Mavs acquire four-time All-Star Rajon Rondo

DALLAS — The Dallas Mavericks announced today that they have acquired four-time All-Star Rajon Rondo and center Dwight Powell from the Boston Celtics in exchange for center Brandan Wright, forward Jae Crowder, guard Jameer Nelson, a 2015 first-round pick and a 2016 second-round pick.

Rondo (6-1, 186) is an eight-year guard who has spent his entire professional career with the Celtics. In addition to being a four-time NBA All-Star (2010, 2011, 2012, 2013), Rondo has been named All-NBA Defensive Team four times (2009, 2010, 2011, 2012), All-NBA Third Team (2012) and was the starting point guard on Boston’s 2008 NBA Championship team. He has played in 527 career games (474 starts) and holds averages of 11.0 points, 8.5 assists, 4.7 rebounds, 1.9 steals and 32.9 minutes per game.

The veteran point guard also has extensive postseason experience having competed in two NBA Finals and starting each of his 92 career Playoff games. Rondo holds postseason career averages of 14.5 points, 9.2 assists, 6.0 rebounds, 2.0 steals and 38.5 minutes per game.

Rondo currently leads the NBA in assists with 10.8 assists per game. He led the league in that category in both 2011-12 (11.7 apg) and 2012-13 (11.1 apg). He also holds several Celtics’ franchise assists records including single-season total with 794 assists (2009-10), assists per game with 11.7 apg (2011-12) and assists in an NBA Playoff game with 20 (2011).

The Louisville, Ky., native was originally the 21st pick of the 2006 NBA Draft after declaring as an early-entry candidate out the University of Kentucky. In just his freshman season as a Wildcat, Rondo set Kentucky’s all-time single-season steals mark with 87 steals in 34 games.

Powell (6-11, 240) is a rookie center who hails from Toronto, Canada and has seen action in five games this season with averages of 1.8 points, 0.2 rebounds and 1.8 minutes per game.

A former Stanford University standout, Powell was drafted by the Charlotte Hornets with the 45th overall pick in the 2014 NBA Draft. He was originally traded from Charlotte to Cleveland before being acquired by the Celtics in a late-September trade that landed him in Boston, along with John Lucas III, Malcolm Thomas and Erik Murphy, while Keith Bogans was sent to the Cavaliers.

As a senior at Stanford, Powell was named All-Pac-12 First Team while averaging 14.0 points and 6.9 rebounds per game. He was also named Pac-12 Scholar Athlete of the Year.

Player of the Week: Brandan Wright

Wright Lob Slam

Brandan Wright gets the lob slam from Devin Harris.

Brandan Wright continued his ridiculously hot start to the season this week. The backup big man has reached double-figures in seven consecutive games and eight of the last night. Factoring in last night’s loss in Houston, the Mavs are now 9-1 on the season when Wright scores 10 or more in a game. The statistical savant also recorded his first double-double of the season last night, pouring in 14 points on 6-of-7 shooting and grabbing 11 boards.

Wright has simply been phenomenal this season. He’s scoring 0.8 points per halfcourt touch right now, meaning every two times he touches the ball, he’s scoring 1.6 points. That’s an outrageous clip and only one player in the NBA who plays more than two minutes per game (Denver’s JaVale McGee) averages more points per touch. However, even he plays six fewer minutes per game than Wright and receives eight fewer touches per game. There really is no one like Wright.

Wright’s Week in Numbers
12.5 PPG 80.8 FG% (led team) 5.8 RPG 1.3 BPG 1.3 SPG 123.4 Offensive Rating 23.6 Net Rating

His 78.5 field goal percentage leads the league and would be the highest of all-time by a wide margin. Anthony Davis is the only player with a PER higher than Wright’s 31.1 (30 is considered extraordinary), per Basketball-Reference. His 161.1 offensive rating is 22.5 points higher than second-place Courtney Lee’s 138.5 and he’s worth more win shares per 48 minutes this season than anyone in the NBA.

Drive And Find

Jose Barea drives and finds Brandan Wright for the alley-oop slam.

You could go on and on about a player like him because he truly is one-of-a-kind. For a player who plays relatively few minutes — only 18.9 per game, though it’s a career-high — to be worth that many win shares and have a PER that high is mind-boggling. Stats like PER favor heavy-minute players because the stat factors in overall production into the equation. This means Wright makes the most of his minutes when he’s on the floor — even more surprising when you consider his usage rate is only eighth-highest on the team. He finds ways to make an impact off the ball.

If Wright can maintain even 95 percent of his efficiency and productivity for the rest of the season, he’s going to have one of the most outstanding statistical season in league history.

STAT OF THE WEEK6

Last night’s defeat in Houston ended a six-game winning streak, the Mavs’ longest of the season and best overall since the 2011-12 season. You have to go back to the 2010-11 season to find the last time Dallas won six or more in a row at least twice in a season — at one point that season, the Mavs won 18 of 19 games.

The next six are going to be tough, but the six on the other side are going to be even more difficult. Dallas will play Indiana and New York at home next week before going on a four-game trip that will take the team through Toronto, Philadelphia, Chicago, and Milwaukee. Three of those teams are .500 or better and Toronto has the best record in basketball. Following that run, Dallas will play Phoenix, Milwaukee again, Memphis, New Orleans, Golden State, and New York again. The Mavs have plenty of games against playoff-worthy foes approaching, which means there are bound to be some really close, entertaining contests to come in the near future — similar to the games we saw against Washington and Houston this past week.

The Mavs will have to play some outstanding ball to win six straight during the next 12, but anything is possible. The Mavs have lost four games this season but have been in the lead toward the end in two of those games. You’ll go crazy playing this game, but their record is that close to 12-2. Learning to win in the clutch is something that takes time for teams with tons of new players, but unfortunately in the West you don’t have a lot of time to figure stuff out. The Mavs are going to be tested during the next month, and the onus is on them to turn close games into wins. That’s how winning streaks are born, and that’s how contenders are made.

Comprehending Brandan Wright’s statistical compendium

Barring injury, Mavs superstar Dirk Nowitzki will soon be seventh on the NBA’s all-time scoring list. The German has done it perhaps more efficiently than any other player in the top-10 and undoubtedly is one of the best players in the league’s history.

But for all the pomp and circumstance surrounding Nowitzki’s steady climb up the all-time leaderboard, one of his teammates is also making waves around the league and is even more efficient. It’s not Monta Ellis or Chandler Parsons or even Tyson Chandler. It’s Brandan Wright.

Just how efficient is the Mavs’ backup center? After three seasons in Dallas, Wright is the franchise’s all-time leader in four major offensive categories and is second in two more significant areas. Just look at the numbers below. Not only is Wright in first place on these lists. He’s in first by a mile.

Numbers Never Lie

Stat Wright Second Place
FG% 62.9% 59.1%
TS% 64.3% 61.1%
eFG% 62.9% 59.2%
Off Rating 126.2 118.1

What’s more, Wright trails only Nowitzki in career PER and win shares per 48 minutes — the first number measures efficiency while the second approximates a player’s value.

Compare and Contrast

Stat Nowitzki Wright Third Place
PER 23.5 22.1 20.8
WS/48 .208 .203 .154

How is this possible for a player who’s only on the floor for 18 minutes per game? Typically metrics like PER tend to favor guys who play heavy minutes, as the more time they spend on the floor, the more time they have to fill out their statistics. Wright’s insanely high PER is more a testament to his own efficiency and the way he’s used than it is to a weird quirk within the stat itself. Wright is absolutely in elite company despite playing fewer minutes per game than all but one player in the top 50. Among players behind Wright on the PER list: James Harden, LaMarcus Aldridge, Paul George, and Joakim Noah — and each of them played at least 35 minutes per game, or nearly twice as much as Wright.

Again, how is it possible?

For starters, Wright is used in such a way that highlights his strengths while minimizing his weaknesses. He’s almost exclusively a catch-and-shoot player and excels in rolling to the rim off a screen. He was assisted on seven of every eight made field goals and almost 73 percent of his FG attempts came from within five feet, per NBA.com, and 61 percent of them came from within three feet. It’s generally considered pretty easy to finish at the rim in the NBA, but Wright has better hands and a softer touch around the basket than just about every other big in basketball. He’s also got a sweet stroke from 10-14 feet away, as well, where he hit exactly half his attempts in 2013-14.

Shotchart_1408922260226

Wright is also regularly used in combination with perimeter guys who can play off his screens. Last season, for example, he was assisted by Vince Carter 53 times, Monta Ellis 45 times, Devin Harris 40 times. When defenses played the Mavericks last season, they tended to focus more on the ball-handler off a pick-and-roll than they did the roller (unless the roller was Dirk). And after checking Wright’s shot chart from the last few seasons, it’s safe to say the Mavs will happily prefer to see that coverage again this season, when Wright will be backing up fellow elite roller Tyson Chandler. Between those two and Nowitzki, Dallas will trot out perhaps the best collective set of hands at the power forward and center positions in the league. Each of them are huge targets going toward the basket — and to the three-point line, in Dirk’s case — which is a huge luxury to ball-handlers like Ellis, Harris, and new signing Chandler Parsons.

The catch-and-shoot strategy with Wright also limits his turnovers. The big man has the best career turnover percentage in team history — his 7.6 percent mark sits ahead of second-place Nowitzki’s 8.8 percent. Again, having big men who can consistently catch the ball and get a shot off without turning it over is nearly an unquantifiable luxury, but in Wright’s case you can at least start with wins and losses to gauge his value. When he played last season, Dallas was 36-22. In games he played in that Dallas won, the team put up a 116.6 offensive rating and an equally impressive 101.2 defensive rating while he was on the floor.

He was also a part of the Mavs’ best five-man unit last season — the group of Harris, Jae Crowder, Carter, Dirk, and Wright was possibly the best lineup featuring mostly reserves in the entire NBA, and the Mavs bench figures to be just as deep, if not deeper, this season. If Wright can remain as efficient next season as he’s been these last few seasons, the Dallas bench will continue to fill it up and, more than likely, the Mavs will continue their winning ways.

Brandan Wright’s undeniable impact on the defensive end

One-on-One with Brandan Wright

Mavs F Brandan Wright comments on the impact he's had on the defensive end, accomplishing the goal of making the playoffs, the importance of winning 50 games and more.

Each member of the Mavs’ three-headed monster at center has a very specific role. Sam Dalembert starts, sets hard screens, grabs rebounds at both ends, and protects the rim. Brandan Wright flies high and uses his length to bother pick-and-roll point guards. DeJuan Blair brings the energy.

All season long, head coach Rick Carlisle has juggled their minutes, often sticking primarily with the hot hand at any given time. Blair received the majority of the minutes early in the season, then they shifted to Wright, and finally to Dalembert. During the last eight games, though, it’s been Wright who has once again separated himself from the group. The offensive-minded center has had a larger defensive impact than even Carlisle could have asked for, and Dallas has reaped the benefits.

In the eight games following the Mavs’ tough home loss to the Clippers on March 27, Wright has taken his defensive game to another level. His game-sealing block Saturday on Phoenix’s Eric Bledsoe was just the cherry on top of a superb last two weeks. During that time, the Mavericks have allowed 104.9 points per 100 possessions when Wright mans the middle, the best mark among Mavs big men. What’s more, the Mavericks have gone 6-2 in those eight games.

He’s also averaging 1.25 blocks during the stretch, and all of his season-high 11 rebounds against Phoenix were of the must-have variety. Carlisle has taken notice of Wright’s impact on the defensive end lately.

“It was huge on some of those plays in the fourth quarter,” the coach said after the win against the Suns. “The block was huge. He had some other big rebounds in traffic. We needed every ounce that everybody gave us tonight.”

Block of the Night: Brandan Wright

With the game on the line, Eric Bledsoe drives strong for the layup and Brandan Wright gets the big block to keep the points off the board.

“He was great,” Monta Ellis added. “He got a lot of rebounds that we needed. He played a heck of a game.

If Wright obliged Carlisle’s request of leaving it all on the floor, then he used all of his remaining energy to swat Bledsoe’s game-tying layup. After the game, Wright wondered whether it might be one of the biggest plays of his career.

“It’s right up there,” he said. “He probably hits that layup if I don’t come over. It pretty much clinched a (playoff) spot. It’s one of those things you look back on.”

During the past eight games, opponents are only grabbing offensive rebounds on 25.4 percent of their missed shots when Wright is on the floor, 2.9 points lower than the team’s average during that time, and 3.9 points lower than any other Mavericks center. Rebounding is obviously a collaborative effort, but Wright’s presence on the floor lately has generally meant good things for the Mavs’ defensive rebounding, which has been something of a weakness this season.

His defensive impact has been even more noticeable. During the last eight games, Wright is a member of each of the Mavs’ best three-man units in terms of points allowed per 100 possessions (with more than 10 minutes played).

Brandan’s Boost

Lineup Games Played (Minuted Played) Defensive Rating
Vince Carter, Jae Crowder, Brandan Wright 8 (39) 87.8
Jae Crowder, Monta Ellis, Brandan Wright 8 (31) 89.1
Jae Crowder, Devin Harris, Brandan Wright 8 (59) 90.8

For reference, the Mavs’ defensive rating as a team (the points they allow per 100 possessions) is 107.5. That means each of those three-man units is outperforming the team average by at least 16 points. Even if it’s only for four or five minutes per game, those units are suffocating opponents’ second units, and more often than not it results in a big run for the Mavericks.

Wright has bewildered stats guys throughout the past few seasons, as his Player Efficiency Rating has constantly been near the top of the league. This season, for example, Wright’s 23.69 PER is 11th-best among active players, according to ESPN. He falls right behind Blake Griffin and one spot ahead of Dirk Nowitzki. That isn’t to say Wright is any better or worse than the players behind him, but that he plays just 18.6 minutes per game and is still able to make a large enough impact to produce a PER higher than 23 is nothing short of astonishing.

The big man is mostly known for his offense, and he’s earned the reputation. Among players who have appeared in at least 50 games this season, Wright’s 67.2 field goal percentage ranks third in the NBA. His 10-for-10 performance against the Lakers on April 4 stands out as one of the most efficient performances of the season in the entire league. Only Serge Ibaka (12) hit more shots in a game this season without missing a field goal attempt.

But, as Carlisle and Ellis alluded to, his defense and rebounding have stood out down the stretch, when every single game has mattered. Wright’s contribution on both ends is a huge reason Dallas is in the playoffs.

“We’re happy to get in,” Wright said. “We don’t know who we will play, but I think we’re a dangerous team. We’ve got a lot of players capable of making plays, a lot of veterans over here who want to win. It will be exciting for us.”

Mavs executing pick-and-roll play to perfection

Athletic Slam

Brandan Wright skies and finishes with a monster slam.

The Mavericks have won nine of their last 13 games and are slowly beginning to solidify their playoff odds in the Western Conference. Much of Dallas’s mid-season resurgence — the Mavs have won 17 of their last 26 games to move to 14 games above .500 in a stacked West — has to do with the team’s prolific bench production.

The thing about the Dallas team that won the Finals in 2011 was that every single player played a vital role. Dirk Nowitzki was obviously the team’s star and most valuable player, but the other 11 active players all served a role. Without JJ Barea, Dallas could not have dissected defenses. Jason Kidd was the brain. Jason Terry gleefully took big shots. Shawn Marion was the stopper. Tyson Chandler was the heart. The list goes on.

That’s what has driven the team’s success this season. The Mavericks have somewhat replicated their 2011 roster by surrounding Nowitzki with players with very specific roles who are very good at specific things. Monta Ellis drives, and Brandan Wright throws down vicious dunks. It’s been said throughout Nowitzki’s career that he makes players around him better simply by just being on the court. The Big German affects defensive coverage to such an extreme that his mere presence at the top of the key opens enormous driving and passing lanes all over the court. That’s why Ellis has been so magnificent this season, for example, and that’s also what has led to Dallas’s unbelievable bench production.

Nowitzki checks out halfway through every first and third quarter so that when he returns, he shares the floor with members of the Mavericks’ second unit: Devin Harris, Vince Carter, Wright, and either Jae Crowder or Wayne Ellington. Since Harris’s return on Jan. 18, the Mavericks score more than 110 points per 100 possessions when any of those six players take the floor. The bench was solid before Harris was healthy, but it’s been since his return that the team has experienced such significant offensive success. Rick Carlisle and his players have developed a second-unit system that relies on very specific skills from certain players, and the wealth is spread so evenly that it’s almost impossible to determine which player’s impact is the most tangible. To whom could you give the credit for such outrageous production? The answer: everyone.

The Mavericks’ most unstoppable and equally devastating play in the last few weeks has been a pick-and-roll with Harris as the ball-handler and either Nowitzki or Wright as the screen man. Carter and Wright perform a pick-and-roll that’s equally difficult to defend, but Dallas executes the Harris pick-and-rolls with unfair efficiency. Because the Dallas second unit is full of specialized players with specific skill sets, there’s really nothing opponents can do to stop it.

Here’s an example of the pick-and-roll play from Monday’s game against Boston. The play begins with Nowitzki setting a high screen on Harris’s right side. You’ll see the Celtics’ Phil Pressey went over the Nowitzki screen, isolating Kelly Olynyk against Harris as the point guard turns the corner.

Olynyk is a fine player, but Harris is much quicker. He’s in a rough spot, but his misfortune is amplified because Pressey went above the screen and is chasing Harris rather than sticking to Nowitzki, as most teams choose to do. Olynyk and Monta Ellis’s defender on the weakside, Avery Bradley, both notice that Nowitzki would be wide-open if neither of them prevent the pass, but they both help on Nowitzki at the same time, leaving no one to defend Harris.

Two defenders are minding Dirk at the top of the key, and no one is near Harris, the more immediate threat, who now has a massive driving lane. Also notice how open Ellis is in the far corner. While that would normally be Vince Carter, a terrific three-point shooter, Ellis is still a threat behind the arc, particularly from the left corner, where he’s hit 15 of his 26 attempts this season. Meanwhile, Chris Johnson is defending Wayne Ellington in the near, strongside corner, and if he takes one step toward Harris, the sharpshooting Ellington will have a wide-open look from the corner. Essentially, Dallas has turned this possession into a 3-on-1 featuring Harris, Ellis, and, oh yeah, Brandan Wright.

Jared Sullinger, the center, steps up to contest a potential Harris shot, but that shot never comes. Instead, Harris lofts a 14-foot lob to the athletic Wright, who gathers the ball and slams it down. See the whole play here. Just off a single Nowitzki screen, Harris has broken down the entire Boston perimeter defense and the Mavericks have created three good shot opportunities. The Harris/Wright connection will always work: Despite the fact that Harris has played less than half the season, he’s already assisted Wright 30 times this season, second-most on the team.

Dallas’s spacing the last few weeks has been excellent, and the above play is a perfect example. Ellis and Ellington understand that staying in the corner gives the Celtics defenders a tough decision: Do they help on a speedy driving guard or mind their own man? What they don’t know, though, is that no matter what they choose, it’s the wrong choice. This single play is simply unstoppable, no matter how an opponent defends it.

Perhaps the most exciting iteration of this play appeared in the Mavericks’ stunning 109-86 victory at Oklahoma City on Sunday. At the end of the third quarter, with Dallas making a run to extend its lead from 13 to 21, the Mavericks ran this same exact play. Kevin Durant was defending Nowitzki and Reggie Jackson was checking Devin Harris.

The Thunder attempted to defend the play differently — because Durant is so quick for his size, he tried to cut off Harris on his way to the basket. OKC switched on the screen and is defending the play well. Jackson is clinging to Nowitzki atop the three-point arc, and Caron Butler and Derek Fisher both are sticking to their men — Vince Carter and Jae Crowder — in either corner. Oklahoma City has put the onus on Harris not only to beat Durant to the basket, but to either finish himself or lob it to Wright.

Well, Harris succeeded. Even the All-World Durant isn’t fast enough to slow down the blazing Harris as he turns the corner. And although Wright is lurking on the other side of the rim, OKC’s Nick Collison has to step up to stop Harris, just as Sullinger would do a night later. Even if you didn’t see the game, you definitely saw the end result: Wright threw down one of the best dunks of the year.

Keep in mind this is just one small example of what makes the Dallas second unit so effective. Nowitzki’s spacing effect, Wright’s athleticism and world-class finishing touch, Harris’s driving ability, and the shooters surrounding them run dozens of plays that work almost as well, but there’s no one set in Dallas’s playbook that’s as effective as the very simple Nowitzki/Harris pick-and-roll.

2013: A Year in Review

It’s natural to reflect on all the good and bad things that happened when one year ends and another begins. We all decide ourselves whether the year was one to remember or if it was one we can’t wait to forget.

2011 was easily a memorable year for Mavs fans, as it was one that brought the team’s first title and immense adoration for Dirk Nowitzki. The Mavericks were media darlings, and they were champions.

2012, meanwhile, is a year we’d rather not discuss. The Mavericks were swept in the playoffs and the roster was disassembled and reassembled twice over. A certain celebrity husband struggled in Dallas, Dirk got hurt, and Deron Williams chose Brooklyn.

So now we’re here, ringing in 2014, looking back at all the weird things that took place and trying to determine which bin to place 2013’s memories in. At first glance, the year seems like one we will look to move past as soon as the clock strikes midnight. The .500 beards happened, O.J. Mayo happened, missing the playoffs happened, and Dwight Howard and Chris Paul didn’t happen.

But look again, and there are plenty of reasons 2013 deserves to be remembered.

2013 brought us Monta Ellis, a player unlike one we’ve ever seen don a Mavericks uniform. He’s already earned every penny of his new contract, forming a powerful and dynamic pick-and-roll duo with Dirk.

In 2013, The Mavs signed DeJuan Blair, whose undying motor powers a playing style that does not allow taking a possession off.

2013 saw Jose Calderon, with his smooth jump shot and veteran know-how, sign with Dallas. After spending a year watching turnover-heavy play, seeing a player as mistake-free as Calderon helps us all rest easy.

In 2013, Brandan Wright was introduced to the basketball community, and now he’s considered one of the most efficient – if not the most efficient – player not named LeBron. His return from injury also made 2013 end on a sweet note for Vince Carter, who, alongside his bench mate Wright, has carried the second unit with style after a rough patch in early December.

Just a couple of days ago, we were reminded that Shawn Marion is still an extremely valuable piece to the team. He scored 32 points, the most he’s ever scored with the Mavericks, and was responsible for the game-clinching defensive stop.

In 2013, Rick Carlisle did some of his finest work, taking a team mostly made up of one-year contracts to 41 wins despite spending almost 30 games without Dirk to start the season. Now, he’s developing a system that gives Ellis the freedom he needs, but also one that is helping Monta shed his reputation as an inefficient shooter. Ellis is playing at an All-Star level, and Carlisle has had a lot to do with it.

Oh yeah, Dirk is still here, too. All he’s doing is playing near-MVP-level basketball, flirting with a 50/40/90 season, closing out games with ease, and passing legend after legend on the all-time scoring list. And despite his injury that sidelined him for the first-third of last season, Nowitzki’s Mavericks went 47-35 during 2013 and are on pace to win 47 or 48 this season, far more than most media types ever guessed they’d win.

Although there was no playoff magic, no parade, no national affection, no pomp, and no circumstance, 2013 was still a good year to be a Mavs fan. Here’s to a good 2014.

History suggests Mavs’ frontcourt could be big strength

Take a trip down memory lane with me for just a moment. Let’s go back and start in 1988 … the year the Mavs made it to the Western Conference Finals against the Lakers.

At that point it was the deepest Dallas had ever been in the playoffs. James Donaldson and Roy Tarpley patrolled the paint. Donaldson was an All-Star that season and Tarpley won the Sixth Man of the Year Award.

Fast forward to 2006. The Mavs made their first appearance in the NBA Finals against the Miami Heat. That year, the frontcourt featured Dirk Nowitzki, DeSagana Diop, and Erick Dampier.

Fast forward with me one more time to 2011. The year the Mavs returned to the NBA Finals and captured their first NBA Championship. Dirk Nowitzki, Tyson Chandler, and Brendan Haywood manned the middle.

If you haven’t caught on yet, there is a trend emerging here. If you go back and look at those three teams, one of the common denominators is the presence of quality big men. Not just one, but multiple big men who could score, rebound, and block shots. One of the strengths of the 2013-14 Mavericks will be the center and power forward positions due to the players added this offseason.

Obviously Dirk is Dirk and he is going to do what he does, but the big men the Mavs surround him with are what’s most important. One of the biggest additions to the frontcourt is Samuel Dalembert. The 11-year veteran averages 8 points, 8.1 rebounds, and 1.8 blocks per game. For comparison, Tyson Chandler averages 8.7 points, 9.1 rebounds, and 1.3 blocks per game. As you can see, the stat lines are quite comparable.

In addition to Dalembert, the Mavs also added DeJaun Blair. I’m sure most Mavs fans are familiar with his game due to his time in San Antonio. What the 6-foot-7 Blair lacks in size, he more than makes up for with hustle. Dallas also recently brought in Fab Melo who will be vying for a roster spot in training camp. Melo has been bouncing around the NBA, but hopefully he finds a home here in Dallas. Those are just the new guys! I haven’t even mentioned Brandan Wright, Shawn Marion, and the others returning from last season.

Big men play a huge role in the NBA. When you look at three of the most historically successful teams the Mavs have had, one thing they all had in common was quality big men. Based on the roster right now, that’s one asset the Mavs have in droves.

Think about all that size mixed in with the other new additions to the backcourt like Ellis, Calderon, and Harris. When head coach Rick Carlisle gets this group on the same page, it will make for exciting basketball.

Hopefully we’ll be able to mention this team in the same vein as the ones referenced above when discussing the most successful Mavericks teams of all-time.