Ranking Each of the Dallas Mavericks' Savvy Offseason Acquisitions
The Dallas Mavericks didn't land either of the big fish they had their eyes on this offseason—Deron Williams and Dwight Howard—but they did make a handful of acquisitions that should pay major dividends come next season.
In fact, these new acquisitions will very likely put the Mavericks back in championship contention. They will bring a needed jolt of life to a Dallas team that was clearly aging last season.
Some may view the Mavs' new faces as consolation prizes after swinging and missing at D-Will and D12, but each of these players brings something highly influential to the table for the new-look Mavs. It's time to rank each acquisition and decide which new face will make the greatest impact.
5. Dahntay Jones
Dahntay Jones is not a major addition, but he does have important value. He will be particularly valuable on defense, as he has the ability to contain a player like Kobe Bryant.
Don't expect a major offensive output from Jones, but expect him to contribute efficient spot minutes. He's a guy who could play a major role come playoff time, where he could find himself checking some elite guards and forwards down the stretch of games.
Still, he's surely not the most important pickup the Mavs made this offseason, but that's simply a testament to the Mavs' success this summer, not a knock on Jones' value.
4. Elton Brand
Elton Brand is undoubtedly past his prime, but he remains a skilled big man on both ends of the floor. The Mavs have needed this for the past year since Tyson Chandler departed for New York.
Last season, Brand averaged 11.0 points per game, 7.2 rebounds per game and a lofty 1.6 blocks per outing. He's efficient and whether he's starting or coming off the bench, he will provide a steady veteran presence down low for Dallas.
One big question is if he'll play many minutes alongside Dirk Nowitzki. Neither have much experience playing the center position. Brand may need to grow more acclimated to guarding five-men if he wants to log major minutes alongside Nowitzki.
At any rate, having Brand on the roster helps. He alone doesn't place them back into the championship picture, but he is a piece that points them in right direction.
3. Chris Kaman
Brand isn't the only new big fella' heading to Big D. Veteran seven footer Chris Kaman will supply the Mavs with one of the more underrated big men in the league.
Kaman figures to start with Brand coming off the bench, as Kaman is a true center and has quite an array of moves in the post.
Last season, while playing for the lowly Hornets, Kaman averaged 13.1 PPG, 7.7 RPG and 1.6 BPG. He will greatly bolster the Mavs' front line and gives opponents a savvy center to prepare for.
It will be interesting to see how Kaman's presence affects the Mavs and if he rubs off in a similar manner to what Chandler did in the Mavs' championship season. Kaman isn't a bad defensive player, but he's not to the level of Chandler. However, Kaman is much more skilled offensively.
No matter what, it's a pickup Mavs fans should be excited about, as their revamped roster suddenly possesses depth in the front court.
2. Darren Collison
Darren Collison was acquired in the same trade that netted Dahntay Jones, a deal which only cost the Mavs Ian Mahinmi.
Collison has showed he's more than capable of handling the starting point guard reins in the NBA. While he'll likely never be an elite point guard alongside the likes of Derrick Rose, Chris Paul and Rajon Rondo, he is lightning quick and knows how to efficiently run an offense.
Most importantly, he gives the Mavs something they've lacked in recent years: a point guard who can create. With all due respect to Jason Kidd, he was well past his prime in recent years and was mainly just a facilitator.
Collison can attack off the dribble, hit the mid-range pull up and effectively drive and kick to opponents. He gives the Mavs what they've needed and makes Dallas all the more difficult to defend.
1. O.J. Mayo
The Mavs had already had a successful offseason and then they went out and landed O.J. Mayo. Mayo is definitely their most talented acquisition but he does come with questions. The main one is: will he live up to his potential?
As a rookie in 2008-2009, Mayo poured in 18.5 PPG and challenged Derrick Rose for the Rookie of the Year honors. Yet each year his average has decreased since then, particularly the past couple seasons (11.3 in '10-'11, 12.6 in '11-'12) as he struggled to log major minutes for Memphis.
But the potential for him to be a dynamic scorer has never been questioned. Perhaps a change of scenery is exactly what he needs.
Hopefully this is the case for the Mavs. If Mayo can become a legitimate No. 2 option to Nowitzki, then this squad could very likely represent the Western Conference in the NBA Finals.
Whatever the case, Mayo gives the Mavs quite a talent to add to their backcourt. They now have a nucleus that features Nowitzki, Mayo, Kaman, Collison, Shawn Marion, Vince Carter and Brand—a nucleus that should surely create problems for all opponents.
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