What Are You Doing, Cubes?
- Updated: August 1, 2015
By Ronnie Garcia
By now you know that the Dallas Mavericks had one of the, if not THE worst offseason in the NBA. Not only did they miss out on LaMarcus Aldridge, but they courted the second biggest free agent out there, Deandre Jordan. All Jordan did was hold the Mavericks hostage for about a week before he finally decided to renege on his verbal agreement and slither back to the Los Angeles Clippers.
What this did to the Mavericks was essentially gutting them, from the inside out. From the INSIDE OUT.
How did this happen?
Why did this happen?
By doing his business the way he did, Mark Cuban and Donnie Nelson have doomed the Mavericks to mediocrity for the foreseeable future. Sure they signed an aged Deron Williams, who has bad ankles and a bad knee. They signed a hurt Wesley Matthews coming off of an Achilles injury, and got back up bigs, ZaZa Pachulia and Samuel Dalembert.
After that, the Mavericks have signed a multitude of power forwards, shooting guards and such to fill out a roster. Bad news is, even with the recent signings, the Mavericks are STILL the oldest team in the NBA. Nearing 30 years old on average, the Mavs are not only old, but probably an 8th seed if things go perfectly.
What else ya got??
For YEARS, the Mavericks have placed all their eggs in a “big free agent signing” from Deron Williams (the first time around), to Dwight Howard, to Deandre Jordan. For whatever reason, big FA’s are not coming to Dallas. Dallas missing out the big fish, decided to go after other free agents with 1 year deals.
While that makes good business sense, if gives the player incentive to play hard, give 100% and try for a career year so they can cash in the following year, it does NOTHING to help the Mavs in the long term. This is where drafting comes in.
The Mavericks under Mark Cuban and Donnie Nelson, and to a certain extent, Don Nelson, have missed the boat. They have gone for filling the roster with veteran free agents who will sign for the MLE (mid-level exception), a one year deal, or for the veteran minimum. Put those three thing together and you have the makings of a disastrous 2015-2016.
First, you have an aging Dirk Nowitzki, surrounded by teammates who do not and cannot rebound. Sure they drafted a kid out of Virginia, Justin Anderson who looks like he can be a player but what else have they got?
Would it surprise you that since the 2000 draft, the Mavericks have EXACTLY, ONE player who saw the roster and garnered significant playing time?
True. Oh it’s true. A 6’7” forward from Wake Forest University was the player they chose.
Josh Howard was his name. He had a good career with the Mavericks until some crazy things happened in his personal life as well as suspected drug abuse.
There were 24 players drafted since 2000 and only Howard made the team. Either the Mavs have a HORRID scouting department, or they don’t know what the heck they are doing.
Why is no one calling out Cuban for this? It’s his team? If it was me, I’d be pissed off! I know he hates losing, but to not even be competitive?? Surely he cannot be pleased with what he’s seen for the last 15 years.
Sure he won the title in 2011 with a rag-tag team made up of, wait for it, veterans signed to one year deals or veteran minimums. He promptly dismantled the team the following year fearing the “end of the world” in terms of NBA financing, salary cap, luxury tax, etc…
But Ronnie, drafting is a crap shoot, you never know if a player can play!
Look down I-35 in San Antonio. While it kills me to say this, the Spurs are what the Mavericks should ascribe to be like.
Since 2000, the Spurs have drafted 27 players and out of those, 14 have gone on to play for either the Spurs or for other teams. Players like: Tony Parker, Tiago Splitter, Leandro Barbosa, Beno Udrih, Goran Dragic, and George Hill among others.
Those guys listed are very good players. All drafted by the Spurs. The Spurs keep winning championships or competing for them year after year after year. They don’t rebuild, they reload.
The Spurs have Greg Popovich and the Mavericks have, in my estimation, the second best coach in the league in Rick Carlisle. So why don’t the Mavs draft better?
I think it’s the lure of the Euro player, the “next Dirk.” Problem is, there is ONLY one, Dirk. The Mavericks didn’t even draft him. They got him in a draft day trade with the Milwaukee Bucks for Robert “Tractor” Traylor. Think THEY want a do over?
Obviously, things have to change, or the Mavericks will be stuck in limbo for the foreseeable future. I do not see them finishing more than 8th in the West. The West is just that stacked.
It will take years of drafting to turn this thing around and they have to stop trying to improve the team by “signing big FA’s.” Sure the Mavs have been good for a long time. The one constant during this time is the big, German, Dirk. When he’s gone, it’s not going to be pretty. Granted he is no longer the best player on this team, but he’s a pretty good scorer.
The Mavericks are going to have to hit rock bottom before Mark Cuban wakes up and smells the coffee. I know he is a savvy business man. All you have to do is watch Shark Tank to see him analyze deals before making an offer.
I hope he makes a deal with the scouting department to work smarter, not harder. Quit drafting guys like Satnam Singh with your second round. The Mavs could have passed on a guy who could be the next, Manu Ginobili, who coincidentally was a late second round pick.
Instead they pick a guy who will likely NEVER sniff the court at the American Airlines Center.
Once again, WHAT ARE YOU DOING CUBES??
Ronnie Garcia is the Voice of Reason at The Scoop. He is also an avid guitarist, educator, and all around smarmy guy. Ronnie co-hosts The Fanatics on Monday nights from 7-9pm on KTSR-db. You can follow him on twitter @TheRonMann.