For the first time in 21 seasons, the Dallas Mavericks will not have Dirk Nowitzki on the court. Nowitzki was the face of the franchise, leading the Mavs to a 2011 title and is arguably one of the power forwards the game has seen.

While the final season for Dirk was memorable, the Mavs, in general, they were still one of the bottom teams in the Western Conference, finishing with a 33-49 record (14th in the West). Despite that, they have a nice new centerpiece to built around in Luka Dončić, who immediately became a star. On top of that, to replace Dirk, the team traded for former New York Knicks star Kristaps Porzingis, who ended up not playing a game for them as he was recovering from a torn ACL he suffered the season prior.

The Mavericks did have a quiet offseason, with their only major move was re-signing Porzingis, which was kind of expected due to trading away a lot of players and draft picks for him. Dončić and Porzingis look to form a nice duo in Dallas but the team has a lot of interesting pieces heading into the 2019-2020 season. Let’s take a look.

Point Guards

Credit: Andy Lyons/Getty Images
  • J.J. Barea
  • Jalen Brunson
  • Luka Dončić
  • Delon Wright

Dončić, as stated earlier, became an immediate star in Dallas, averaging 21.2 points, 7.8 rebounds, 6.0 assists, and 1.1 steals in 72 games his rookie season. His impressive numbers earned him 2019 Rookie of the Year honors and at only 20 years of age, this guy is going to be a problem for years to come. Barea is a longtime veteran that’ll be one of the main backups at the point guard spot. Brunson was a solid role player last year and Wright was acquired this past offseason in a trade.

Shooting Guards

Credit: Brian Rothmuller/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images
  • Yudai Baba
  • Ryan Broekhoff
  • Antonius Cleveland *(Two-Way)
  • Seth Curry
  • Tim Hardaway Jr.
  • Courtney Lee
  • Dakota Mathias
  • Josh Reaves *(Two-Way)

The Mavericks have a ton of shooting guards on the roster right now that also play multiple positions when needed. Hardaway Jr. was one of the players aquired in the Porzingis deal and leads this group as he has been a solid scorer throughout his career.  Lee, who was also in that deal, has been a career journeyman that is a solid contributor. Curry was brought back to Dallas to provide a shooting spark off the bench. Cleveland and Reaves both stay on the roster for now as the 16th and 17th man who will split time between the main roster and G League affiliate Texas Legends in the early part of the season. Mathias, Broekhoff, and Baba will look to compete for a roster spot/playing time in the preseason.

Small Forwards

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  • Dorian Finney-Smith
  • Justin Jackson
  • Isaiah Roby

A thin group of small forwards here with Jackson leading the way. He is a young player that contributed well during his short time in Dallas last season and looks to contribute more as he heads into this season. Finney-Smith has been with the team for the past three seasons and is a solid two-way player while Roby was a second-round selection in this past draft.

Power Forwards

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  • Aric Holman
  • Maxi Kleber
  • Kristaps Porzingis
  • Dwight Powell

The ACL injury looks to be behind Porzingis now and looks to start right away as Maverick fans are excited to see what he can do. If he plays like he did during his time in New York, fans will love him out of the gate. Hopefully, he can get back to the All-Star caliber player we know he can be. Powell has been with the team for a long time and is a solid player in the rotation. Kleber and Holman will look to fight for a roster spot.

Centers

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  • Boban Marjanović

Only one true center on the roster right now in Marjanović, who has always been a fan favorite wherever he has played. at 7’3″, he has the size to be a solid contributor for the team. He and Porzingis on the floor together can provide nightmares for anyone trying to drive down the lane.

Coach

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Rick Carlisle is heading into his 12th season as the head coach for the Mavericks. He is a tough coach that expects a lot out of his players right away and you saw that clearly in Dončić. He is considered one of the best coaches in the league and it’ll be interesting to see what he does with the rotation now that the legend of Dirk is no longer on the roster.

Projected Lineup/Roster Cuts

  • PG: Delon Wright
  • PG/SG: Luka Dončić
  • SG/SF: Tim Hardaway Jr.
  • PF: Kristaps Porzingis
  • PF/C: Dwight Powell
  • Sixth Man: Seth Curry
  • Key Role Players: Justin Jackson, Jalen Brunson, J.J. Barea, Dorian Finney-Smith
  • Rest of the Bench: Boban Marjanović, Courtney Lee, Maxi Kleber, Isaiah Roby, Ryan Broekhoff
  • Two-Way Players: Antonius Cleveland, Josh Reaves
  • Roster Cuts: Aric Holman, Dakota Mathias, Yudai Baba

I have Wright starting at the point guard spot for now, with Dončić taking more off-ball roles in the offense to expand his contributions. Hardaway Jr. starts at the SF spot while Porzingis starts from day one alongside Powell to form the frontcourt. Guys like Curry, Jackson, and Brunson, for example, being the key role players in the certain lineups Carlisle may use during the season.

I am excited to see what the duo of Dončić and Porzingis can do now that he is fully healthy. While the team has a lot of young and interesting young key players, they may be on the outside looking in when it comes to a playoff spot. In the next few years, they can definitely be a sneaky playoff team to watch out for. Still, only one could imagine what Dončić can do in year two. Mav fans should be more than excited for their future.

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