Roster Holes

The Mavs now have 12 roster spots filled up (Dirk, Ellis, Parsons, Chandler, Harris, Wright, Crowder, Felton, Smith, Jefferson, Ledo, and Mekel). The lack of perimeter shooting is what jumps out at me from that list. Outside of Dirk, Parsons, and Jefferson, the team is a very below average 3pt shooting team.

Dallas was 2nd in the league last year in 3pt % and 12th in 3pta with almost half of those (9.8 of 22.9) coming from Calderon and Carter, not to mention Marion's 2.1 attempts. Parsons will obviously pick up the slack on a number of those as he took slightly more than Carter per game last year (4.7 vs 4.6). But if we want similar floor spacing as last year's top 5 offense, then at least some of the remaining Calderon and Marion 3pta need to land somewhere with equivalent efficiency.

Dirk, Ellis, Parsons, Chandler, Harris, and Wright bring very specific talents to the team and they can all fill it up without a doubt. Unfortunately 5 of the 6 get most of their shots at the rim (all over 40%) so we need to find guys and an offensive scheme that can open up the floor for them. Richard Jefferson is a good addition but between his lackluster defense and lack of athleticism, he shouldn't be a regular rotation guy. Like MacMahon said, Jefferson is a good Ellington replacement (read: he will warm the bench and only really play situationally).

Starting Lineup

* I am leaving Felton out of both lineups for now since we still don't really know what we're going to get with him (Fat Felton or Resolved Raymond) or if he's even sticking around. He is a below average 3pt shooter (32% last year) and shooter in general (40% last year), has only posted a PER above 15 three times in his nine seasons with two of those being 15.2s, and has been a minus player every year of his career except for one. So in any case, he should not be relied on as a vital part of the rotation.

I think given the current roster starting Ellis at PG with Crowder at SG is the best lineup. I know I know - keep reading. For all his faults, Crowder is a good defender, good corner 3 shooter (42% last year), and a willing passer. We will have plenty of offense in a Dirk/Monta/Parsons starting lineup. What we will need is a wing defender to take the pressure off Monta and Parsons and keep the offense flowing on the other end. Short of other alternatives, I think Crowder fits the bill in a similar 15-20 minute role as DeShawn.

We would alternate Ellis and Parsons running the offense (per Carlisle's assertion that he will use Parsons at the 1, 2, 3, and 4 and to initiate the offense) from the top of the key with Crowder, Ellis (52% from the corner 3), and Parsons (42% from the corner 3) switching on the flanks and cutting with Dirk and Chandler setting the picks. Ellis managed the offense for the most part last year anyway, leading the team in assists with 5.7. Calderon's 4.7 would be replaced with Parsons' 4 plus extra Harris time and another bench guard.

The focus on horizontal spread would be a bit of a tweak in last year's offense as the Mavs took the vast majority of their 3s from the wings. Without the personnel to really stretch defenses vertically like they did last year with Calderon and Carter on the wings, I think the Mavs will need to work more on corner spacing using penetration, back cuts, Dirk at the elbows, and swinging the ball to open up shots. As the Spurs continue to prove, a corner 3 is arguably the second best shot in the game after a dunk.


Coming off the bench, we are going to have Harris, Wright, and Smith most likely. Cuban has already stated that Wright would play a lot more 4 this next year. While his range has expanded, it is still limited to 16 ft. Smith has even less of a range - taking 95% of his shots over his whole career from 8ft or less. So assuming that we don't pick up a stretch 4/5 to play with Brandan instead of Smith (which would make our rebounding and interior defense horrendous), we need some bench shooters to stretch the floor.

Mo Williams and Anthony Tolliver are both imperfect players but I think they would fit well with this team. Tolliver shot 41% from 3 last year, was a surprising +11 between Ortg and Drtg, and can play the 3 or 4. Williams is a veteran leader, a career 39% 3pt shooter, and another steady ballhandler to initiate the offense. He could replace a lot of what Carter brought to the Mavs. There are more talented players still available than both of these guys that could probably be had for the minimum/room exception as well but I think these two would fit the current roster needs the best. Then we just need to grab another big to wrap up the roster.

The Others

Ed Davis really is Brandan Wright but unless we're going to trade Brandan, he's not really filling a need - at the minimum after shooters he would be great. Blair unfortunately is in the same boat; he is a solid player especially for his size but with only three spots, he doesn't fill the immediate needs. Aminu is a solid defender and great rebounding SF but he can't shoot to save his life and floor spacing is required for the Mavs offense. Beasley still has a lot of potential - he can hit the 3, run the court well, and get after rebounds - but he has been dismissed from 4 teams already (the Heat twice) so I can't picture him in the Mavs locker room. Brand and O'Neal are old but should be considered at the minimum; while not addressing our perimeter needs, they can both score, defend, and rebound to varying degrees. Udoh would duplicate Smith's role still without shooting but should be considered at the minimum. Barbosa injuries and shot 28% from 3 last year. Turkoglu no defense or athleticism. Jimmer no defense. Sessions no shot. Rush no defense or motivation. Brooks poor defender and no size. Ridnour mediocre shot and huge minus defender. Turner no shot and probably too much money. Allen Cleveland bound. Maynor terrible shooter and minus defender. Davis can shoot but big minus player. Villanueva if you can't get minutes in Detroit?

There are still some decent big man options available and the Mavs certainly should pursue those but I think perimeter shooting needs to be the priority. There are always trade options and the dream of Stephenson or Bledsoe to shake up the roster but realistically, I think this team could be very good as constructed if we just add a couple more complimentary pieces. Who do yall want to finish out the roster?

Reader Submitted

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