For the last couple of years, "free agency" has been a rather disappointing concept for Dallas Mavericks fans. Riding a roller coaster of hope and disappointment with a cast of characters from Dwight Howard and Deron Williams to Lamar Odom and Delonte West, the news sometimes seemed more like a soap opera than building a basketball team.
This season is similar to last season in that the Mavericks once again failed to attract high-profile franchise players such as Dwight Howard and Chris Paul but ended up with some very good and perhaps underrated consolation prizes. The outlook last year was very optimistic but because of injuries, lack of chemistry and a diminished team basketball IQ at the helm, things didn't work out as planned.
However, despite Dallas Morning News' sportswriter Rick Gosselin's rather cryptic and unenlightened prediction that "all you need to know is Dirk is here this year, and Dirk will be here next year on the stage with a bunch of new Mavericks next year," there is plenty of cause for optimism not only in and of itself but based on the hard lessons learned last year.
Here's a look at the new group of Mavericks and why this team should be more competitive than many may think.