After a thrilling, yet ultimately disappoint playoff series against the Spurs, this much we know about the Mavericks heading into the summer:
This is now Monta Ellis’ team.
Dirk Nowitzki can still play, but at 36 he can no longer carry a team through a post-season.
They need help, and their history of acquiring big-fish free agents is lower than abysmal.
That said, expect the Mavs to be in the running when and if gems like Carmelo Anthony and, yep, even Tyson Chandler become available this off-season.
Adding another proven scorer has to be priority No. 1 for Dallas. For all the good Shawn Marion does, his lack of consistent scoring was a glaring hole during the San Antonio series. The Bulls and Rockets will also covet Carmelo, but the Mavs will have room under the salary cap to make a legitimate run at the perennial All-Star.
And then there’s Chandler. Perhaps you remember him? The defensive cog in the Mavs’ 2011 run to the title. Letting him walk in free agency to the Knicks after the championship parade remains one of owner Mark Cuban’s biggest mistakes, and the thought of luring him back to Dallas is on the table this summer.
The Carmelo infatuation I totally get. His skills – if not his selfishness – totally fit into the Mavs’ mold. But Chandler? He’s three years older, still a physical question mark and he’d be joining a roster full of Samuel Dalembert and Brandan Wright. I know Chandler can be an elite defensive center, but here’s hoping the Mavs aren’t simply trying to right a wrong from three summers ago.
Regardless of their direction, the Mavs have a little momentum and a lot of money to keep things interesting this off-season.
A native Texan who was born in Duncanville and graduated from UT-Arlington, Richie Whitt has been a mainstay in the Metroplex media since 1986. He’s held prominent roles on all media platforms including newspaper (Fort Worth Star-Telegram, Dallas Observer), radio (105.3 The Fan) and TV (co-host on TXA 21 and numerous guest appearances, including NBC 5). He currently lives in McKinney with his wife, Sybil, and two very spoiled dogs.