NBA Finals 2011: Dallas Mavericks, Tyson Chandler and 10 Moves To Reload
The Dallas Mavericks became the 2011 NBA Champions on Sunday night.
Heading into the offseason, the Mavericks will do their best to retain the key pieces to this year's championship team, and also to bring in some new faces.
Despite the championship, the Mavericks have to make sure the same attitude is brought by the team for next season, and the core of this current team will make sure of that.
Here are 10 things Dallas needs to do in order to reload for next season:
Draft Nolan Smith
Nolan Smith's leadership and winning attitude would make him a great fit for the newest NBA champions.
Smith may not possess superior athleticism, but he is a smart player who knows how to make the plays required to compete.
He is a solid defender and will keep opponents honest from behind the arc.
Drafting Smith would allow him to learn the tricks of the trade under Jason Kidd; he could also potentially get minutes at shooting guard if need be.
Smith will be a great locker room presence at the next level, and will be the "glue" guy that every team needs to succeed.
Re-sign Caron Butler
Caron Butler's injury didn't hurt the Mavericks in terms of winning a title, but the addition of Butler back into the playing rotation would certainly help the Mavericks.
Butler is set to become a free agent, but Dallas really needs to look into bringing the UConn product back to the Lone Star State.
On offense, Butler has a solid skill-set and brings another athlete into the mix. On defense, Butler has the size to defend multiple positions and to also contribute on the glass.
The core of this team staying together is going to be a recurring theme here; Butler is a major piece of that core when he is healthy.
Re-sign Jose Juan Barea
Jose Juan Barea has had the benefit of learning under future hall of famer Jason Kidd.
Barea continued to develop and improve his game while earning more and more minutes as the season and the playoffs wore on.
Barea may not wow anyone with his skills, but his gritty attitude and smart play makes up for his lack of size and athleticism.
He is a perfect catalyst for an offense, especially one he is already familiar with.
With Jason Kidd set to become a free agent after next season, Barea's role and development will continue to be very important for Dallas moving forward.
Re-sign Tyson Chandler
Tyson Chandler does the dirty work in the paint as well as any center in the league.
He is also set to become a free agent this offseason.
Dallas should be doing everything in its power to make sure Chandler remains in Dallas as a tenacious defensive stopper and rebounder.
Every team needs players with energy and size down low; Chandler brings both of these elements to the court.
He is a threat on the offensive end, but his forte is hitting the glass and swatting opposing players' shots away from the basket.
Chandler is another member of the core players for Dallas. It will be very important to retain him for the sake of chemistry and defensive production.
Sign Aaron Brooks
Aaron Brooks can be a very dangerous scorer at times.
However, his ego can get in his way—and could get in the way of Dallas pursuing him this offseason.
Brooks could give Dallas another option in the backcourt, and add another perimeter threat on offense.
If Peja Stojakovic is not re-signed, which we will get to later, Brooks could provide instant offense off the bench.
The key is getting Brooks to understand the importance of being a great bench player.
I have mentioned keeping the core together, and I am not big on the Mavericks pursuing any big free agents this offseason, but a player like Brooks could give the Mavericks an even bigger scoring punch.
Let DeShawn Stevenson Walk
DeShawn Stevenson is set to be a free agent this offseason. Dallas should let it stay that way.
Stevenson has not contributed enough in Dallas to overshadow some of the remarks he made to the media.
He did receive minutes off the bench, and he does play solid defense at times, but Stevenson's job could be done by a number of other players around the league.
Bottom line, Dallas will have to let a few pending free agents walk away.
I think Stevenson should be one of them. There is no reason to let him block the development of a younger player or a new draft pick.
Let Peja Stojakovic Walk As Well
Peja Stojakovic is an electric perimeter-shooter when he is on.
He is also, like Stevenson, a free agent this offseason.
Considering his age (34) and his role on the Mavericks team, he can be replaced.
As mentioned before, there are free agents available who can fill the sharpshooting role off the bench.
Stojakovic is a valuable asset to the Mavericks, but management will have to pick and choose who they want to bring back next season.
Next season looks to be a big year for free agents and player movement; Dallas will need all the money they can get if they want to make a big splash.
Which leads us to the next topic...
Prepare To Pursue Deron Williams
Deron Williams is set to be a major target of several teams after next season.
A true point guard who can do it all on offense, Williams is the type of player teams can build a franchise around.
Do not be surprised if Dallas makes a run at Williams before all is said and done.
Yes, Jose Barea has developed, but Jason Kidd is getting older and Williams is a talent you just can't pass up.
Considering he is from the Dallas area, and Mark Cuban is an owner who loves to make a big splash, Williams being in Dallas in 2012 would not surprise me in the least.
Add Keith Benson in Second Round of NBA Draft
Coming out of Oakland University, Keith Benson is a talented post player.
He has an array of post moves and can hit jump shots out until the fifteen-foot range.
While he does still lack prowess on defense, Benson could come into the perfect situation in Dallas.
If Dallas re-signs Tyson Chandler and has Brendan Haywood back on the bench, the Mavericks have all the post defense they need.
Benson would add another dimension to the Mavericks offense as a back-to-the-basket center who can score around the rim.
The new offensive threat would give Dirk Nowitzki more freedom to leave the post and roam, and would allow Chandler to concentrate on defense.
Develop Dominique Jones
Dominique Jones has the potential to be a reliable scorer in the NBA.
Averaging a little over two points per game this season, Jones was buried deep in an experienced Mavericks rotation.
A first-round pick in 2010, Jones has the ability to produce and improve if given the chance to do so.
The defections of DeShawn Stevenson and Peja Stojakovic could give the younger Jones a chance to prove himself.
Dallas will have enough consistency to be able to toy with a project in Jones—and with the possible upside, it is worth it.
If Jones develops, he will give Dallas another offensive threat and make this team look a lot younger.
Amid all the hoopla of winning an NBA title, it is very important for the team to remain focused on its goals for next season.
At some point over the offseason, Dallas will need to put this title behind them and focus on defending their crown next season.
While this is not a "move," it will be as important as any acquisition or departure.
Dallas will have a target on their backs this offseason—and all through next season.
How they respond to that new pressure will be a major factor in how the Mavericks play next year.
Maintaining focus and keeping the core of this championship team together could possibly be the most important task at hand for Mark Cuban and the Dallas Mavericks.