NBA Free Agency 2012: Where The Mavericks Go From Here

Over at RealGM, I've got a look at what the Dallas Mavericks next moves are after their disappointing first-round exit:

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Now, with only six players under contract headed into the summer of 2012, Dallas may have a drastically different roster surrounding Dirk Nowitzki next fall. The Mavericks' lack of sentimentality as an organization has allowed them to remain relevant for well over a decade, as 2012 will be the third time the franchise has rebuilt the roster around Nowitzki.

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They have a blank slate to build around Nowitzki, but for the first time since he’s been in Dallas, it’s no longer clear he’s worth being built around. He had his worst statistical season since 2000, shooting 45.7% from the floor and grabbing only 7.4 rebounds a game. While a lot of that has to do with a bizarre lockout-compressed season that was brutal on the legs of the NBA’s veterans, championship teams aren’t generally built around players entering their 15th season in the NBA.

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For Dallas, the Williams/Nowitzki duo would be a modern-age Stockton/Malone, but it wouldn’t be enough. They would still need to upgrade their interior defense, especially with Haywood gone and Ian Mahinmi in line to receive a substantial contract due to the lack of centers in the modern NBA. Wright could be an excellent third big man on an elite team, but he doesn’t have the bulk to play the center position full-time, especially in a conference with Andrew Bynum and Marc Gasol.

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