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When the Dallas Mavericks won last year's NBA title, it came as a surprise. Sure, they had a good team, but the reason they won was because they got hot at the right time.
After the championship, Mavs owner Mark Cuban decided to let a number of key contributors leave via free agency in order to clear up cap space. The thinking was that with their cap room, they could lure Deron Williams and possibly Dwight Howard to Dallas.
As it turned out, Williams decided to re-sign with the Brooklyn Nets and Howard waived his early termination option and isn't a free agent.
Howard is on the market and the Orlando Magic would have made a deal with the Mavs, but Cuban's club has very few promising assets.
The reality of the situation in Dallas is that prior to the draft, they were an old team that had little to no chance of making it out of the first round of the playoffs.
On draft night, the Mavs added Bernard James, Jae Crowder and Jarred Cunningham. They definitely need the young talent, but if they are expecting the rookies to strongly contribute right off the bat, they will be disappointed.
In the last year, the Mavs have seen Jason Kidd, Jason Terry, Tyson Chandler, J.J. Barea and Caron Butler join other teams in free agency.
Who have they brought in to replace those guys?
Vince Carter, and he isn't the same Carter that made the Toronto Raptors a must-watch team back in 2002.
Entering this year's offseason, there was a fair amount of optimism surrounding the Mavericks. After missing out on Williams, it appears that they will have to play through another season with a decent team that isn't even guaranteed to make the playoffs.
Oh, how quickly the mighty have fallen. But if they sign Howard next year in free agency, this year's offseason will quickly become a thing of the past.