For many years, part of the Mavs’ pitch to free agents was the chance for them to play with Dirk Nowitzki. And why not? At the peak of his career, Nowitzki was an MVP-caliber player every season, a perennial All-NBA guy and All-Star. Accolades aside, he was never considered a ball-stopper offensively and he’s just a good dude in general.
The possibility of playing with Dirk is still a positive to players in the league today, make no mistake. He’s still a well-liked player, and he still landed a spot on the All-Star team in 2015 despite playing in his 17th season. Now, however, it appears there’s a new attraction in town: Chandler Parsons.
While Nowitzki remains the face of the franchise, Parsons is arguably the team’s most important player moving forward. At just 27 years old, he’s approaching his physical peak. This upcoming season will be his sixth in the league, so there’s still plenty room for him to grow both on and off the floor.
Free agents typically look for situations that are not only appealing right now, but also two or three years down the road. Parsons, who the Mavs signed as a free agent last summer, is already a very good player but has the chance to be an All-Star-caliber guy as more offensive responsibility is shifted his way. Last season he averaged 15.7 points on 12.6 shots per game, and the 17.1 points he averaged per 36 minutes was a career-high.