It was a short stay in the 2012 playoffs for Dirk Nowitzki and the defending champion Dallas Mavericks. After getting swept by the Oklahoma City Thunder in the first round, Nowitzki all but came out and demanded an upgrade in the roster, saying (via Slam Online):
"We need some guys that can make plays for themselves. That’s pretty obvious. If you look at all the top teams now, they have at least two-three guys they can throw the ball to and they do their thing.”
With that in mind, let's take a look towards the offseason and potential moves the Mavs could potentially make to get Nowitzki the help he needs.
Deron Williams, PG, Brooklyn Nets
Everyone knows the Williams-to-the-Mavs rumors by now, and it makes sense to target the top free agent on the market. Pairing a point guard in his prime like Williams with a future Hall of Famer in Nowitzki makes the Mavs instantly more dangerous.
Steve Nash, PG, Phoenix Suns
If Dallas fails to land Williams, Nash logically makes the next most sense. Pairing Nash with his good friend Dirk could make sense, but remember that the duo didn't have much success the first time around.
But that was a decade ago, and things should be different now. However, before committing to Nash, the Mavs would be wise to add a couple of other pieces first.
Ersan Iylasova, PF, Milwaukee Bucks
ERsan Iylasova is coming off his best season, averaging 16.2 points and 9.1 rebounds after the All-Star break. He plays the same position as Nowitzki, but the Mavs need depth as well and he's someone that Norm Hizges thinks they could target.
Spencer Hawes, C, Philadelphia 76ers
Dallas needs a man in the middle to go with Ian Mahinmi, and they could take a run at the restricted free agent Hawes.
Hawes is having a very nice postseason and will probably be looking to cash in off of it. Hopefully the Mavs learned their lesson in giving out bad lengthy contracts. I like Hawes, but before giving out big money to him, it may make more sense to target a veteran like Marcus Camby for a year.
Goran Dragic, PG, Houston Rockets
Personally, if they lose out on Williams, I'd rather see the Mavs pursue Dragic instead of Nash. He had a terrific second half of the season this year, and in the final 28 games, Dragic averaged 17.8 points and 8.1 assists. He played all 66 games, and he just turned 26 years old.
Ray Allen, SG, Boston Celtics
This only makes sense if Dallas can't re-sign Jason Terry, which I think they will be able to. Allen has a smooth stroke and is a future Hall of Famer, but at the age of 36, he's two years older than Terry, and adding an aging veteran would seem to go against what the Mavericks are trying to do, which is get younger.
But if they lose Terry, someone has to replace his perimeter shooting, and you can't go wrong with the greatest three-point shooter of all time.
Chris Kaman, C, New Orleans Hornets
Kaman could add depth, as he's a serviceable big man with some wear left on the tires. At 30, he's one of the more youthful options when it comes to affordable big men. Kaman could be a decent option, as he averaged 13.1 points and 7.7 rebounds for the Hornets.
C.J. Miles, SF, Utah Jazz
Miles is on this list for depth reasons as well. He's from the Dallas area, so returning home to play could be an option. he averaged 9 points and 2.1 rebounds off the Utah bench this season.