If we take a look into the future and see the Mavericks missed out on LeBron, Wade, Bosh, Joe Johnson and the other big free agents, it's not the end of the world. If Dallas somehow lost Dirk Nowitzki and Brendan Haywood, that would be a massive problem. Under the assumption that Dirk and Haywood come back into the fold and the Mavericks, for whatever reason, keep this cast of characters for another season, there are ways this roster can still get better. You can include a return of Erick Dampier or a suitable replacement at the backup center spot. Here are the ways the Mavericks can get better without cleaning house.
Creating Stability in the Rotation
There would still be a logjam of players at the shooting guard and small forward position, but you must decide who your best players are and run with that decision and stick with it as long as you can. Routines and having a sense of familiarity is key, especially in basketball. If you give the team a clear presentation of how things will be run with rotation, confidence will be given and chemistry can continue to grow. I believe one idea that should be looked at is moving Shawn Marion to the bench and allow Caron Butler to play his natural spot, the small forward position. Marion is a role player in the sense he's known as the defensive specialist. Butler can play defense but still bring some versatility in terms of scoring as well. He thrives much better at the small forward position as opposed to the shooting guard spot. Shawn would still get his minutes, being the primary backup for Butler AND Dirk at the 4-spot. So who becomes the starting shooting guard?
Roddy-B Must be Set Free
There has been a debate on whether Roddy can be the point guard of the future or shooting guard of the future. If things are kept the same, he needs to be pushed into the starting 2-guard position. There is a good sense of chemistry between Roddy and Kidd and that will continue to get better over time. Coach Carlisle was stubborn, to a fault, with Beaubois and that can't happen next season. Beyond Dirk, Roddy has shown in his small window of opportunity that he could easily become the second most explosive scorer on the court for the Mavericks. In addition to the offense, Beaubois has the potential to be an excellent perimeter defender. The only way he'll have a chance to get better is to get more playing time. There has been tons of hype and hope created based on his performance in his rookie year: It's time to see what we actually have with the kid.
The Jet needs to stay in the Hangar
Jason Terry has been an emotional leader for this team for several years and he does a wonderful job energizing the home crowd, but it's time for him to take a reduced role. The consistent problem for the Mavericks has been the inability to find a sidekick for Dirk and Jet has been trying to fill that role unsuccessfully. No matter how much you love him, Terry is a flawed player. He is a scorer who cannot consistently score. When there are nights that he can't hit a bucket, he's pretty much a huge liability on the court due to his inability to play defense. The need to give Roddy more playing time and evaluating what you have with Dominique Jones places Terry in a tough spot. His role needs to become that of a third or fourth player off the bench who is just used as a spark of energy. In theory, if you're able to get anything out of him, that helps the team but if you aren't able to get anything out of him, then it's a smaller role so it won't hurt you as much in the big picture.
Avoid the Allergic Reaction to the Paint
If Haywood is still on the roster, they need to find ways to better utilize his scoring abilities. The Mavericks have had the stigma of being a jump-shooting team, most teams are that way but the problem for Dallas is they don't attack the basket and they haven't had a center that can score. Haywood is the gift and the curse, he's a big man who can score but he's also a big man that probably over-estimates his scoring ability. If he gets a scoring opportunity in the low post, it's not very likely that the ball will come back outside. They can counter that issue by looking for him more in the pick-and-roll situation. Kidd and Haywood were able to show flashes of being able to connect for easy scoring opportunities, there is no reason why that shouldn't be more of a fixture in the Mavs offense scheme. With Haywood, Beaubois, and even a sprinkle of Jason Kidd posting up smaller opponents, the idea of a consistent inside scoring threat would be at the Mavericks disposal.
This team, as constructed, didn't have a training camp together as they were merged together in February. With additional time together as a unit, with these changes, could make a drastic improvement for the roster. For those who don't believe that is the best route to take, there are a variety of trades that could be made to help bolster the team. Those ideas will be investigated in the very near future.