Previews

NBA season preview: Dallas Mavericks

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STAYING: Justin Anderson, Jose Juan Barea, Devin Harris, Wesley Matthews, Salah Mejri, Dirk Nowitzki, Dwight Powell and Deron Williams.

ADDED: Quincy Acy (Sacramento), Harrison Barnes (Golden State), Andrew Bogut (Golden State), Nicolas Brussino (Peñarol), Kyle Collinsworth (Brigham Young), Seth Curry (Sacramento), Dorian Finney-Smith (Florida), Jonathan Gibson (Qingdao DoubleStar), AJ Hammons (Purdue), Keith Hornsby (Louisiana State) and Jameel Warney (Stony Brook).

GONE: Jeremy Evans (Indiana), Raymond Felton (LA Clippers), David Lee (San Antonio), JaVale McGee (Golden State), Zaza Pachulia (Golden State), Chandler Parsons (Memphis) and Charlie Villanueva.

STRENGTHS: Rick Carlisle has a track record of maximizing the talent available … His teams are pretty cohesive units too … Dirk Nowitzki remains an offensive force to be reckoned with even at his age … Harrison Barnes may make up for the loss of Chandler Parsons and then some … Is there untapped star potential there? … If Wesley Matthews gets back to his old Portland form, that’s awesome news for Dallas … Can’t be more disappointing than his 2015-16 season … Andrew Bogut should be an upgrade over Zaza Pachulia at center with similar toughness and more mobility and skill … With Bogut, there will be more rebounding and intimidation around the basket than last year (although that should be easy) … A lot of size in the frontcourt.

WEAKNESSES: That Nowitzki remains the team’s top player is not good news … There’s just too many ‘ifs’ at play here … The Mavs need a lot of best-case scenarios with veterans not declining, young guys stepping up, Barnes looking like a boderline star, Matthews and Bogut playing healthy … A lot of things need to fall into place for Dallas to be truly competitive in the Western Conference … They have a bunch of serviceable point guards, but no star power in a position where most of the top squads have absolute beasts … Not many players with the ability to create off the dribble consistently … Bench is average-ish at best … Defensive personnel is far from top-notch … Very little quickness and athleticism in the projected starting lineup … Don’t expect a lot of fast-break points.

PREDICTION: 4th in the Southwest Division,  10th in the Western Conference.

SALARIES:

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