DALLAS - After countless frustrating summers swinging and missing on the NBA’s biggest free agents, the Dallas Mavs this summer did it again.
Where now-gone general manager Donnie Nelson, now-in-street-clothes star Dirk Nowitzki and a slew of head coaches inexplicably failed to lure primo players to Dallas, so too floundering are new general manager Nico Harrison, star Luka Doncic and head coach Jason Kidd.
Where are Harrison’s extensive Nike player connections?
Where are the stars desperate to play with Luka?
Where is Kidd’s Hall-of-Fame influence?
What about Dirk's volunteerism, teaming up with owner Mark Cuban to make Dallas a "destination city''?
Heading into this summer’s NBA free agency the Mavs were linked to … Kawhi Leonard, Kyle Lowry, John Collins, DeMar DeRozan, Mike Conley, Richaun Holmes, Kemba Walker and Spencer Dinwiddie.
End result? The start of The Nico/Kidd Era?
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The Mavs promoted Michael Finley to assistant GM, re-signed Tim Hardaway Jr., signed Reggie Bullock and Sterling Brown, and traded Josh Richardson (who cost them Seth Curry last summer) for 7-foot-2 project Moses Brown.
Oh, and Boban's back.
In other words, they are no better today than when they walked off the court after losing Game 7 to the Los Angeles Clippers two months ago.
Different band, signing the same, sad song.
Well, not "sad.'' The Mavs are a playoff team. That shouldn't be taken for granted. And Luka Doncic is an MVP candidate. That's special, too. And The Nico/Kidd Era deserves a chance to grow.
But there is "optimism'' - our guy Dalton Trigg offers plenty of it here, in "The 3 Reasons The Mavs Will Be Better This Year.''
And then there is "reality.'' Cuban's Mavs came right out and said they needed to add a "star'' and a "secondary ball-handler.'' They whiffed on their stated goals.
I don't know if they have any "dry powder'' left. But "Summer Shopping'' didn't really happen, as usual. And until it does? The Mavs are destined to be interesting, entertaining almost-goods. And that part is a little sad.
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