7) In five years, what aspect of this season will we remember best?
Josh: Hopefully, none of it. If things go well this summer, hopefully the 2012-2013 season will only be a minor blip in the Mavs Dirk era.
Andy: How painful it was, but probably in the sense that five years from now Dirk will be gone and we won't have the expectations of being decent. So we'll feel the sharp, double pain of sucking, then, but sort of expecting to, verse how much it used to hurt when we fell short of expectations but still won 40 games. However I hope it will be the beginning of the next phase of Mavs success, with some sweet draft pick.
Alan: The fact that Cuban and Donnie spent three first round draft picks and an offseason trade all on young, athletic point guard types, and Rick Carlisle spent half the year starting Derek Fisher and Mike James instead. Of course, to be fair, Cuban thought he had Jason Kidd signed to a contract, and Delonte West signed to be his backup. So, maybe the mess at point guard should have been predicted right from the start. But it shows another reason why drafting is important: you don't just try to find your next start, but you use it to acquire cheap bench depth.
Kirk: I think that depends on how this summer goes. If things go poorly and Dallas ends up with long contracts from sub par players, we'll remember it as the season of futility, where bad luck and a gamble from management resulted in the first play off exit in 13 years. If Dallas makes some roster decisions that impact the team positively next year, we'll remember this year as a transitory one between eras. Five years from now, I think I'll remember how Dallas had no idea how to get the ball to Dirk. And Mike James being a point guard.
Hal: We'll remember that it was the first non-playoff season in over a decade.
8) It's still very early, but care to make a bold offseason prediction?
Josh: There's a chance the Mavs could stand idle again if the stars don't come to town, eager to try to cash in on the 2014 free-agent class. But Dirk has expressed that he's done with the 1-year-deals team and Cuban seems motivated to not have another repeat of this season. With that in mind, I feel like the Mavs might strike some risky propositions to get back in the title chase. I have a feeling that means Andrew Bynum.
Andy: Well, I'm starting to think the Mavs aren't as committed to the big fish model as I've believed in the past---I think they really thought they could swing it in the Dwight-Paul-Deron days, I think they were pretty almost right with Deron, but I think they now realize that if they are going to ride out the Dirk era---and how could they not?-it's time to start trying to hit some doubles, rather than betting it all on home runs. So I'm expecting some more guys on the level of, say, a Ben Gordon (though not at that price, obviously), and less worrying about guys like Dwight Howard. Just a feeling.
Alan: Dallas will trade their draft pick...again.
Kirk: My bold prediction is that I will overreact to literally every single off season move.
Hal: Either: the Mavs do very little and we have another supremely mediocre season next season; or they spend way too much money for a not-worthwile asset and we have many more mediocre seasons coming in the future.