The Mavericks, who were unceremoniously escorted from the playoffs, were a markedly different team than the one that captured the crown last summer. This offseason will bring about even more change as Dallas looks to make a huge splash in the free agent market once July rolls around.
So as the Mavericks prepare for both free agency as well as the upcoming NBA Draft, let's take a look at some of the recent news surrounding the team.
The Dwight Howard saga has made the Orlando Magic's superstar as polarizing as any figure in the NBA. If fans are naive enough to believe that his off the court antics have hurt his stock as a player in any way, however, they have another thing coming to them.
As for what is to come of the D-12 trade sweepstakes, it could be an emphatic nothing. If that is in fact the case, Howard will enter free agency.
Per a report via Adrian Wonarowski of Yahoo! Sports, it's the Dallas Mavericks who would emerge as the most likely suitors.
While the Mavericks have every right to be skeptical, as the same had been said about Deron Williams, this certainly makes sense. Howard would play alongside Dirk Nowitzki in Dallas and have the best chance to win with that franchise than any other realistic suitor.
More details will be reported as they emerge.
Update: Thursday, July 26 -- Maxwell Ogden
It was previously reported that Delonte West had committed to a return to the Dallas Mavericks. This came as music to the Mavericks' ears as they lack even the slightest form of stability at the point.
Just days later, the deal has been made official. Earl K. Sneed of Mavs.com has the report.
The Mavs have officially re-signed guard Delonte West.— Earl K. Sneed (@EKS_MavsNBA) July 26, 2012
West will collaborate with Darren Collison and Rodrigue Beaubois to hold down the point. While that's far from encouraging for the Mavericks, Delonte West's crafty ball handling abilities certainly help the team in a major way.
Update: Tuesday, July 24 -- Maxwell Ogden
The Dallas Mavericks are in dire need of a ball handler. To cure those woes, bringing back their southpaw with elite slashing abilities, Delonte West, could be the best possible move.
According to Marc Stein of ESPN.com, that's exactly what the Dallas Mavericks plan on doing.
Just leaving Palau Sant Jordi and just got word Delonte West has just committed to return to Mavs next season. More details as we get 'em— Marc Stein (@ESPNSteinLine) July 24, 2012
As more details emerge, they will be reported. Until then, it's safe to assume that the Mavericks will in fact re-sign West. He may just be the best ball handler they have.
Update: Tuesday, July 24 -- Joel C. Cordes
Delonte West still hasn't gotten much play on the NBA free-agent guard rumor mill, but he appears to be weighing his options as the list of potential names dwindles around him.
The Dallas Mavericks have also been waiting for Delonte. While they've retooled the entire roster, they could still have room for a versatile and defensive combo guard like West. Unfortunately for him, it's unlikely that he'll find starter's minutes as he did last year for both guard spots.
The Dallas Star-Telegram reports that both sides continue to talk, but both understand that West will continue looking for a better financial and playing-time offer before he returns to the Mavs.
Update: Wednesday, July 18 -- Joel C. Cordes
The Dallas Morning News reports that the Mavericks are still interested in bringing Delonte West back, though they do note he has "other options on the table" too.
No strong rumors have developed yet around West, so it's interesting to hear that he may have other suitors. With most of the big names already off the board, West may attract some attention from guard-desperate teams.
However, his personal baggage and limited upside have kept things quiet so far. It's unknown what role he would play for a Mavs team that no has Darren Collison and Roddy Beaubois at the point with Vince Carter and Dahtnay Jones at the two-spot.
- End of Update -
According to a report via Jeff Caplan of ESPNDallas.com, the Dallas Mavericks are in hot pursuit of a point guard. One of the possibilities is a player who spent the 2012 season with the Mavs.
Combo guard Delonte West averaged an efficient 9.6 points, 3.2 assists, 2.6 rebounds and 1.3 steals per game in just 24.1 minutes per game. In 2013, however, he's looking for more a team to trust him with more than just a one-year stint.
West, who played in Dirk Nowitzki's charity baseball game Saturday and held a basketball camp in Fort Worth on Tuesday despite not being under contract, said he does not know what other teams might have interest in signing him. West said he is seeking a multiyear deal after playing on one-year, minimum contracts the last two seasons.
"Looking for a team to pay me what I'm worth, not a cent more," West said.
A modest request from the from St. Joseph's star. A request that the Dallas Mavericks must comply with, as they remain thin in a free agency depleted backcourt.
The Dallas Mavericks have officially signed two draft picks from the 2012 class.
First, the team signed second-round pick Jae Crowder.
Per Mavs PR, 2nd round draft choice Jae Crowder has officially been signed by the Mavericks.
— Bryan Gutierrez (@BallinWithBryan) July 20, 2012
Following that move, the Mavs announced a deal with first-round pick Jared Cunningham, according to the Dallas Morning News.
As the No. 24 pick, the 6-foot-4 Cunningham is slotted to receive $963,600 in 2012-13 and $1,007,000 in 2013-014, although teams are allowed to pay as little as 80-percent or as much as 120-percent of the scale amount. The rookie wage scale also provides for third- and fourth-years of the contract that are non-guaranteed.
Update (7/19/12) by Maxwell Ogden
The skeptics can breathe easy, as O.J. Mayo has officially signed a contract to join the Dallas Mavericks.
--End of Update--
Update (7/17/12) by Maxwell Ogden
According to Jeff Caplan of ESPNDallas.com, the Dallas Mavericks have agreed to a multi-year deal with 24-year-old shooting guard O.J. Mayo. This report comes just hours after O.J. Mayo announced his decision to sign with the Mavs in as strange a way as we could imagine.
Or just a way that takes a page out of Deron Williams' playbook.
Wuzzup DALLAS!— OJ Mayo (@JuiceMayo32) July 17, 2012
Expect Mayo to play a key role in the Mavericks' pursuit of a second NBA Title in three years. Also expect him to flash the form that made him a young star in 2009 and 2010.
--End of Update--
The Dallas Mavericks lost jason Terry to the Boston Celtics and their playoff odds instantly crashed. In an attempt to save themselves from a year of disappointment, it appears as if they've targeted a young 2 whose star potential has not yet been realized.
I will be signing with dallas! #Mavsnation— OJ Mayo (@JuiceMayo32) July 17, 2012
O.J. Mayo was the third overall draft choice in the 2008 NBA Draft. He began his career with two stellar seasons in '09 and '10, averaging 18.5 and 17.5 points per game in each successive season. Unfortunately, Mayo's stock took a hit when he fell out of favor in Memphis.
In Dallas, expect Mayo to re-discover the form that had some labeling him the next great shooting guard in the NBA.
Update (7/17/12) by Maxwell Ogden
Royce Young of CBSSports.com reports that Chris Kaman and the Dallas Mavericks have agreed to a one year deal worth $8 million. This comes two years after Kaman made the Western Conference All-Star team as a member of the Los Angeles Clippers.
--End of Update--
After missing out on the top talent in this year's class of free agency, the Dallas Mavericks have made a move to ensure their relevancy. With the center position remaining a glaring need, Mark Cuban is closign in on signing one of the toughest big men in the league.
Mavericks have agreed in principle to sign center Chris Kaman, a source tells Yahoo! Sports.— Marc J. Spears (@SpearsNBAYahoo) July 11, 2012
With the potential signing of Kaman, the Mavericks front court improves in a major way. With big man Brendan Haywood always an effective option, depth at the 5 is now present for the first time since Tyson Chandler's departure.
The question is, what will the Mavericks do about their weakness at other positions?
Update (7/17/12) by Maxwell Ogden
Per a report via Jeff Caplan of ESPNDallas.com, the Dallas Mavericks and Indiana Pacers' have completed their multi-player deal. This will secure both Darren Collison and Dahntay Jones for the 2013 season.
Collison, who is entering the final year of his rookie contract, will see $2.3 million in 2013. Jones, meanwhile, will make $2.9 million.
--End of Update--
After missing out on Deron Williams, Goran Dragic and Jeremy Lin, it appeared as if the Mavericks were stuck in a precarious position. Jason Kidd had left for the Knicks and Delonte West remains an unrestricted free agent.
Then came the blessing of the trade market.
Multiple reports say the Indiana Pacers will trade guards Darren Collison and Dahntay Jones to the Dallas Mavericks for center Ian Mahinmi.— Michael Scotto (@MikeAScotto) July 12, 2012
Darren Collison is unstoppable in the open court. He's excellent at shifting directions and finishes as well around the basket as any at his position. While his court vision and overall facilitating abilities could improve, he's only 24 and is headed to play for one of the best head coaches in the game: Rick Carlisle.
This is a great trade for the Mavericks, who also land a stout perimeter defender with above-average shooting ability in Dahntay Jones.
According to Ken Berger of CBS Sports, the Dallas Mavericks have got the man they've wanted. Depth in the front court should no longer be an issue as the Mavs head into the 2013 regular season with two top tier free agent acquisitions playing alongside Dirk Nowitzki.
Elton Brand has been successfully claimed off amnesty waivers by the Mavericks, agent David Falk confirms.— Ken Berger (@KBergCBS) July 13, 2012
The Dallas Mavericks had been rumored to be targeting both Elton Brand and Luis Scola. Clearly, they've made their decision on which player was of higher priority.
According to John Hollinger of ESPN.com, the Dallas Mavericks will use their amnesty clause on center Brendan Haywood.
Mavs amnesty of Haywood a likely prelude to auction bid on Elton Brand. Can do $9.2M now by my count.— John Hollinger (@johnhollinger) July 11, 2012
Haywood was scheduled to make roughly $38 million over the next four seasons, including upwards of $10 million in 2016. With Haywood now off of the roster and Chris Kaman joining it, the Mavericks open the door for a big financial exploration.
One that could include Elton Brand.
Update: Tuesday, July 31 -- Maxwell Ogden
The Orlando Magic have seemingly been in talks with every NBA team possible for a potential trade of Dwight Howard. The latest chapter in the Dwight Howard sweepstakes, however, has the Magic in talks with the 2011 NBA Champions.
Mike Fisher of Fox Sports Southwest has the report.
Mavs GM Donnie Nelson and Magic GM Orlando GM Rob Hennigan visited last week about a Dwight Howard trade and "will probably talk again,'' Nelson tells FOXSportsSouthwest.com. Meanwhile, Dwight and the Magic seem done visiting.
This deal seems unlikely, as Dallas lacks the youth that Orlando is likely to ask for. They are, however, on pace to be a major player in the 2013 period of free agency and could steal D-12 away from Orlando.
More details on this story as they emerge.
-- Report via B/R's Dwight Howard tracker
UPDATE: Wednesday, July 11 -- Eric Ball
Deron Williams is with Nets GM Billy King in Las Vegas, signing his five-year, $98.75 million deal as we tweet, source says.— Ken Berger (@KBergCBS) July 11, 2012
Williams is in it for the long haul, but ESPN’s Marc Stein reports that Williams does have the opportunity to opt-out of the deal after the fourth year.
- Content for this update provided by Bleacher Report's Top Free Agents offseason tracker.
- End of Update -
ESPN NBA analyst Stephen A. Smith appeared on KESN's "Ben & Skin" radio show earlier this week to warn Mavericks' fans that Dallas might not acquire Deron Williams or Dwight Howard this summer.
A trade for Howard would be extraordinarily difficult given the current state of the Mavericks' roster. Dallas simply doesn't have enough valuable commodities to pull off a deal, and the Orlando Magic won't do any swap centered entirely around draft picks.
Williams is a much more realistic "get," but as Smith warns, not everyone is as optimistic about the state of the Mavericks' franchise as the team itself would have you believe.
Even though they made the playoffs, the Dallas Mavericks had a definite rooting interest in last Wednesday's draft lottery.
Since the Brooklyn Nets weren't fortunate enough to move into the top three spots, their lottery pick was conveyed to the Portland Trail Blazers as a result of the Gerald Wallace trade made back in March.
Without a high pick, the Nets are a slightly less attractive free agent destination today and, as a result, may no longer be the No. 1 team in the running for the services of point guard Deron Williams.
It's widely assumed that the Mavericks will make a play this summer for Williams, who starred at The Colony High School in Texas. Dallas has plenty of cap space to make it happen, but the Nets are still able to offer Williams more money than any other team.
Plan B for the Mavericks (if they can't sign Deron Williams) goes by the name of Petteri Koponen.
For those unfamiliar with Euroleague basketball, Koponen is a 6'4", Finnish point guard who currently plays for Virtus Bologna in the top-level Italian basketball league. Koponen was originally selected by the Philadelphia 76ers with the 30th overall pick in the 2007 NBA Draft, but his rights were traded to Dallas last June for the 57th pick in the 2011 draft.
According to reports, Koponen is eager to make the leap to the NBA, but he won't leave Europe if he is destined to be relegated to the bench next season. So, in short, if Dallas does sign Williams, don't expect to see Koponen in a Mavericks' uniform any time soon.
UPDATE (6/1): SportandoBasket is reporting that Koponen has agreed to a three-year deal with Khimki Moscow. Should Koponen want to continue to pursue his NBA dream, the contract contains opt-out clauses after each season.
After a disappointing first-round exit in the playoffs this season, Dirk Nowitzki made it abundantly clear that the Dallas Mavericks need to add a few key pieces this offseason if they truly want to be considered contenders.
"If you want to be an elite team in the league right now, you have to have two or three guys that can go off at any time," said Nowitzki. "I just thought [Oklahoma City] had more weapons than us."
The soon-to-be 34-year-old forward also said that he's fine with being Mavericks' No. 2 option if the team lands a prized free agent this summer.
The most important move of the Mavericks' offseason may not be an eventual Deron Williams deal, but the 4-year extension signed by head coach Rick Carlisle.
Carlisle would have been the hottest commodity on the open market had he been allowed to walk when his previous contract ended on July 1. In his four seasons with Dallas, Carlisle has a winning percentage of .635, and led the team to the Larry O'Brien trophy last June.
Sean Deveney of Sporting News thinks that Dallas will use its selection on Syracuse combo guard Dion Waiters, while Aran Smith of FoxSports.com and NBADraft.net say that Ohio State PF Jared Sullinger will be the newest Maverick come June 28.