The Mavericks started the season with a different supporting cast, letting key players from the title run walk out the door. With the additions of Vince Carter, Delonte West, and most notably the acquisition of Lamar Odom, this team looked capable of defending their title. Dallas still had the core of Dirk, Jet, Marion and Kidd, a roster on paper, which looked like a nice team that was trying to keep as much cap space for the next year available, yet still able to compete.
The Lamar Odom acquisition is by far the worst under Cuban and Nelson in recent years, that’s even with letting Nash walk and prefer to sign Eric Dampier instead. At least Dampier helped Dallas reach the finals in 2006, Lamar couldn’t reach the end of the season before he was told to just stay away. Anyone think it’s a coincidence that the team voted not to give Odom his cut for the playoffs? Didn’t think so. I was not stating that Cuban and Nelson made the wrong move to bring in Odom, not at all, last years sixth man was supposed to bring scoring, passing and rebounding to complement Dirk. It looked like the perfect set up, on paper that is. As the season went on everyone knew it would take some time to adjust to the style of play in Dallas, no one knew it would last all season. I wouldn’t go as far to say that he is the main blame for this disappointing season, but it was a contributing factor to say the least. It’s hard to think about all the practices that were wasted trying to get Odom involved and to the extent of how many games it cost the team. After Odom was told he would no longer be apart of the team, there was a sense of disappointment and frustration from the players who commented about it. There were certainly signs, showing up late for games, practices and meetings, hard to imagine that when the player lives ACROSS the street from the American Airlines Center. I understand those types of things happening in grade school, but when you are a professional athlete, there is no excuse for it, let alone repeated offenses. Of course when things aren’t right on the home front, upset about being traded and the other issues Odom was dealing with, but in the end we all are dealing with our own issues and still have to perform at work or we are replaced. In the end, that’s just what needed to happen, as a Lam Lam fan prior to his arrival, I wish him the best as long as I don’t have to suffer watching him play in Dallas again.
Now that this season has come to an end, it is time to look ahead and how this team can reload this summer. For the first time in the Cuban era Dallas has plenty of cap room, allowing the team to bring in some big names. Of course the top of the list is Derron Williams, Dallas native from The Colony, and there are a number of other players Dallas should and will target. Lets start with some possible names that could be brought in, when healthy Eric Gordon is a lights out shooter and would be an upgrade if he can stay healthy, IF. O.J. Mayo is another guard that score in bunches, doesn’t play great defense but a definite scoring threat in his time with Memphis. Dallas has been in search of a big man, Tyson Chandler is the only one in recent memory who has really contributed. This offseason there are a few centers like Roy Hibbert, Brook Lopez and JaVale McGee, Dallas should consider strongly on using their amnesty clause to rid them of Haywood’s contract. Even though Delonte West didn’t have a strong impact in the OKC series, I think he should be brought back. The biggest question mark has to be with Kidd, rumors of him joining the Heat have emerged, would he accept a backup role if Dallas acquired Williams? That will remain to be seen on the contract he is offered by other teams and the situation in Dallas. I strongly believe that we have seen the end of Jason Terry in a Mavericks uniform, with him constantly whining about a contract and his poor play most of the season, it looks as if him and the team will go their separate ways.
This summer is going to be exciting, with the draft and free agency, as well as how Cuban spends his money. Dallas has the cap room to bring players in and build a team that should compete next year, and hopefully erase the memories from this season. I have faith in Cuban and Nelson to make some moves this year that will do nothing but help this team in the short term as well as the long run.
About the Author
Written by Max Barton
Current student at the University of Oklahoma, my passion is sports and trying to make that passion my profession.