Just when it seemed like nothing could go right for the Dallas Mavericks at the beginning of the 2012 free agency period, the view on the Mavericks has turned a complete 180.
In a matter of days, Dallas has gone from missing out on Deron Williams, Steve Nash and others to changing the culture of the Mavs as we know it.
It took Donnie Nelson and Mark Cuban a couple of weeks to get things going, but the acquisitions of Darren Collison and Dahntay Jones from the Indiana Pacers have successfully gotten Mavs fans excited again. Collison will more than likely now take the starting point guard position—barring any outstanding performances from the young guys—and Jones brings in a game that resembles DeShawn Stevenson very well in terms of defense and outside shooting.
Soon after that, the Mavs finally grabbed a guy who has been on the Dallas radar for a long time—All-Star center Chris Kaman. He may not bring a defining presence like Tyson Chandler did, but he does everything well that you want in Rick Carlisle's system: scoring in the post, and rebounding effectively on both offense and defense.
Then the Mavs proceeded to add more depth and size to their roster by acquiring veteran forward Elton Brand off the amnesty waivers for a mere $2.1 million, and he will be a great asset to play at both power forward and maybe center.
And finally, on Monday, Dallas made yet another good signing by grabbing former Memphis Grizzlies guard OJ Mayo after the Grizzlies refused to match his restricted free-agent offer.
I will be signing with dallas! #Mavsnation— OJ Mayo (@JuiceMayo32) July 17, 2012
Mayo gives the Mavs a great deal of flexibility. His numbers as a starter are far greater than how he produced off the bench as Memphis' sixth man, but he can be effective for Dallas in either role.
Overall, this has turned into a very effective offseason for Dallas, and one has to wonder if they're finished making some noise. The possible ideas of trading Vince Carter and/or Shawn Marion may still be on the table if Dallas feels they need to grab some more difference makers.
The only downside to this if you're a Mavs fan, is that all of these moves could signal the possible end of Delonte West returning to Dallas, unless a trade is indeed made to clear room at the guard positions.
The Mavs managed to put together a quality roster for the 2012-13 season when all hope seemed lost. And with the chance of the young guards getting the chance to shine—Roddy Beaubois, Dominique Jones and first-round pick Jared Cunningham—the depth of this team is once again highly stacked.
There's no point in looking ahead to next year after what's happened this offseason, but this is most certainly a good start for Dallas to get back into the top four of the Western Conference—and whatever happens in the playoffs is anybody's guess.
Frowns have been turned upside down in Dallas, and things are looking up once again for the former NBA Champions.