Now that the Dallas Mavericks 2016-17 roster is nearly set after flurry of moves on Independence Day that landed two-fifths of the Golden State Warriors starting lineup last season, let’s grade the Mavs moves in a fun-filled way: with emojis!
Dwight Powell (four years, $37 million)
What to Like: He’s young, athletic, great defensively and has potential to grow offensively. He received a market-value contract, despite what his doubters may say, in a deal that includes a player option in the final year. Powell now becomes a pivotal part of the Mavs future going forward along with second year forward Justin Anderson. This deal definitely deserves a thumbs up.
What Not to Like: It’s cool to have him back, but he can’t get consistent playing time. Head coach Rick Carlisle just doesn’t play and develop young players. Why is beyond me. The Mavs in recent years haven’t been among the NBA’s elite, or competing for a championship, but they don’t seem to be rebuilding either. Instead they concentrate on being a decent, mid-tier team. Powell needs consistent playing time to reach the true value of his new contract and be a building block for the future of the franchise going forward.
Seth Curry (two years, $6 million)
What to Like: The best value signing for the Mavs this summer, and maybe even the entire NBA, at just $6 million his contract is a gift for Dallas. Seth Curry will make less than both Devin Harris and J.J. Barea annually. At just 25 years old, his potential is through the roof as he showed in April, when his playing time increased and he averaged 16 points per contest for the Sacramento Kings. He’s an ideal fit for the Mavs future.
What Not to Like: With Harris and Barea on the roster, will he get the playing time he deserves to show what he can really do?
Dirk Nowitzki (two years, $40 million)
What to Like: It’s Dirk, the GOAT, what’s not to like? He deserves every penny he has ever gotten and even at $20 million annually, he still took a discount which is why fans continue to love him. He was eligible for a max contract at $31 million and he could have bargained for more if he wanted to or he even bolted to the Warriors and collected another championship ring. Dirk is a truly humble star that cares more about loyalty to Dallas than an empty championship with a city he’s never known.
What Not to Like: He’s 38 years old and making $20 million. It’s not that he doesn’t deserve the money, because we all know he does; but a 38 year old shouldn’t be your team’s best player. The Mavs have wasted the twilight years of his career by not surrounding him with elite talent.
Deron Williams (one year, $10 million)
What to Like: Despite what you may think, D-Will was actually great last year, and the Mavs should expect more of the same this year. He was the team’s closer in the fourth quarter and stayed relatively healthy for most of the season. Unfortunately, and at the worst time, and missed most of the playoffs. Given his age and the Mavs situation, this was fair deal for both sides.
What Not to Like: After missing out on Mike Conley, another year of Williams doesn’t exactly get you excited. His best years are behind him. Still, this is a solid signing for the Mavs. It gives the Mavs financial flexibility to chase Derrick Rose, Chris Paul and Russell Westbrook next summer. They’ll definitely land one of those guys, right? Right?
Andrew Bogut (one-year, $11 million – acquired via trade)
What to Like: Bogut is a solid player, coming to Dallas as a one-year rental. He’s a high-post, creative passer with great size at 7’0,” 260 pounds. The 31 year old played 70 games last year for Golden State and averaged 5.4 points and 7.0 rebounds in 20.7 minutes per game.
What Not to Like: While he’s underrated athletically, not much of an upgrade over Zaza Pachulia who signed with the Warriors at just $2.9 million for one year. He’s limited offensively, but does have more ability as a pick-and-roll than his predecessor.
Harrison Barnes (four years, $95 million)
What to Like: He young, athletic and has experience playing with a championship-level team. He’s progressed steadily since being drafted seventh overall in the 2012 NBA Draft out of North Carolina. He has room to grow and is capable of playing both forward spots with the ability to stretch his game out to the three-point line.
What Not to Like: His NBA Finals’ performance was well documented – he shot just 5-of-32 over the Warriors’ final three games against the Cleveland Cavaliers and left a lot to be desired. What’s nuts is going to be the highest paid player in Dallas Mavericks history. Sure, it has a lot to do with the market, and the NBA’s new TV deal money, and the salary cap; but man, that’s a ton of money in $95 million for a player we don’t know a ton about. And, is he an upgrade of Chandler Parsons who the Mavs decided not decided to offer the max? Now there’s a good bar room discussion.