After losing Dwight Howard to the Houston Rockets, the Mavericks were left with more financial room to sign new players including a lengthy list of free agents. After deciding not to resign Darren Collison, Chris Kaman, and Elton Brand and losing O.J. Mayo to the Milwaukee Bucks, the Mavs set their sights on free agents. Monta Ellis, Jose Calderon, Devin Harris, Samuel Dalembert, Brandan Wright, Wayne Ellington, and DeJuan Blair are the seven free agents that were introduced in Dallas last Thursday.
When asked about the newly signed free agents, owner Mark Cuban said, "I think we've got a good basketball IQ at the point guard with Jose and when Devin comes back. I think Monta is a smart basketball player whether he's playing the one or the two. So I think we're going to be able to do a lot more, a lot of different things than we were able to do last year."
In addition to the newly signed members, the Mavericks are expecting a lot from returning big men, Jae Crowder and Dirk Nowitzki. Nowitzki has been leading the Mavs since 1998 when he was traded from the Milwaukee Bucks. As the team's number one player, he's been named the NBA's Most Valuable Player and has broken several franchise records. After missing the beginning of last season due to a knee injury, Nowitzki is back to full health and the team knows to expect big things from him.
Crowder made his NBA debut this past season and was thrown right into the rotation as other forwards Nowitzki and Marion were injured. He was declared the "steal of the NBA Draft" during the 2012 Summer League, but hit the "rookie wall" towards the end of the season and the Mavericks did not make the playoffs for the first time in 12 years. He continued to disappoint during the 2013 Summer League averaging just 13.2 points, 4.2 rebounds, 2.2 assists and 2.2 steals in 27 minutes per game. Crowder has proved that he has the athletic skills and potential to make a powerful impact on the court, but he will need to find his way out of the "rookie rut" if he wants to make that happen.
With the effective coach Carlisle, strategic Cuban, and a team full of NBA players who together hope to find success on the court, the Dallas Mavericks have great potential for this upcoming NBA season.
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