The year's end roundtable hits the third question, regarding whether this season could be considered a success or not.
What parts of this season were successful? Was the season as a whole a 'success'?
Kirk Henderson (@KirkSeriousFace): The Mavericks have found an excellent second or third option in Chandler Parsons. He's probably not "worth" the chunk of salary cap he takes up, but the fact remains that he's exceptionally talented and incredibly savy as a basketball player. His growing role near the end of the season paired with the gaping hole he left in the playoffs illistrated his importance for Dallas as they try to build a team moving forward. Discovering how to use Al-Farouq Aminu as an engine of chaos was also pretty awesome.
As to the season? Well, in terms of expectations, no, it was not a success. All that turnover and frustration to move up a single spot in the playoff seedings and to win only a single game cannot be deemed a success. But it was another season with Dirk Nowitzki. The Mavericks won 50 freaking games. Our expectations are just silly at this point. So by all reasonable expectations, it was a success.
Andrew Kreighbaum (@kreighbaum): Winning 50 games and making the playoffs again are always fun accomplishments but certainly harder to enjoy when the second half of a season becomes so dreary. Despite the second half struggles, it was enjoyable to see how Chandler Parsons and Al-Farouq Aminu grew into their roles. Those two are easily the Mavs' best players still entering their primes.
I think most Dallas fans were judging this season on whether the team built on their play in last year's first round. It didn't really turn out that way and the team used a lot of its young assets to acquire a player who won't be returning, so it's hard to say this season was a success by any definition.
Tim Cato (@tim_cato): The season was successful to me, but "success" is subjective to each individual. I don't think it was a successful season for the Mavericks, not in their eyes. To add Tyson Chandler and Chandler Parsons, and then make a mid-season trade for Rajon Rondo, all while winning just one more game, isn't what anyone had hoped for. But to you and me, the season is what we make of it. I enjoyed covering this season for this site more than any previous one, and while there's a lot of reasons for that, Rondo definitely helped.
Hal Brown (@HalBrownNBA): Hell, the team won 50 games. They were pretty dang good for at least 2/3 of the year. Their big offseason acquisition in Parsons looked really, really good at the end of the season (but now he's got surgery, so that's cool). Tyson played like his old self. Al-Farouq Aminu was awesome. There were lots of things to hang your hat on, but unfortunately none of that is guaranteed to carry over to next season.
So was the season a success? No. The team has greater than 1st round aspirations and instead they got slaughtered, they were a bottom 10 team for the last 2 months, there's no guarantee that any of the season's positives will carry over to next season, and, most importantly, the team was downright deeply unpleasant to watch for a really, really long time. I'm glad this season is over, frankly.
Bailey Rogers (@BRogers789):I would consider everything before the Rondo trade, along with the 3 games following Rondo's "back injury," a success. The biggest success, in my opinion, was Rick Carlisle finally realizing (far too late in my opinion) the value that Aminu brought to this team. If there's one good that came from the Rondo trade it's that Carlisle was forced to let Aminu on the court more. I just hope Dallas can re-sign him this offseason.
As far as the whole season, I can't call it a success. To me the question of whether an NBA season is a success or not begins and ends with "was it fun?" Thanks to the Rondo trade, the answer is no. This team may not have been going anywhere (I actually dispute this a bit) before the trade, but damn if it wasn't fun. And then things were instantly fun again once Rondo was banished. You guys can talk all you want about championships, but you're setting yourself up for constant frustration if that's your measure of success. Ultimately, the front office took a fun team and made it miserable, so no, the season as a whole was not a success.