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Assessing the Dallas Mavericks Roster for 2020-21

| December 15, 2020 11:38 am PDT
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The Dallas Mavericks are officially back. Their rebuild didn’t last long, either, as the franchise gracefully eased superstar Dirk Nowitzki into retirement before handing the keys to the team over to Luka Doncic.

In just his second season, Doncic erupted into superstar mode, led the Mavs to the NBA playoffs, and even handed in an iconic moment.

The future is very bright in Dallas, and when you add a stellar Dallas Mavericks 2020-21 coaching staff, things seem even better. The question is, just how good is this roster?

Let’s take a look at the 2020-21 Dallas Mavericks roster to assess how you should bet on them this year.

The 2020-21 Roster at Dallas Mavericks

  • Key Additions: Josh Richardson, James Johnson, Josh Green, Tyler Bey
  • Key Losses: Seth Curry, J.J. Barea, Delon Wright
Likely Starting 5
  • PG: Luka Doncic
  • SG: Josh Richardson
  • SF: Tim Hardaway Jr.
  • PF: Kristaps Porzingis
  • C: Dwight Powell

The Mavs have a very strong starting five when healthy. Luka Doncic is their driving force, as he was a monster stat producer en route to Dallas getting back to the NBA playoffs last year.

If Doncic keeps putting up numbers like the 28.8 points, 9.4 rebounds, and 8.8 assists per game he did last year, he’ll be in the NBA MVP discussion.

I mean, he’s literally already the favorite at most NBA betting websites.

He runs the most efficient offense in basketball, and he proved in the playoffs last year that he’s more than a regular season stat-stuffer.

Dallas can’t go the distance with just one guy, though. Josh Richardson is a solid 3-and-D acquisition, and he joins THJ as two quality perimeter threats.

Powell returns from a devastating injury and will be needed for his defense, while Porzingis needs to finally manage to stay healthy and play at an elite level.

If all of that happens, Dallas has a loaded starting five and a real chance to make noise in 2020-21.

Dallas Mavericks’ Bench 

  • Jalen Brunson
  • Trey Burke
  • Tyrell Terry
  • Josh Green
  • Courtney Lee
  • Antonius Cleveland
  • Josh Reaves
  • Wesley Iwundu
  • Dorian Finney-Smith
  • Tyler Bey
  • Freddie Gillespie
  • Devonte Patterson
  • Maxi Kleber
  • James Johnson
  • Willie Cauley-Stein
  • Boban Marjanovic

Dallas took a bit of a hit on their bench, as they lost Seth Curry, who often helped provide a spark. They replaced him with a very good starter, however, so it hopefully will be a non-issue.

The team wisely retained offensive machine Trey Burke, and still has Jalen Brunson to help backup Luka Doncic at the point. Their depth at the position isn’t quite as good as it was, though, as veterans J.J. Barea and Delon Wright both moved on.

Dallas has nice depth down low, however. Boban is a bit of a two-way marvel when he’s not put by himself in open space, Maxi Kleber is a very useful utility big, and James Johnson comes into town to offer versatility and a defensive edge.

Dorian Finney-Smith is another fine utility option that should be better utilized off the bench, while rookies Josh Green and Tyler Bey are interesting prospects that can be groomed for future roles.

Mavericks’ Best Player – Luka Doncic

It feels weird even wasting your time here, but if you’ve been living under a rock, Luka Doncic is the best player Dallas has to offer.

In fact, if you’re to buy into ESPN’s latest NBA player rankings, he’s already one of the best players in the entire league.

Those rankings are admittedly out of control this year, but this is one spot where I agree with the sports media conglomerate.

Doncic is as versatile as they come, and after already looking like a hit as a rookie two years ago, he elevated his game to superstar status in just his second season.

That included nearly averaging a triple-double on the year, putting up almost 30 points per game, and nudging the Mavs into the playoffs. Heck, once there, he stole two games from a seemingly better Clippers team, and also gave us this iconic moment.

Doncic is already an unforgettable star in the NBA, and he’s just 21 years old. He’s absolutely the best player on the Mavericks, and before long, he may end up being the best player in the NBA.

The X-Factor In Dallas – Josh Richardson

From a healthy and overall impact perspective, I’ll hear arguments that Kristaps Porzingis is the true x-factor for Dallas. However, we know he’s a stud when he can stay on the floor, so I’d rather focus on a glue guy like Richardson.

Why? Because he can make everything work. Richardson can space the floor, he can create offense, and more important than anything else, he plays good defense.

Seth Curry couldn’t say that, and the main weakness for the Mavs has been their poor defense. This the most efficient offense in basketball, but countless times they got burned and lost on the other end of the floor.

Needless to say, his value already projects him to slide into the starting five.

Does the addition of Richardson solve their defensive woes immediately? No, and he also can’t be expected to fix their defense all by himself.

That said, Richardson can be tasked with battling with the top player from the opposing team, while not giving Dallas a total minus on the offensive end. Richardson is your classic two-way player who is a notch below being a star, but is extremely useful and typically consistent.

If Richardson can provide value as a supporting scorer and his defense ends up being as useful as advertised, he could be a key in Dallas getting out of the first round of the 2021 playoffs.

Final Assessment of the Dallas Mavericks Roster

The Dallas Mavericks are in very good hands. Rick Carlisle sets the tone as an elite coach, they have a legit superstar in Doncic, and he has a fantastic second option supporting him in Porzingis.

In theory, this is already enough to be hopeful that the Mavs can win 50+ games and win a playoff series.

The rest falling into place makes it surprisingly realistic for Dallas to dream bigger, though. Josh Richardson is an overall upgrade over Seth Curry, and the return of Dwight Powell is an underrated addition if he can be anything close to the guy he was prior to injury.

Overall, the Mavs are quite loaded from top to bottom. Now they just need to go get it done.

Noah Davis
Noah Davis

Noah Davis is one of the more diverse writers at GamblingSites.com. Like many of his colleagues, he's a huge fan of both football and basketball. But he also writes about box office records, TV show prop bets, DFS, and all kinds of other subjects.

When it comes to the NFL, Noah's favorite team is the Cleveland Browns. He enjoys cheering them on with his wife and daughter.

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