At this late stage in the season, the Dallas Mavericks have two options regarding their immediate future: continue to hunt for a playoff spot in what will likely end an unsuccessful mission, or tank their way to the lottery.
Dallas is currently on track to finish somewhere in no man’s land – not enough talent to make a dent in the playoffs, and not close enough to the lottery to properly rebuild. Wins like Friday’s 98-90 result against the Brooklyn Nets provide the perfect tease for Mavs fans, but making the postseason will require an extremely successful March and April, something the Mavericks just aren’t capable of producing.
Dallas actually wasn’t too bad in February; they won six of their first eight games, and it looked like another playoff run was within their grasp. A recent three-game slide ruined all of that progress, and with 12 opponents scheduled for March with a record of .500 or better, the playoffs seem highly unlikely.
For all the young talent on the Mavericks’ roster, almost none of it is worth keeping, considering the plan has always been to acquire a second premium star player. Outside of maybe O.J. Mayo and Jae Crowder, there isn’t another person on the Mavs’ roster that fits in with the build around Dirk Nowitzki plan. Although the 2013 draft is widely considered one of the weakest in recent memory, a high pick will probably be of more value on the trade market than some of the ‘assets’ the Mavs already possess.
Dallas needs to concede the rest of season and do all they can to land a second star to pair with Nowitzki this off-season. It’s the future, not the playoffs, that is the more worthwhile goal to chase for this aging franchise.