Free NBA Picks: Dallas Mavericks Futures Odds
by Aaron Smith - 10/9/2013
It was just two seasons ago that the Dallas Mavericks were the defending NBA Champions. Dallas topped the Miami Heat in a very impressive NBA Finals performance. The past two seasons can’t be seen as anything other than a disappointment. Last year, the Mavericks weren’t even able to work their way into the playoffs. Dirk Nowitzki got a late start to the season, and he wasn’t the same player he used to be.
The Mavericks don’t look a thing like they did three seasons ago when they took home the NBA title. Nowitzki is still here, and Coach Rick Carlisle is still on the sideline, but the rest of the team looks very different. Mark Cuban gets more headlines (both good and bad) than any other owner in the league, and he is still in full control of this franchise. Is Dallas ready for another run, or is this team going to continue its spiral downward? Let’s take a look at the Mavericks offseason moves and how their roster stacks up heading into the season.
2012-2013 Quick Recap
Last season was a complete mess for the Mavericks. The primary problem was that the team simply couldn’t stay healthy. Nowitzki missed 29 games, and he wasn’t himself almost all year long. Shawn Marion missed 15 games and played hurt for part of the season. Dallas had 23 different players play for the team last year as they tried to patch together a group to get the job done. Mark Cuban said during the offseason, “No reason to re-hash last year. It sucked from every angle and was no fun for anyone.” Clearly, Cuban is ready to turn the page and focus on a new year! Dallas finished last year at 41-41 and four games out of the playoff standings.
Totally Retooled Backcourt
The first change Dallas made during the offseason was a completely retooling of their backcourt. Darren Collison, Rodrigue Beaubois, and O.J. Mayo are all gone. Monta Ellis and Jose Calderon were both signed to long-term deals to start beside each other in the backcourt. Wayne Ellington was signed to help stretch the floor with his three-point shooting prowess. Vince Carter is the only member of last year’s backcourt on this team’s roster.
Shane Larkin was also the Mavericks top pick in the NBA Draft this season. Larkin starred last season at Miami, and he seems like the playmaker that the Mavericks could use moving forward. Larkin broke his right ankle in the offseason, and he is still a ways off from being ready to go. It’s unclear if he’ll be ready for the start of the regular season, but Larkin will play a big role in the Mavericks future plans.
No Big Offseason Signing
The Mavericks had cleared a lot of cap space so they could make a big offseason signing this year. The plan was for Cuban and the rest of the front office to bring in a guy like Dwight Howard or Chris Paul to be a new leader of the franchise. Nowitzki is still a quality player, but very few people believe he will ever play at the extremely high level he played at three seasons ago. That’s why it was assumed that Dallas would have a new leader heading into the 2013-14 season.
As it turns out, Paul ended up staying in Los Angeles as the team brought in Doc Rivers to be the new coach. Howard did go to Texas, but he ended up in Houston instead of Dallas. Howard signing with the Rockets was definitely a hit to the Mavericks hopes, but they brought in Sam Dalembert and DeJuan Blair to improve their depth in the frontcourt. Dallas used up some of their cap room and flexibility by signing Calderon and Ellis, but they’ll still be able to be active players in the free agency period next offseason.
Free NBA Picks: Dallas Mavericks Futures Odds
The oddsmakers are still giving the Mavericks some respect when it comes to NBA futures odds for the upcoming season. Dallas is listed at 50/1 to win the NBA Championship in 2014, according to odds from Bovada. The Mavericks are listed at +2,500 to win the Western Conference, according to BetOnline.
I’m a little surprised the Mavericks are listed as high as they are by the oddsmakers heading into this season. There were no huge signings in the offseason, and this team doesn’t look ready to make a big leap up in the Western Conference standings. To me, this is a team that will likely battle for the last couple playoff spots in the West. If they do get to the playoffs, we shouldn’t expect them to be around for long. There are just too many questions and not enough answers for the Mavericks.
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