After being one of the biggest losers in the early stages of free agency, the Dallas Mavericks made a huge splash with their second wind by signing center Chris Kaman and shooting guard O.J. Mayo and acquiring point guard Darren Collison from the Indiana Pacers.
Early on, Dallas lost Jason Terry to the Boston Celtics and Jason Kidd to the New York Knicks. Last offseason, after winning the NBA Championship, the Mavericks lost Tyson Chandler to the Knicks and young point guard J.J. Barea to the Minnesota Timberwolves.
It was thought that Dallas would be left in the dust after losing so many role players and missing out on Deron Williams. But Mark Cuban was not about to let his once dominant franchise fall from the graces of the NBA without a fight.
Dallas went out and signed Chris Kaman to a one-year, $8 million deal to help re-establish the post game the Mavericks so desperately need. Signing Kaman opened the door for the Mavericks to amnesty Brendan Haywood and his massive $27 million contract over the next three years.
Not only did Nowitzki gain a great teammate in the post, he also received a solid wing as well in O.J. Mayo. Mayo never really shined in Memphis, but showed on a number of occasions that he has the ability to take over a game. Part of the reason he may never have jumped out at anybody with the Grizzlies could be because he was constantly shopped around in the trade market. There was never a trade deadline or off-season where Mayo's name didn't get sandwiched in trade talks. All of those trade speculations could have waned Mayo's confidence. Now that he is out of Memphis, he will be looking to prove himself on a quality, championship-caliber team.
However, Dallas didn't stop there. After missing out on Williams, the Mavericks went out and grabbed another solid point guard option in Darren Collison. Collison lost out to George Hill for the starting spot in Indiana last season. Collison will drastically improve the depleted Dallas backcourt. He and Mayo could end up being one of the most dangerous guard pairings in the league, making these pickups much more exciting.
Dallas may have lost out big in the early stages of free agent activity, but they worked their way back into a solid team with a championship-caliber lineup in Nowitzki, Collison, Mayo, Shawn Marion and Kaman. Look out for Dallas next season.