It seems so long ago that the Dallas Mavericks took down the Miami Heat and claimed their role as NBA champions. Since then it has all been down hill. Their record last season was only good enough for the seventh seed in the Western Conference and they did not last long in the playoffs, getting swept out by Oklahoma City.
This year it is going to take a miracle turnaround for the Mavs to make the playoffs, sitting at the 11th seed in the West, eight games below .500. They have fallen so far, so fast.
One big issue you can easily pinpoint for the Mavs is the amount of money they are paying to aging, veteran players. As the trade deadline nears, reports are saying that Dallas may try to drop a few of these contracts.
Keep an eye on Dallas, as rival executives believe the Mavericks will look to unload some of their older money if they keep losing (aka Shawn Marion, who is owed $9.3 million in the last year of his deal in 2013-14, or Vince Carter, who is owed $3.1 million in the last year of his deal in 2013-14).
Marion (34) and Carter (36) are producing well below their career averages, which is expected as they get older but the Mavericks are paying too much for what they are getting.
It has been apparent for quite some time now that Dallas needs to get younger and fast. I am not sure if Mark Cuban is still holding on to the dream that he will land a superstar like Deron Williams or Dwight Howard in the near future, but it may be time to execute Plan B.
Could this mean we see a total facelift of the Mavericks’ roster? Perhaps. As the trade deadline gets closer, look for Dallas to make a lot of personnel moves to plan for the future. We all know Cuban does not like losing, and he surely will not tolerate this team for much longer.