Commentary

How Mavs can remain contenders

Trade that brings Deron Williams to Big D would keep Mark Cuban's team in title hunt

Originally Published: August 17, 2011
By Chris Broussard | ESPN The Magazine
Dirk NowitzkiDon Emmert/Getty ImagesDirk Nowitzki was dominant in the Finals, but he won't be able to carry Dallas forever.

Editor's note: Our series this week examines what would happen if five teams decided to start over by making seismic personnel shifts before the 2012-13 season; due to varying factors including age, salaries or expiring contracts, these five teams decide to begin anew. But such an exercise comes with some rules: (1) the owners get the hard salary cap they desire; and (2) exclude the 2012 NBA draft. Today we look at the Dallas Mavericks.

Why break up the champs? Well, there are a few reasons.

If we do have a 2011-12 season, we don't know if the Mavs will repeat. But it's safe to say that few would be shocked if they don't. Besides, in the summer of 2012, Dirk Nowitzki will be 34 years old and (possibly) entering his 15th season. While I fully believe Dirk will still be a terrific player, I don't think he'll be good enough to carry a team with no other stars to the title. Thus, it will be time for a change. Here's how I'd do it: