An anonymous NBA scout previews the Mavericks for the 2017-16 season.
"Rick Carlisle is one of the three or four coaches in the league. He gets a ton out of that team every year. So I think they'll definitely be around .500. ... As long as Dirk's out there, that's something. His ability to shoot and play pick-and-pop still gives them an advantage on offense. ... Harrison Barnes is a solid player. He might give them more than Chandler Parsons did because Parsons was hurt. I'm sure he'll put up better numbers than he did in Golden State from a pure points-per-game perspective. But if they're expecting Barnes to emerge as an All-Star type guy now that he's getting more shots, I think everyone is gonna be a little bit underwhelmed. ... It’ll be a little bit like that year five or six years ago where they got OJ Mayo, and OJ actually had a pretty good first year in Dallas. They found ways to play to his strengths. He wasn't super efficient but they got him a lot of shots and he averaged close to 20 points-per-game. ... Who's their five? Bogut? ... Bogut's good, he's just not going to play 82 games. He'll probably play closer to 60, and of those 60, 15 of 'em he will probably not be feeling great physically, and therefore give a lackluster effort. But Bogut when he's feeling good and trying hard is better than anyone Dallas has had at center since Tyson Chandler. ... Bogut, I don't really want to blame it on him because his body's f----- up in a lot of ways, but he has nights where he's just not in a good physical or mental state. But when his juices are flowing and he's really competing, he's strong, he's tough, he's a great rim protector, very savvy on defense, he can really pass. He's a very good player. ... If you told someone five years ago that Marvin Williams would be a better NBA player than Deron Williams, I don't think anyone would have believed you. … Deron's OK, though. Carlisle does a great job creating opportunities for point guards, getting screens set in ways that are hard to guard, letting stuff set up for ball screens. He usually has a guy who can dive and catch lobs, like Dwight Powell. Or take J.J. Barea who was pretty bad in Minnesota, and he's pretty good for what Dallas wants to do … Justin Anderson is gonna be good. I wonder how long of a leash Carlisle will have with him. Rick prefers to play two guards, two smaller guards who are good pick-and-roll players, and that's not Justin. … I actually think Justin Anderson is almost as good a player as Harrison Barnes. Maybe not quite as good as a scorer, but rebounding, shot-blocking, he'll be a decent shooter this year. He'll be a solid piece of their rotation. ... As long as Dirk is playing and Carlise's coaching, I don't think tanking is really viable. But if Dirk gets hurt or another one of their key guys gets hurt, then they should probably tank. ... As it is, they will probably be around .500 this year and Dirk will retire, and then next year might be the tank job."