The Mavericks are far away from being a contender in the Western Conference, but the rebuild is moving quickly. They signed DeAndre Jordan and landed Luka Doncic, which gives a significant bump. They are going to be a competitive bunch, and also a tougher team for other Western teams to play against. They might find themselves closing in on that 8-9 seed soon, but looking at the rest of this conference it is tough to predict this season, especially with LeBron James joining the Los Angeles Lakers. Dallas will need some help to contend this season, and keep making the right moves looking into the future.
Dallas has ranked dead last in rebounding the last two seasons, and they went out and landed DeAndre Jordan. He has averaged 15.2 rebounds per game in his career, which will certainly help them. It can’t get any worse, but we will need to see an improvement in rebounding from Barnes and Doncic if this number is going to jump up more than just a few spots. Jordan should help on the offensive side of things, as they ranked dead last in offensive boards. We should expect another team to be at the bottom of the rebounding stats at the end of the season.
Luka Doncic is a versatile forward, and was projected to go first overall at one point. He is a 6’7 wing player, and landed in Dallas when all was said and done after this past year’s draft. He will be playing both forward positions, and is jumping into a pretty good minutes situation. He is just 19 years old, and growing pains will be there at times. He can produce across the board, and is not a slouch defensively either. Playing in Europe the last year helps, but he will still need to get up to speed with the NBA athletes.
Dennis Smith fell to Dallas last season, and was considered to be one of the top guards in the draft. He is an athletic point guard, who needs to find a more consistent shot. He averaged 15 points per game last season, and 5.2 assists. He did see some fourth quarters limited due to play, but as the year went on Dallas started going to him more. Smith has plenty of improvement needed, and year 2 is going to be big for his role as the future point guard. He has some added talent around him, including a strong center that can help out in transition.
J.J. Barea has been a stud second string point guard, and overall sixth man. He is now 34 years old, and has had on and off hamstring trouble that hasn’t limited him too much yet. The second unit does not have much to be excited about, and will be a trouble spot when looking at the other benches within the conference. Barea gives them hope both as a scorer, and a playmaker. He has averaged at least ten points per game over the last three seasons, and over four assists per game. This is all while averaging minutes in the lower 20s.