There is no other team as loaded as the Dallas Mavericks in the league. Some come close, but there is simply no other team that features as much talent, size, and veteran leadership as the Texas powerhouse. If you are not a believer, take a look at what the complete healthy roster looks like.
Point Guard: Jason Kidd / J.J. Barea
Shooting Guard: Rodrigue Beaubois / Jason Terry
Small Forward: Peja Stojakovic / Caron Butler
Power forward: Dirk Nowitzki / Shawn Marion
Center: Tyson Chandler / Brendan Haywood
Bench warmers: Ian Mahinmi / Deshawn Stevenson / Brian Cardinal / Dominique Jones
The second unit could challenge the starting line-up of several other NBA teams. In the last month, even without the services of Butler and Beaubois, the Mavericks have played excellent team basketball. As a matter of fact, seven players are nearly averaging double figure scoring in the month of February. Yes, seven. In their last win over Sacramento, the team had eight players score in double figures when Beaubois joined the mix.
In February, Nowitzki is leading the team in scoring at 19.5 points per game. Not surprisingly, Jason Terry is second at 17.4. Barea has exploded offensively for 14.5. Marion and Chandler are both scoring 12.4, while Kidd is not far behind at 11.3. Stojakovic rounds up the top seven at 9.6.
While the offense has been a thing of beauty, showcasing a variety of options and scoring at an efficient 49.8 percent from the field and 41.8 percent from three-point land, the defense has also been solid as they have outscored their opponents by an average of almost seven points per game.
The numbers show that the Mavericks are one of the hottest teams in the league. But these numbers are not the only ones that will play a big part in the team’s success. A few of the players mentioned above will be free agents this summer and in need of an extension, if possible.
Chandler is probably the biggest fish in the tank, followed by Caron Butler, Peja Stojakovic and J.J. Barea. While there is a clear level of importance, the team should push to re-sign them all. It might be a stretch to accomplish, but it's certainly possible.
Mark Cuban’s pockets are deep and he is not afraid to spend. The team’s payroll has climbed to over $87 million this year, and assuming Mark is willing to keep that number that high, there should be enough money to re-sign all four players mentioned.
The idea of Tyson Chandler landing a $100 million deal was thrown out there by Jason Terry last week. While that number is certainly too high, it is really not a figure that is far off reality. A five-year, $80 million deal is certainly very realistic. Next in line is Butler, who probably won’t be asking for a deal that would pay him what he makes this season. A deal similar to that of Shawn Marion this season is more realistic. A four-year deal worth under $40 million sounds like a possibility.
As for J.J. Barea and Peja Stojakovic, both men will likely get deals in the low millions. Barea should be able to be signed for the next three or four years at no more than $2 to $3 million per season. Stojakovic could potentially accept a deal worth the bi-annual exception of about $2 million.
These scenarios will put the Mavericks' salary at about $85 million next season. For the following seasons, Jason Terry and Jason Kidd, who have both vowed to play about three more years, could be re-signed to smaller deals to keep the salary in the low-80’s range. This could keep the entire team intact for at least the end of the Dirk Nowitzki era.
In conclusion, the Dallas Mavericks have a formidable team, able to accomplish the highest goal this season and for seasons to come if they are able to keep the team together. Although it seems like every season the Mavericks seem to fail after having a “better” team, this season certainly shows great promise. The Mavericks should push hard to keep this team together for the next few years and give themselves the best possible chance at a championship they have ever had.