Everyone loves grades! Our staff roundtable this week continues with our contributors answering the question: "What grade would you give the Mavericks’ offseason and why?"
The staff gives their thoughts below, and feel free to add your own grades in the comments below!
Ian: C+. I would have given them an F, but once again the Mavs have cobbled together a passable roster after everything seemed to fall apart initially. Bogut and Curry represent the type of moves the Dallas front office excel at, but I can't help but be frustrated by the fact that they don't seem interesting in adding those kind of pieces to a stable core. If Chandler Parsons was the team's starting small forward next year instead of Harrison Barnes, with the other moves all the same, I'd probably give the team a B+ or maybe even an A-.
Kirk: B-. Look, I know everyone is happy that Dallas rebounded after a disasterous start to free agency. How many times are we going to be sold this bill of goods like it's a positive thing? It happened in 2012, when we were supposed to be happy that Lamar Odom came to the Mavs after it was clear Cuban wanted cap space instead of Tyson Chandler. It happened again in 2013 when the Mavericks whiffed on both Deron Williams and Dwight Howard only to end up with Monta Ellis. It happened again in 2015 when the Mavericks let Tyson Chandler walk again and lost out on DeAndre Jordan only to end up with Zaza Pachulia. At some point, it would be nice if they actually executed a realistic plan. All this aside, the move towards younger players with untapped potential is nice. It might not work out, but at least the ceiling in Dallas is higher than it's been in year's past.
J.C.: B. What do you want from them? No draft pick, no real other assets to build with. They made a great second round pick, they upgraded from Parsons to Barnes, they upgraded from Pachulia to Bogut, they got Dirk paid, they kept Williams, the locked up Powell, and they likely freed some playing time for Justin Anderson. They're still feeling the effects of the ill-fated Rondo gamble and the DeAndre Jordan fiasco, but for what they had, they did better than most NBA teams. They had a middle of the road offseason. Just above the average on the curve.
Josh: B, but with some professor's notes at the bottom.
In a vacuum, the Mavs off-season went well enough. They acquired two starters from a 73-win basketball team, brought back their competent point guard and filled out the back-end of the roster with younger, talented and more intriguing players than the typical safe, washed veterans. They've got the most athletic Mavs team...since...2011? 2006? 2003? This is one of the most athletic teams in the Dirk era.
But, with a big capital 'B' angry and vibrating like a disgruntled Furby, this off-season wasn't in a vacuum. The Mavs let the better player go in Chandler Parsons and once again whiffed on their Plan A and had to rely on considerable luck to execute their contingency plans. When Dallas let Parsons go, there was no telling what Kevin Durant was going to do. If he stayed in OKC the Mavs roster would be borked even worse than where it was when DeAndre Jordan backed out of his deal.
For the past five years, the Mavs off-seasons have largely consisted on plans that relied on things outside of the Mavs control, whether that's star-chasing or restricted free-agency. For once, it'd be nice to see the Mavericks actually execute a plan A and not rely on crazy, landscape-changing NBA transactions to field a competitive roster. For once I'd like to see Mark Cuban on a microphone in August say "we got our guy" and not "we're actually better off without..."
Akshay: B-minus. After letting Chandler Parsons walk and striking out on Mike Conley/Hassan Whiteside, it looked like it would be an F. But, as usual, Dallas did a nice job of rebounding, even though it took some help from Kevin Durant's move. The offseason seemed to center around the decision to let Parsons walk. That can be debated, but at the end of the day, who knows what the Mavs' reasoning was. Maybe his knee had more red flags than we were led to believe, or maybe they weren't sure about him as a foundation piece going forward. Whatever the case, the Mavs moved on and pursued their own Plan A. That obviously failed, but Plan B worked out well. This is going to be a fun, athletic and younger squad that is going to compete for a playoff spot. It's not like anything they did would've made them an instant title contender this year.
Doyle: B. It didn't start out great with the Mavs again chasing those "big fish" that we all knew wouldn't come to Dallas. Then the team just let Chandler Parsons walk. At that point I would've given them an F. But then they slowly pieced together a decent team. I'm not high on Harrison Barnes but he's better than nothing especially with Parsons gone. Bogut is a great addition. Seth Curry could be something. And I like the guys with partially guaranteed contracts, especially Jonathan Gibson. The Mavs are really good at salvaging disaster.
Danny: B-minus. It was doom and gloom from the start, so much to where I thought the Mavs needed to tank. They rebounded nicely. I'm starting to warm up to what Harrison Barnes can become. I want to believe Carlisle will get the most out of him and get him chances that he couldn't get in Golden State. Bogut and Acy, as mentioned, are great additions. Seth Curry is the wildcard, and he needs minutes. Badly. The Mavs need shooters and need to utilize them. And plus, his last name is Curry. Come on. Getting Deron Williams and, of course, Dirk back are also huge.