By Jeremy Martin @Jmartin1982 on June 4, 2014
The Dallas Mavericks returned to the playoffs in 2014 and despite a valiant effort in the first round, they fell to the San Antonio Spurs in seven games. Dallas will now head into the offseason with the goal of becoming a true contender again. The question is, what do the Mavericks have to do to reach their goal? I believe there are many directions Dallas could go, but these should be their top five priorities this offseason.
When Dallas signed Devin Harris last offseason, many fans didn’t give it a second thought. It was considered a minor move, but that changed once Harris got on the court. Harris was a spark plug for the Mavs off the bench. Harris will likely generate interest from other teams in free agency, but Dallas needs to find a way to bring him back.
Dallas has a dynamic scoring duo with Dirk and Monta Ellis, but they need that third guy to go with them. Dirk is still a great player, but he can’t score 25 on a nightly basis anymore. The Mavs need to find that guy who can average 20 points a night in order to become a true contender.
Dallas’ biggest weakness was defense. Opposing guards consistently had their way against the Mavericks. Dallas’ best perimeter defender is Shawn Marion, but he is a free agent. Whether they bring Marion back or not, Dallas will still need to add more defense.
When Dallas won its championship, it had Tyson Chandler on the inside, and his defensive presence was one of the biggest factors. There are rumors that Dallas could be interested in bringing Chandler back. Whether Dallas brings Chandler back or they find somebody else, it must find that presence again this offseason.
The first four priorities on this list will not matter if Dallas doesn’t accomplish the No. 1 thing, and that is bringing back Dirk. Dirk is the franchise and without him, it’s rebuilding time. I don’t believe there is any chance that Dirk leaves the Mavericks, but Dallas can’t take that for granted. Bringing him back is the first and most important priority of the offseason.
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