mavs have a first round pick in next year’s NBA draft, providing it is higher than pick number 7 due to the trade that brought Rajon Rondo to Dallas. In order to use that pick, the Mavs must be one of the 7 worst teams in the league next year.
The team that they are assembling currently has given away another draft pick and looks to be too good to give them access to their pick in next year’s draft.
Both Chandler Parsons and Dirk Nowitzki have one year left on their contracts with another year option. It is possible that the Mavs are focused on putting out as competitive a team as they can this season with tanking on the horizon.
Whatever the plan is, the run that the Mavs have had during the Dirk Era is pretty much over. The only way to build a new Maverick era is to find and develop young talent.
Go all in, go big or go home. The Mavs need to decide that the good times are over.
Hold on to draft picks and bring some young guys in here to see if they can indeed be players. Don’t expect free agents because the time where the Mavs could fool themselves into believing that a big one would come play here is done.
The team needs to figure out what they are or they are going to be stuck on that treadmill for quite some time.