We frequently talk about the Mavericks in our email chain, as a basketball blog based in Dallas should, and the discussion on Tuesday seemed interesting enough to share. Here's an edited transcript of our staff discussing the state of the Mavericks, how the media is treating them and about realistic expectations for this team.
Andrew (@kreighbaum): Seems like a lot of folks are working under the assumption that the team's fanbase still has big expectations for this season.
Doyle (@TheKobeBeef): I expect to see a team of 15 players who play 82 games of basketball. They will win some and they will lose some. Also, the national folks never really pay much attention to Dallas so they aren't on the ground to see what we do.
Kirk (@KirkSeriousFace): I agree with the sentiment of this line but with the bump I don't think we can accurately say what a contract will be in terms of value yet.
At best, Parsons and Matthews will live up to their contracts. They won't outplay it and, chances are, they won't even perform to it. Even with the salary cap bump, that's a lot of money invested in shaky stock.
And, I think a lot of fans DO have big expectations. 15 years of success breeds contempt for the process of team building.
Bailey: That is the sentence that I take most umbrage at. I guess I get why people would be worried about the surgeries. But I also don't think I'm crazy to think that there's a good chance Parsons and Matthews will be the two best players on this team by the end of the season (and that's not a bad thing).
Doyle: If they glance at the roster, their expectations should be tempered.
Bailey: Right. I just feel like expectations at either extreme are misplaced. This isn't a good team, but it probably isn't a bad one either.
Andrew: *shrug* I think even casual fans recognize the team hasn't been really good in a few years and we just traded in Tyson Chandler for Sam Dalembert and Zaza Pachulia.
Kirk: I also disagree with the sentiment that it's bad the Mavs will lose out on this draft pick unless they tank. I think they want to get out from under it.
Austin (@garooya): This is the best possible draft to lose their pick as well.
Bailey: Precisely. I can't see any good reason to hold onto that pick. Draft isn't that promising. And unless you shut down Parsons and Matthews all year (and maybe let Carlisle go), the team can't tank anyway.
Just develop Anderson, see what you have in the other young players, try to reload with some bigger free agents this offseason, and worry about drafting after Dirk's final year.
Tim (@tim_cato): Well, the rationale is to lose the pick when you're a playoff team and only giving up a no. 19 pick, not when you're possibly going to have a top-10 lottery pick.
Andrew: Draft pick considerations aside, there's just nothing bold about arguing the Mavs will be mediocre to bad next year. It's a pretty safe position to hold.
Kirk: I think the Mavs are going to be 9-10-11 in the West. That's not bad enough to have the 7th worst record. So they'll give up the pick they owe Boston. I'm fine with that. I'm NOT fine with the horrid choice to throw it into the trade to begin with, but here we are.
Bailey: I think the Mavs ceiling is a bit higher than that, but 9-10-11 wouldn't surprise me at all. I agree with Kirk that I don't see them being bad enough to get that high in the lottery.
Josh (@Boweman55): I think this team is overall better stocked than the 2012-13 team, and Rick and a hobbled Dirk dragged that thing to a .500 record. At the very least, they went with filling the back end of the roster with young unproven guys instead of older washed up dudes.
As long as Parsons comes back within the first month and is OK, I think they'll be fine with Anderson/John Jenkins holding down the 2 spot till Wes gets back. Not great, but OK. Weirdly excited for Deron Williams. Even when he was bad in New Jersey, he could at least hit threes at an acceptable rate. The center thing is going to be a dumpster fire though.
Andrew: Every Mavs blogger: "I'm not expecting much this season but trying to be optimistic."
General NBA blog: "No, the Mavs will not be good, you dummies."
Bailey: Josh, that's mostly how I see it too, except that the West is better than it was that season. That's the only thing that has me worried.
Danny (@DannyWebster21): I want to believe this team will surprise everyone, but it's tough to do so. If Parsons can stay healthy and D-Will can be even a tenth better than he was in Brooklyn, I'm good. It's tough to see more than 41 wins right now.
What would be considered a successful season from D-Will? I think he's the key to this whole thing.
Bailey: I honestly think 16 and 7, with decent defense and somewhere around 38 percent from range is a reasonable expectation.