Dallas Mavericks
Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

The Dallas Mavericks have been one of the better surprises this year jumping to the 3rd seed in the Western Conference. The question is: how can they become title contenders? Obviously with Luka Doncic becoming a bona fide superstar and MVP candidate, he is the crucial piece to that title. Of course, he can’t do it alone, no one really could, not even Michael Jordan or Lebron James. Needless to say, his teammates will be the determining factor if they will ever win a title.

I loved the move to trade for Kristaps Porzingis near the trade deadline. Despite the fact they got him for practically nothing, it was a great move. Going forward, they have two younger and more promising offensive players in the NBA. But even two people isn’t enough to win a title most of the time. There need to be some changes if they want that title.

Dallas Mavericks Plan

They already have one of the best coaches in the NBA in Rick Carlisle, so that’s not a concern. The only thing left to do is to keep upgrading the roster. As mentioned before, Luka Doncic and Kristaps are cornerstones and their contracts are good for at least 3 years. While I think these guys could stay with the Mavericks their whole careers, let’s just use what we have right now. Courtney Lee’s contract expires this year. That will free up 12 million in cap space. That’s pretty much the only contract expiring worth anything for the Mavericks this season. That’s not a lot to work with at the end of the season. If they’re looking to add talent this offseason, they will need to trade Tim Hardaway Jr. I think THJ is a decent player, he’s just not worth 20 million a year. If they trade THJ away for some expiring contracts, that gives them about 30 million give or take in the offseason to play with. Perfect to make a big 3.

 I like to see them go after a center that’s rim protector or a tenacious rebounder. In this year’s free agency class, I could see a perfect fit with Andre Drummond if he declines his player option. He could help them on the defensive end, could clean up the glass, and finish inside. This opens up the floor for Luka Doncic and Kristaps Porzingis with teams having to also focus on Andre Drummond. This works vice versa, this opens up the paint for Andre Drummond because Luka and Porzingis can score from anywhere.

Of course, they don’t have to trade THJ if they are patient. If they wait for his contract to expire next year, the free agency class of 2021 will be HISTORIC. The number of NBA stars whose contract expires in 2021 is staggering. Without any changes, the Mavericks will have about 26 million to play with. Not enough for a max contract. It’ll be hard to sign the best star they can with only 26 million. However, Andre Drummond will be an unrestricted Free Agent and Rudy Gobert will also be a free agent, those are the guys I would be trying to get. With Luka Doncic able to play 1-3 practically, the need for a guard or a wing is not a necessity. Although a defensive wing wouldn’t hurt in the slightest for the Dallas Mavericks I think they just need that Center to control the paint and they’ll be instant contenders. 

The Dallas Mavericks have a chance to be a dynasty for years to come. How they handle Free Agency these next few years will determine if they get a championship or not. All I can really say the future is bright in Dallas, they’re going to take over the league.