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Deron Williams to the Nets: Why the Mavs Might Not Make the Playoffs Next Season

DALLAS, TX - MAY 03: Dirk Nowitzki #41 of the Dallas Mavericks walks off the court after a loss to the Oklahoma City Thunder during Game Three of the Western Conference Quarterfinal at American Airlines Center on May 3, 2012 in Dallas, Texas.  NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
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Nikhil BaradwajSenior Analyst IJuly 3, 2012

Without a doubt, this is not what Dallas owner Mark Cuban expected one year ago when the Mavericks won their first NBA Championship.

Dallas had just shocked Miami and it seemed that the sky was the limit.

It was only time until this team would be able to build their own super-team and contend for a title. They made the cap space open when they decided to not sign Tyson Chandler and JJ Barea.

Both blossomed in their new situations and the Mavericks tanked, as the defending champions were swept in the first round.

Yet, next season looked promising. The Mavericks now were faced with the chance to fulfill their dream of signing a big-name free agent.

It seemed like it was meant to be. Deron Williams was the hometown kid who was going to rescue the Mavericks next season. Instead, he chose the bright lights of Brooklyn.

Not only did Dallas lose out on Williams, but they will also lose their sixth man in Jason Terry.

The question begs to be asked: Will the Mavericks be a playoff team next season?

With the current pieces, the answer to that question might be a no. With the Spurs, Thunder, Lakers, Clippers, Grizzlies, and Nuggets all having improved, the Mavericks sit at the bottom of the playoff race already.

Factor in teams like the Jazz, Trailblazers (especially if they sign Roy Hibbert), Rockets and Warriors, and the Mavericks' chances at the playoffs diminish even further.

Dallas might be rebuilding a little earlier than they had expected. Mavs fans better hope Mark Cuban and Donnie Nelson have something up their sleeves, because otherwise Dallas might find themselves in the lottery.

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