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5 Reasons the Dallas Mavericks Should Go All in Next Year

1. Can’t waste Luka Doncic’s prime

Luka Doncic blossomed into an NBA superstar much earlier than the Dallas Mavericks anticipated. And despite being just 24 years old, the Mavericks would be remiss to not surround Doncic with adequate talent around the edges, even though he likely hasn’t even reached his peak yet.

Sure, Dallas may have been caught off guard from a team-building perspective once Doncic took a drastic leap in Year 2, but his prime may potentially span the majority of his NBA career.

Because of this, one could argue that Dallas should expend all their resources every year to try and build a contending team around Doncic since players cut from his cloth tend to only come around once in a generation.

Mavericks fans are all too familiar with Mark Cuban’s decisions to not pay Steve Nash and Jalen Brunson their asking price. One can only hope that the quality of rosters that Dirk Nowitzki had to carry to the playoffs year after year in the post-Nash/pre-2011 era will end up being much worse than the rosters Doncic will continue to spearhead in the post-Brunson era.

Kyrie Irving is obviously the elephant in the room, as Dirk never played with a player of that caliber. But even so, the Mavericks can’t afford to rely too heavily on Irving for help when filling out the rest of their roster.

The Mavericks improved steadily this offseason on the wing and in the youth department, but it’s still likely not enough to contend in a loaded Western Conference without a tried and true rim protector.

We’ll see how good Dallas is once the season rolls around, but without a starting center heading into training camp, some fans would argue that Dallas is wasting yet another year of Doncic’s prime, especially given how good of shape he got into this offseason.

2. No guarantee about Kyrie Irving’s future

Kyrie Irving signed a three-year, $126 million contract with a player option in year three to return to the Dallas Mavericks this summer. Despite the guarantee of Irving on the roster for at least two more seasons, barring a trade request, the Mavs are definitely not guaranteed his loyalty beyond that time period.

Kyrie is 31 years old, and as timeless as his game continues to be, Father Time spares no victims (outside of maybe LeBron James). The Mavericks could be left with a waning co-star heading into free agency in the summer of 2025 with no immediate replacement valve if Irving starts to show signs of slowing down. Hopefully, Irving ages gracefully, but his health will be something to monitor going forward, too.

Despite that, one would expect Irving not to fall off too drastically within the next two seasons, at the very least. While the Mavericks still have Irving as Doncic’s running mate for the foreseeable future, they can’t be hesitant to expend whatever resources they need in the next two seasons if they want to build a championship-caliber roster around those two.

Championship windows seldom come around for any NBA franchise, and if the Mavericks punt on getting any better throughout the year and don’t make any moves to thrust them into contention, they’d be doing a complete disservice to themselves, Doncic, and Irving.

The Mavericks should go all in during both of the next two seasons if they want to get the most out of Irving’s time in Dallas.

3. Lack of future draft capital

With the Dallas Mavericks missing the playoffs last season, they were fortunate enough to maintain their top-ten protected first-round pick that they gave away to the New York Knicks in the Kristaps Porzingis deal in 2019. However, the ramifications of that deal entail that if the pick wasn’t conveyed in 2023, it would be sent to New York in 2024.

Unless the Mavericks stink the bed to the degree that they did last year, they are poised to not select in the first round of next year’s NBA draft. This means no first-round talent coming into Dallas next year and the inability to trade a first-round pick whenever the 2024 NBA Draft rolls around.

On top of this, Dallas only has one tradable first-round pick (2027) and three second-round picks moving forward. This is due to the Stepien rule, which prevents NBA teams from trading first-round picks in consecutive years ahead of time, as the Mavericks’ trade for Kyrie Irving cost them their 2029 first-round pick.

Dallas does have assets in terms of their wide-array of role players under the age of 25 after this past draft, but they’d certainly be much more hesitant to part with proven commodities that can serve as the bridge to contention once Irving starts to get older, compared to draft picks that don’t even tangibly exist at the moment.

Dallas will have limited opportunities to improve drastically in the coming seasons, so if they get a chance to go all in, they can’t balk at an offer that may hurt them slightly in the youth/draft asset department.

4. Trading for a center isn’t impossible

The Dallas Mavericks had been in talks for the likes of Clint Capela or Deandre Ayton as recently as a couple of months ago, but with talks seemingly having stagnated on both of those fronts, they are about to head into the season without a definitive rim protector.

New addition Richaun Holmes will provide solid rebounding and be a serviceable roll-cut big for Dallas this upcoming season hopefully, but at only 6-foot-9, Holmes isn’t the rim protector Dallas has been looking for.

The Mavs ranked 19th in the league last year in opponent’s points in the paint per game and haven’t done enough so far this offseason to curtail their rim protection issues despite marginal improvement at center.

As promising as 12th overall pick Dereck Lively II looks with his insane measurements and physical tools, he still likely lacks enough competence on both sides of the ball to step in as a Day 1 starter next season.

Dallas doesn’t have a flurry of assets to pull from en route to addressing their need for a rim protector, but with certain players’ values typically diminishing over the course of an NBA season much more than they usually do in the offseason, Dallas may be able to snag a starting center without giving up a first-round pick or one of their young assets in due time.

The Mavs will need to be careful not to overreact and make a bad trade with their limited assets, but they don’t necessarily have to get an All-Star-level center to thrust them into contention. Guys on the level of Mitchell Robinson or Daniel Gafford, per se, could definitely be young assets that their respected teams may give up on who could work out in Dallas.

Even if that’s the only move to be made for Dallas, they can’t relinquish the opportunity to add a player who could improve them to contenders just off fit alone, especially with a limited championship window.

5. Danger of a Luka Doncic trade request

Luka Doncic has shown no signs or desire to leave the Dallas Mavericks, but after finishing 38-44 last season, media and fan speculation ran rampant at the thought of Doncic becoming disgruntled and wanting to get out of Dallas. Doncic has maintained a strong position of loyalty to Dallas, but how much would it take for him to ask out?

There’s a stigma that European superstars are more humble and loyal because of Dirk Nowitzki and Giannis Antetokounmpo (so far) remained dedicated to their franchises amidst seasons of adversity before finally winning a championship.

However, there isn’t a big enough sample size to back up this stereotype, and the Mavericks’ brain trust can’t operate from a position of leverage when it comes to Doncic’s desire or non-desire to remain in Dallas.

Doncic seems like a very loyal guy, as he stayed with the Spanish basketball club Real Madrid from the age of 13 until he was selected by Dallas in the 2018 NBA Draft, but assumptions get you nowhere in the harsh business that is the NBA transaction game.

Members of the Mavericks’ organization and fans alike certainly may think Doncic would be just as loyal as Nowitzki because of how spoiled they were to have gotten 21 seasons of Dirk in Dallas, but the Mavericks need to field the best roster they possibly can this season, and every other season Doncic is in Dallas if they want to definitively secure him on another long-term contract past this one.

Source : The Smoking Cuban