There’s been a lot of talk that this run is Dirk Nowitzki’s last chance at a ring, because of his age and the makeup of the team. I’m not buying the age thing — I watched Game 2 of the finals. And the entire playoffs. The guy is averaging 28.1 points per game and shooing 50.5 percent despite being the primary focus of every defense. And he’s shooting 51 percent from three. Yes, he’s 32, but he has a few very good years left.
But the Mavericks team could see a real shakeup.
They have six free agents this summer — Tyson Chandler, Caron Butler, Peja Stojakovic, J.J. Barea, DeShawn Stevenson and Brian Cardinal. And according to ESPN Dallas, they only want about half of them back.
Indications from sources are the Mavericks want to at least bring back Chandler, Barea and injured forward Caron Butler. Brian Cardinal and Peja Stojakovic are the other two free agents.
The Mavs currently aren’t in position to lock up any of the free agents. The threat of a lockout and the new collective bargaining agreement will certainly change the financial parameters of future contract negotiations. Much has to be sorted out before next season’s roster is constructed.
The lockout and new CBA loom over everything. Chandler is going to get a lot of interest from a lot of teams, but Dallas has the inside track to get him. Butler isn’t likely to leave. Barea is the kind of guy who has had a good playoffs because Mavs coach Rick Carlisle has used him so well, putting him in situations that suit his skill set, but some GM could miss that and overpay to get him. We’ll see. Barea is a good backup point but he has limits, particularly defensively.
Basically, Dirk is not done but we have no idea what the Mavericks will look like next season.