Now that the Golden State Warriors have won the 2017 NBA title with the addition of Kevin Durant, the Dallas Mavericks grabbed the remains of the day.
No NBA team creatively eats the leftovers nobody else wants better than the Mavs.
Two-fifths of the Golden State Warriors’ starting five will sign with the Mavs ... too bad it’s not a combination of Klay Thompson, Draymond Gree and Stephen Curry.
Instead, the Mavs are reportedly going to sign small forward Harrison Barnes to a max, four-year, $96 million contract and center Andrew Bogut as the Warriors are in a hurry to dump cash in order to sign KD. The Mavs will also add the wrong Curry - Seth, to a two-year deal.
Mark Cuban and the Mavs have, for the fifth consecutive offseason, pieced together just enough for the Mavs to be competitive this season. Here is an early look at what the Mavs’ lineup will look like in 2016-’17:
1: Derron Williams
2: Wes Matthews
3: Harrison Barnes
4: Dirk Nowitzki
5: Andrew Bogut
Top bench players: JJ Barea, Seth Curry, Dwight Powell, Justin Anderson, Devon Harris and Salah Mejri.
Their best player remains a 38-year-old white guy who will again lead the team in scoring. Dirk is special but to lean on a man of his age to lead your team in scoring again is less than ideal.
The Mavs will be better defensively than they were last season; Barnes is an athletic, willing defender who can rebound. He’s not nearly the offensive player of Chandler Parsons, but he is only 24 and is an athlete - which is what this team needs.
Bogut is similar to Zaza Pachulia, who agreed to a one-year deal with the Warriors; he’s a big man who can defend the rim, which is what this team needs.
Offensively the Mavs won’t be as good without Parsons but what they lose in scoring they should gain on defense.
The Mavs were 42-40 last season to finish sixth in the Western Conference. Golden State and the Spurs both are stronger - the Spurs are reportedly going to add Pau Gasol - whereas the Thunder are going to be markedly worse.
This new roster looks like it put together another 42 to 45-win year again and flirt with the fifth seed.
The Mavs, once again, didn’t get what they want so they, once again, made do with what remained. The Mavs are committed to being a playoff-competitive team for the duration of Dirk’s career, which is what he wants.