Wednesday, July 25, 2012


After Deron Williams (second left) decided to stay with the Brooklyn
Nets, the Mavs had to go to Plan B. (Photo by Mary Altaffer/AP)

All hope seemed lost for the Dallas Mavericks two weeks ago after losing out on Deron Williams and two key members of the 2011 squad that beat the Miami Heat for the NBA Championship.

However by adding OJ Mayo Monday to a solid gathering of acquisitions, the Mavs have turned a possible disaster to a good offseason in that short span.

The 2011-12 NBA season was a tough one for the Mavericks. They went 36-30, endured drama from Lamar Odom not wanting to be there and got swept in the first round by the eventual Western Conference champion Oklahoma City Thunder.

They let five good players from the 2011 team walk and join other teams, including Tyson Chandler—possibly the best center Dallas has had in the Dirk Nowitzki era.

The goal for the Mavericks was simple: be players in the 2012 free agency period and get Dwight Howard and either Deron Williams or Chris Paul.

The Paul hopes ended with his trade to the Los Angeles Clippers before the season and Howard decided to opt-in with the Orlando Magic at the trade deadline, but Williams remained.

After help delivering the franchise's first title, Jason Kidd (right) and
Jason Terry left Dallas this offseason. Kidd went to the Knicks, Terry
went to the Celtics. (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)
Well, until this tweet.

That, losing out on Steve Nash to the Los Angeles Lakers and letting their two veteran guards—Jason Terry and Jason Kidd—sign elsewhere, things looked like it would be similar to the previous season, if not worse.

In May, Nowitzki shared his thoughts about a possible rebuild on ESPN Dallas 103.3 FM’s “Galloway & Co.”

“If we really come out with nobody this summer then maybe they want to rebuild and, obviously, I’m too old for that,” Nowitzki said. “We’ll just have to wait and see what happens on that front. But I still think I got two, three good years left in me and if we get some players in here we can be right back up there and compete.”

Help came on July 11, when Dallas signed former NBA All-Star Chris Kaman—Nowitzki’s frontcourt mate on the German national basketball team. Later that day, the Mavs received Darren Collison and Dahntay Jones from the Indiana Pacers as a part of a sign-and-trade for Ian Mahinmi.

Former No. 3 pick O.J. Mayo averaged 12.6 points per game last year with the Memphis
Grizzlies coming off of the bench. (Photo by Brad Towsend/Dallas Morning News)
Dallas continued to make moves by amnestying Brendan Haywood, claiming Elton Brand off waivers from the Philadelphia 76ers and signing O.J. Mayo to add a scorer to take some pressure off of Nowitzki.

Mayo’s tweet certainly made Dallas fans enjoyed, as his signing completed the turnaround from disaster by not making the big move to satisfaction by improving the team with solid pieces to add youth and depth.

“We think we’ve positioned ourselves so that we have a young nucleus,” Mavericks owner Mark Cuban said. We can keep these guys, let them jell and play together, build around Dirk and have room for hopefully someone to come or to trade or whatever happens.”

With Dallas signing all three of their rookies—Jared Cunningham, Bernard James and Jae Crowder—and bringing back Delonte West, who became a fan favorite in Dallas with his gritty play, the team certainly has repositioned itself to be a tough out in the Western Conference.
While Jared Cunningham (second right) was held out of Summer
League play due to injury, Jae Crowder and Bernard James showed a glimpse
of the future with good play. (Photo by Stephen Chavera/Dallas Mavericks)

While the Oklahoma City Thunder and the Los Angeles Lakers appear to be favorites in the conference, expect the Mavs to compete division crown with the San Antonio Spurs and the Memphis Grizzlies being the main competition, with the rising New Orleans Hornets and retooled Houston Rockets expecting to also make it tough in the always challenging Southwest.

As for the rest, it all depends on how well this team jells.