Mavs' Youth Movement a Product of Necessity

The Mavericks likely won’t be one of the best teams in the NBA next season. But, for the first time in a long time, they also won’t be one of the oldest.

You think Mavs and you immediately think of 37-year-old Dirk Nowitzki and label them “old.”

Nope. No longer. With their roster at the maximum of 20 after the signing of Javale McGee, the Mavs’ average age is under 28. Last year their average was a whopping 29.9, oldest in the league and longer in the tooth than even the ancient Spurs.

Because for years they’ve been attempting to accessorize Dirk with veteran pieces – think Jason Kidd, Vince Carter, Elton Brand, etc. – to make runs at titles, the Mavs have regularly been one of the NBA’s oldest teams. For the last 11 seasons, in fact, they’ve ranked in the Top 8 among oldest roster, topping the list four times.

Older doesn’t necessarily mean better, as the Warriors and Cavaliers finished in the middle of pack in regard to roster age last season. But, likewise – who are we kidding? – this Mavs’ youth movement isn’t a byproduct of great drafting and shrewd talent acquisition. It’s born of necessity with the departures of veterans like Richard Jefferson (35), Tyson Chandler (33), Amar’e Stoudemire (33) and Monta Ellis (30).

It won't exactly be Dirk and some diapers, as the new starting lineup will probably feature guards Deron Williams (31) and Wesley Matthews (29) and center Samuel Dalembert (34). And to be fair, some of the Mavs’ younger players might not be around by the time the season starts around Halloween.

But with No. 1 pick Justin Anderson (21) likely to be a starter, Dallas’ average will significantly dip.

Likewise, so will their odds of making the playoffs.

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 lives in McKinney with his wife, Sybil, and two very spoiled dogs.

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