The Phoenix Suns and the Dallas Mavericks played well this season, but both teams failed to get to the NBA Finals once again and now the future of these franchises and their franchise players is in serious question.
Once the Dallas Mavericks were knocked out the first round of the playoffs by the seventh seed San Antonio Spurs, the debate already started about whether or not the Mavs could win NBA title with former NBA MVP Dirk Nowitzki leading the way.
Months before the NBA postseason began, the Dallas Mavericks made a bold move just before the NBA trade deadline by sending troubled small forward Josh Howard and veteran forward Drew Gooden to the Washington Wizards in exchange for Caron Butler, DeShawn Stevenson and Brendan Haywood.
With the exception of Stevenson, these players have All-Star caliber and were a major upgrade to this struggling Mavs squad, but they proved ineffective in the playoffs as the Mavs failed to live up to expectations of a second seed.
Coming into the playoffs, the Dallas Mavericks were considered the one team in the Western Conference that could give the defending NBA champion Los Angeles Lakers a run for their money, but they couldn’t even get past the division rivals Spurs.
After the Mavs were knocked out in convincing fashion by Tim Duncan and company, Dirk Nowitzki said that he would consider opting out of his contract to become a free agent with all the other big names around the league starting July 1st.
Obviously, this was somewhat of a surprise for the Dallas Mavericks, but not unwarranted as it made sense that Dirk would want to play elsewhere after so many disappointing postseason performances by the Mavs.
One possibility, which is also a big stretch, is that the Mavs owner Mark Cuban might pull the trigger on a sign-and-trade deal that would send Dirk Nowitzki to the Cleveland Cavaliers in exchange for LeBron James. Even though LeBron has said he loves it in Cleveland and that the Cavs have the “edge” to re-sign him this summer, playing in Dallas might be intriguing to LeBron and he won’t leave Cleveland empty handed.
One other option for Dirk Nowitzki this summer would be to go play alongside his best friend once again in two-time NBA MVP point guard Steve Nash. The Phoenix Suns will do all they can to re-sign their All-Star forward/center Amare Stoudemire, but if they can’t convince Amare to stay, Dirk would be great second option and Nash would almost certainly be all for it.
Without Amare Stoudemire, the Suns will have the money and a big whole at the forward position where Dirk Nowitzki would fit in nicely, but GM Steve Kerr might be leaning towards signing someone like Carlos Boozer instead.
There is no telling what will happen this summer or even if Dirk Nowitzki will actually decide to opt out and leave Dallas, but the sharp shooting German will definitely have his options with the Phoenix Suns quite possibly being at the top of the list.