While it's almost time to raise the first banner to the rafters of the American Airlines Center, some of us would like to see a gleaming row of them to eventually go alongside Dirk Nowitzki's retired number 41. And since the Dallas Mavericks earned it a mere six months ago, there's no better time for a repeat.
But while Nowitzki is locked up for at least three more seasons, other key players in the Mavericks' championship run aren't guaranteed to be in the white and blue by the time the season tips off.
Tyson Chandler, JJ Barea, Caron Butler and DeShawn Stevenson are all free agents. And since they all played significant parts in the Mavs' success last season, they are all in good shape to land a nice pay raise.
The luxury tax penalties will go up in two years, so anyone the Mavericks sign this offseason is sure to have serious financial ramifications.
The Mavericks also have wild dreams about names like Dwight Howard, Chris Paul and Deron Williams, each (or all) of whom would require significant cap space next summer, and by then Dirk will be another year older.
So it's important to figure out: what are the keys for a Mavs repeat championship? Because Mark Cuban wants doesn't want one ring. Or two, or three, or four, or five...