What happens when Dirk is gone?
The free agency start has been a little hectic for Dallas to say the least. However, some could admit that this situation is pretty typical for the history of the Mavericks and the way they approach free agency. The big news is, of course, Ellis leaving combined with the Jordan and Matthews signing. The subtraction of Ellis has left a huge void while the addition of Jordan and Matthews has left most fans rejoicing. Now, there seem to be talks of Jason Terry rejoining and/or a good chance that Jeremy Lin joins the Mavericks as well. Even with everything that is going on with all that there is, for a lot of fans, only one thing on mind… What happens when Dirk is gone? It seems odd to think of that this prematurely but, with only a few years left on his contract, the harsh reality is that it’s something coming in the near future. As hard as it is to admit, it’s time to start finding a Dirk replacement.
However, the Mavericks don’t have the normal situation of simply getting a new PF when Dirk leaves. The Mavericks have to get an entire new face of the organization and that comes with a lot more than just replacing the player. Dirk has been the sole provider for the Mavericks since the late 1990’s and will go down as one of the greatest players in history. He is not only the highest scoring player on the team (career), he is their entire backbone and more than likely he will walk away from the game when his contract is done in a few years. Monta Ellis took over a huge task of main point provider last season but all in all it’s always been Dirk. Even if he doesn’t retire the best case scenario is he signs another one-year deal. As a PF there have been very few like him so does Dallas change the playbook when he is gone? By my count roughly 2/3 of NBA teams have a guard as their highest scoring player in 2014-2015 season. That tells us by the math that a superstar PF is going to be harder to come by than a superstar guard is. Last season wasn’t a wash by any means but, we saw what happens to a team in the western conference with a guard who grabs 18 ppg being the best on the team. It gifted a brutal and hard-fought 7th seed that ended quicker than it began and my gut tells me the Mavericks, and Carlisle, have much bigger things in store for the future. If I had to guess how the future goes of the Dallas style of play, I’d bet it’ll look a lot like it always has. Although a PF of his (Dirk) style will more than likely not just fall in their lap, I bet the Mavericks fight hard for another solid forward to be their go to guy once he leaves.
Paul Hickman covers the Dallas Mavericks for MFST, you can follow the site on Twitter @MyFntsySprtsTlk