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The Mavericks can't all be returning

Less than 24 hours after the Dallas Mavericks' season ended, the team said it wants to keep its core intact. That sounds great, but ... no 49-win team that lost in the first round of the playoffs is going to remain the same. At least it should not remain the same.

Last year, guys like Darren Collison and O.J. Mayo said they wanted to come back, and the team said they wanted them back. That worked out.

7805914The Mavs have eight players under contract for the 2014-'15 season:
Monta Ellis
Jose Calderon
Brandan Wright
Sam Dalembert
Wayne Ellington
Shane Larkin
Ricky Ledo
Gal Mekel

The Mavs free agents are:
Dirk Nowitzki (turns 36 on June 19)
Shawn Marion (turns 36 on May 7)
Vince Carter (37)
Devin Harris (31)
DeJuan Blair
Jae Crowder
Bernard James

Dirk returns, the only question is at what number. It's hard to envision Marion returning.
The Mavs would want Carter back, provided it's a one-year deal that is team-friendly. 
Carter may drive you nuts with his shot selection, but the guy is a pro who can shoot, and knows how to pass.
Devin Harris demonstrated once again why teams like him, and why he has bounced around between three other teams. He is a nice backup, and can play when he's not hurt. But he has been hurt pretty much since the end of the '06-'07 season.

This means the Mavericks will have approximately $600 million of salary cap space to court free agents who don't want to come here, or will only because there is no place else (see Williams, Deron; Howard, Dwight; Paul, Chris; James, LeBron; etc.)

UnknownWho can the Mavs (realistically) add as a free agent to improve a defense that tied for 19th during the regular season in points allowed? The Mavs have to find somebody who can guard the rim, and at least deter some of the dribble penetration from the perimeter that remains such a problem for this team since Tyson Chandler left.

1. The most obvious target will be Cleveland Cavaliers small forward Luol Deng. He is 6-9, long, and can defend. His career averages are 16 points and 5.1 rebounds 

2. Do not be surprised if the Mavs target Wizards center Marcin Gortat, again. Gortat, 30, flirted with signing with the Mavs after the 2010-'11 season, but went to the Suns. He has averaged in double digures in each of his last four seasons, and right around seven rebounds.

Not sure he is a great rim protector, but he has a nice offensive game.

The best bet is the Mavs will deal to find a center to either replace, or at least challenge, Dalembert.
And know that not everyone is coming back.

Facebook Mac Engel



Pretty close, but signing Deng is doubtful. The Lakers, Celtics, Bobcats, Magic, and Bobcats all will be vying for his services, and you know the Cavs will try to money whip him into staying (not that it will help, he's getting out of Cleveland). Gortat to the Mavs makes sense. They've got an outside shot at Eric Bledsoe, too, if their offer is big enough that the Suns won't match it.

mav's fan in indianapolis

Let's pray the Mav's make a trade for the Pacer's center; Hibbert. He is a legit rim protector and could be an All Star if his shots started falling. Look for the Pacers to move him if he falters in the playoffs

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