30 teams in 30 days: Mavericks hope to find co-star Luka Doncic

Luka Doncic remains the focal point for the Mavs and the driving force behind whatever success they will enjoy in 2022-23.

Dallas Mavericks

2021-22 record: 52-30

The main additions: Christian Wood (Commerce), Jeval McGee (Free Agency), Jaden Hardy (Draft 2022)

Key subtraction operations: Galen Bronson (Free Agency)

Last season: Another brilliant effort from Luka Doncic – who cemented his status as one of the league’s best players – was enough for the Mavericks to win 52 games and reach the Western Conference Finals, shocking the team with the best record in the league (Phoenix) along the way. Considering that Tim Hardaway Jr. was on the mend from foot surgeryIt was a best-case scenario season for Dallas. Doncic has been a force, driving double teams every night, carrying the Mavericks through extended runs and dropping hints that he will be Kia MVP Filter in the foreseeable future. He is joined by Bronson, who has enjoyed a breakout season, and a host of players who have benefited from Doncic in drawing all the defensive attention.

Summer Summary: Everyone knew what was coming like Bronson rescue linx It was the worst kept secret of the holiday season. You might even say he was heading to New York the moment coach Tom Tibodeau got the job a few years ago (Tibodo has known Bronson since he was a junior player) and hired Rick Bronson, Galen’s father, this summer as an assistant coach.

That means there was no suspense where Bronson was going when he got to free agency.

It’s a huge loss because Bronson, despite being a starting goalkeeper, got along well with Doncic. Their chemistry was strong and Bronson was just beginning to climb in his career. His post-season play, especially when Doncic missed a few matches through injury, showed he’s no luck, at least as a co-star.

What’s worse is that the Mavericks lost Bronson for nothing. At least Dallas had the foresight to swing mid-season Trade for Spencer Dinwiddy, who rebounded after a horrific start in Washington, to give Dallas another ball player with a decent shooting range. Therefore, Dinwiddie could be a capable replacement for Brunson.

The A great addition was the wood, which was surprisingly provided by Rockets. He’s a 6-foot-9 striker who can make an impact both off the hoop and also in the paint. The Mavericks badly need help up front and the hope is that Wood will do for Dallas what Christaps Porzingis couldn’t.

The only question is Ceiling Wood: Is he a potential star (maybe not) or just a good player? This is important because, until they find someone close to Doncic’s level, the Mavericks will always be an effective player without seriously threatening other competitors with more top talent.

Prepare for the 2022-23 season with some of Luka Doncic’s best moments from last year.

So, the challenge for Dallas is to stockpile assets and stay flexible and ready in case a disgruntled star from another team wants to. This happens every season (see Anthony Davis, Kyrie Irving, James Harden, Kevin Durant, etc.) Who wouldn’t want to be Doncic’s teammate?

Speaking of the 23-year-old Slovenian superstar, how long will he be happy in Dallas if the Mavericks can’t find enough help for him? The first season will start from Maximum contract extension In 2022-23, but that means nothing in the NBA today, where the stars decide where they want to play – the decade is damned.

More help was found up front when the Mavs signed McGee, who is coming off a strong season in Phoenix and could get the starting minutes, depending on whether Dwight Powell has enough to fill the job.

Christian Wood says he hopes to “make a lot of noise” for the MAFS this season.

The Mavericks swung into a trade with Sacramento to get Hardy in the second round of Project 2022. It was shown as first-round material before dropping to #37, mainly due to filming issues. He shot 35% in his only season with the G League Ignite, but he just turned 20 and the Mavericks had bodies in front of him in the rotation, so there’s not much rush.

One such player is Hardaway, a missing man (and a potential squad maker) in the post-season. He has had all summer to recover and prepare for the 2022-23 news. So in a sense, the third biggest off-season issue (behind Brunson and Wood) was Hardaway’s health and whether he could have come out of the lab as a better shooter; It fell from 39.1% with three shots two seasons ago to 33.6% last season before the injury.

Doncic can’t communicate with Brunson anymore. The task now is to create the same relationship and influence with the newcomer, someone taller and completely different. Can Wood make the difference?

next one: Utah Jazz | previously: Los Angeles Lakers

> 30 teams in 30 days: full schedule

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Sean Powell has covered the NBA for over 25 years. You can email him here you find Archive it here and follow him Twitter.

The opinions expressed on this page do not necessarily reflect those of the National Basketball Association, its clubs, or Turner Broadcasting.