So here we are, in the purgatory that is the NBA offseason, weeks removed from free agent decisions, and days after the Summer League concluded. What have the Mavericks, and its fans, learned from this offseason so far?
- The Mavs have a much more humble, and mature, superstar than anything the Heat have to offer. Take that for what it's worth. Aside from the game of tag that he played with Donnie, Dirk's negotiations were swift and simple, and none of what transpired made an ESPN special.
- The scouting department of the Mavericks is better than I thought. Somewhere between drafting Mo Ager, and Nick Fazekas, the department decided to look for different attributes from draftees. Instead of looking for shooters who were just more of the same on this roster, they placed more of an emphasis on targeting slashing players, and those who could create their own shot. Albeit, Domonique Jones and Rodrigue Beaubois do so in different ways, they are both a model of what type of player could be successful in a system where aggression is potentially rewarded with playing time. See: JJ Barea
- Brendan Haywood, although occasionally exhibiting prima donna tendencies, is an important part to thie team's future success. Otherwise, everyone's favorite movie star coach wouldn't have had tea with him.
- Rodrigue Beaubois is going to have growing pains while he learns how to run an offense. The gear that he turns on when driving to the basket is going to have to be lower when he decides to which teammate he should pass.
- Dominique Jones will receive playing time this year, possibly more than Rodrique did in his rookie year. The reason for this could be Jones' ability to hold on to the basketball, and the decisions he makes while running the point. Rick values ball handling without turnovers and Jones, although in a small sample size, has shown that he has that kind of ability.
- I think that I was more disappointed in believing this team could turn Dampier's contract into an impact player more than the result of offloading Dampier along with MC and Najera. The cold truth is that the Mavs had to compete with an already agreed upon situation in Miami, and the only alternative was flexibility. They took flexibility over marginally improving, and it may come back to hurt the team, but for now we have Tyson Chandler, a guy who should be better than Ian Mahinmi when it comes to backing up Haywood.
- Don't hold your breath on any expiring contracts becoming anything. Join me as I plan to see similar stories on future free agency this upcoming season, and laugh at them. This team will only improve through developing their young players. To rely on free agents choosing Dallas over Miami or New York or Los Angeles is foolish.
- Matt Carroll will forever be missed. Remember that one game where he made a basket while blindfolded? That was awesome.