The Dallas Mavericks will be trying to finish their 13th consecutive season at .500 or better on Wednesday night as they take on the New Orleans Hornets. The Mavericks’ streak of 12 straight seasons of making the NBA Playoffs will end, but that streak isn’t quite buried yet. However, the Mavericks as they are right now may be.
Dirk Nowitzki, the star and focal-point of the Mavericks since he returned to action this season, is in his mid-30s and is showing obvious signs of his age. He doesn’t move as fluidly as he used to and doesn’t have the surprising quickness that once made him so dangerous. He honestly looks like a shell of himself. This means that the Mavericks might be looking to change the gear their offense through Dirk less next season.
Their most proficient offensive player other than Nowitzki for this season has been O.J. Mayo. However, Mayo has faltered over the last month or so of the season and becomes an unrestricted free agent this off-season. Because of this, Dallas is now faced with the decision of whether or not they should try and re-sign Mayo for their future.
Though Mayo is a solid player who has had a nice season, re-signing him is not the right move for the Mavericks. Mayo is solid, but has proven time and again that he can’t really be consistently relied upon to carry an offense in this league. Also, the Mavericks have cap-room and can look to sign some big name free agents.
Signing Dwight Howard is a pipe-dream cooked up by Mark Cuban, but there’s the slight chance that could happen. More in the realm of possibilities for Dallas, though, would be to sign guys along the lines of Kyle Korver and Kevin Martin that could replace Mayo and have also been much more reliable options this season. They could also look at Tony Allen if they want to focus on their defense, though that seems silly considering Dirk is a pretty poor defender at this point of his career.
The free agent pool for this summer isn’t incredibly deep. However, there are options within free agency that feel like they would be better fits for the Mavericks than Mayo would be if they re-signed him. They’ll be fine if they do choose to keep him around, however it seems like they’ll be better off if they don’t.