Ever since the Dallas Mavericks hoisted the trophy last June, they’ve been looking forward.
Not in a “Next season we’ll do it all again” way, but in a “2012-13 will be our year” way. Though they never came out and said that, it’s obvious.
The goal was simple,bring Deron Williams and Dwight Howard to Dallas or bust.
Howard said a few months ago that he’d decline his player option and stay in Orlando, so it’s time for Mavs owner Mark Cuban to go to plan B.
Williams hasn’t announced his intentions for next season yet, but considering his status as Dallas’ prodigal son since he played high school basketball in north Dallas at The Colony High School, it seems likely he’ll be playing in the American Airlines Center.
Just ask him. When his New Jersey Nets visited Dallas about a month ago, he was very complimentary of everything having to do with the Mavericks.
But he won’t be enough. Not in today’s NBA.
Back in the glory days when I was growing up, one star was enough to win a title. Then they quickly moved through the two-star teams and jumped straight to the three-star studded circuses.
Dirk will play for Dallas as long as he wants to. If he gets to about 60 years old and wants to play in a wheelchair, Cuban will let him, and he should. So there’s one star.
Deron Williams makes two. Is that enough to win a title? It’s possible. They did it last year with Dirk and three or four guys that added together to create another collective star player. But if they want to be a legitimate contender, they will need to make one of two moves.
Number 1: Trade for Amar’e Stoudemire
With the recent events of the NBA Playoffs, Stoudemire has solidified himself as a headache in New York. The team has been better without him, but he’s still Amar’e Stoudemire, the same guy who torched the Mavericks while Stoudemire was in Phoenix a few years ago.
Not only would a trade unload cap space that would allow the Mavs to give Williams the most lucrative offer possible, but it would also free up space to surround them with younger players. Not to mention, Stoudemire in Dallas seems right. It’s a low-pressure situation. He would be seen as the third scorer on the team, and he was named to a few All Star rosters in that situation with the Suns.
Number 2: Go after a big-man free agent
There are a few out there, but none are the franchise center that the Mavericks are looking for. The closest player to that is Roy Hibbert, but the Indiana Pacers will be making a hard run at him, and Hibbert has no ties to Dallas so it would be a big gamble that would possibly end in them missing on everyone if they wait too long on him and end up losing.
I like the route that the Miami Heat went by signing a solid SF/PF player in Chris Bosh. Players that fit this mold in this year’s free agent class are numerous. My favorite is former Kansas State star Michael Beasley. Beasley was drafted by the Heat, but eventually ended up in Minnesota when LeBron James and Bosh made their way to South Beach.
Beasley’s a typical player you’d expect out of a team coached by Frank Martin. Physical, 6’10 power forward that isn’t afraid to bang with anyone, and could play PF with Dirk at the center, or move over to Small Forward and pick up the team’s best big player on the opposing team.
Either way, it’s certainly going to be an interesting off-season for Dallas fans. Buckle up your seat belts and keep the aspirin close. Headaches will be abundant as you wait and worry.