Dirk Nowitzki will be an unrestricted free agent this summer and he will have a chance to test the market. But he won’t. That’s because he will return to Dallas to close his career. Everyone around the NBA knows that, Mark Cuban included. So, what’s the future like for Dallas with Dirk onboard? Can this team really compete for the NBA Championship once again? Or will the Mavs just be a playoff – caliber team at least until Nowitzki retires?
The truth is that although Nowitzki is aging – he will be 37 next season – he still remains one of the best players of the league. That’s because in order for him to play well, he doesn’t need much athleticism, a great leaping ability or fresh legs. After all, athleticism has never been Dirk’s strong point and he still managed to lead the Mavs to a championship back in 2011.
It’s notable that despite his age, Nowitzki managed to retain his performance at a very high level last season. He finished the 2013 – 2014 campaign with 21.7 points and 6.2 rebounds per game and he also shot 49.7 percent from the floor and almost 40.0 percent from three – point range. In fact, his numbers were better than a season before. So we can expect him to retain this top level of performance next season, too.
When it comes to the future of the Dallas Mavericks and their ability to become a legit title contender, that will depend on Mark Cuban’s intentions, too. The Mavs do have the financial flexibility to lure a superstar like Carmelo Anthony this summer. In fact, the Mavericks were one of the top suitors of Dwight Howard last summer but they eventually lost the race to the Houston Rockets.
Nowitzki will find a fair deal with the team, one that will reflect his value and his potential for the future. The big question for Mark Cuban and the Mavs is what the team will do after re-signing Nowitzki. Will Mark Cuban push hard to land a second superstar?
The Mavericks have already performed their first offseason move, by trading away Jose Calderon, Samuel Dalembert, Wayne Ellington and Shane Larking to re-acquire Tyson Chandler together with Raymond Felton from the New York Knicks. There are a few other names on the table for Dallas. Pau Gasol is considered as a target, a player who could help the Mavs stay competitive next season. But now that the Chandler trade went through, the Mavs will most probably not pursue him any longer. Luol Deng is another target. However, unless the Mavericks land a big – name star, like Carmelo Anthony they won’t be able to make the difference.
In short words, we should expect the Dallas Mavericks to stay highly competitive next season and as long as Dirk Nowitzki is there. However, it’s obvious that Mark Cuban doesn’t want to put his hand deep into his pocket. He is rather trying to build a great team in an affordable way and this won’t be an easy task.
We should expect some correcting moves from the Mavericks over the summer. Devin Harris will most probably be re – signed, after the great season he recorded. Chandler, who saw his numbers dip last season, will definitely help the Mavs do better next season, especially on the defensive end. So Dirk, Chandler and Monta Ellis will form the core of the team. If the Mavs manage to land a big – name star, they will be one of the title contenders. If not, they will just remain a playoff – caliber team.