2021-22 Record: 52-30
Key additions: Christian Wood (trade), JaVale McGee (free agency), Jaden Hardy (2022 draft)
Key Deductions: Jalen Brunson (free agency)
Last season: Another stellar effort from Luka Doncic – solidifying his status as one of the league’s best players – was enough to propel the Mavericks to the Western Conference Finals with a 52-game winning streak, upsetting the team with the league’s best record (Phoenix) along the way. Tim Hardaway Jr. was on the mend Foot surgeryIt was a great opportunity for Dallas. Doncic carried the Mavericks down the stretch, commanding double teams on the night, and was the force he hinted to be. Kia MVP candidate In the future. He’s joined by Brunson, who enjoyed an offseason, and a group of role players used by Doncic to draw all the attention of the defense.
Summer Summary: Like Brunson, everyone knows what’s coming Guaranteeing the Knicks It was the worst-kept secret of the season. You could say coach Tom Thibodeau was drawn to New York the moment he got the job a few years ago (Thibodeau has known Brunson since the player was a toddler), and he hired Jalen’s father, Rick Brunson, as an assistant coach this summer.
That meant there was no doubt where Brunson would go when he reached free agency.
— NBA TV (@NBATV) September 6, 2022
It’s a significant loss because even though Brunson is a point guard, he meshes well with Donchi. Their chemistry was strong and Brunson is starting to take off in his career. Postseason play, especially when Doncic missed a few games with an injury, showed he was no slouch, at least as a co-star.
Even worse, the Mavericks lost Brunson for nothing. At least Dallas had the foresight to make a midseason swing. Trade for Spencer Dinwiddie, who bounced back after a terrible start in Washington, to give Dallas another ballplayer with good shooting range. Therefore, Dinwiddi can be a qualified replacement for Brunson.
of A big addition was woodThe rockets were surprisingly found. He is a 6-foot-9 combo forward who can make an impact off the hoop as well as in the paint. The Mavericks need help up front and Wood will do what Kristaps Porzingis couldn’t do for Dallas.
The only question is: Is he a potential star (maybe not) or a good player? This is important because until they get someone at Doncic’s level, the Mavericks will always be an impact player beyond seriously threatening other contenders with more top-flight talent.
So, Dallas’ challenge is to stockpile assets and remain flexible and ready if another team’s franchise star needs it. This happens every season (see Anthony Davis, Kyrie Irving, James Harden, Kevin Durant, etc.) Who wouldn’t want to be teammates with Donchie?
Speaking of the 23-year-old Slovenian superstar, how long will he be happy in Dallas if the Mavericks don’t get enough help? He starts the first season His highest contract extension In the year In 2022-23, but that doesn’t mean anything in today’s NBA, the Stars will decide where they want to play – contracts will be terminated.
Additional frontline help came when the Mavs signed McGee, who is coming off a strong season in Phoenix and could get starting minutes, depending on whether Dwight Powell is good enough to hold the job.
The Mavericks traded with Sacramento to get Hardy in the second round 2022 draft. He was projected as first-round material before dropping to No. 37, mainly due to shooting issues. He shot 35% in his lone season at the G League Ignite, but he’s still only 20 years old and the Mavericks have elements in front of him in the rotation so there’s no big rush.
One of those players is Hardaway, a missing man (and if he had played at all) in the postseason. He had all summer to heal and prepare for the 2022-23 tip-off. So the third biggest offseason issue (behind Brunson and Wood) was Hardaway’s health and whether he could emerge from the lab a better shooter; He dropped from 39.1% to 33.6% on 3-pointers two seasons ago before the injury.
Doncic can no longer connect with Brunson. Now the task is to establish the same relationship and influence with the newcomer, long and completely different. Can wood make the difference?
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