Ultimately, all NBA teams have the same goal, which is to win a championship. While this is a far more realistic goal for some teams than for others, every team has made moves to improve or reshape its roster. They picked players in the draft, signed free agents, and traded for who they believed to be the missing piece. Big names have been on the move, and costly contracts have been handed out, all to get teams one step closer to a championship.
Some teams went all out, and others kept a low profile, quietly pushing their chips around. Accordingly, some teams have more to lose than the rest of the league. So, let’s look at the four NBA teams with the riskiest boom-or-bust scenarios.
NBA Team #4: Dallas Mavericks
At last season’s trade deadline, the Dallas Mavericks gave up most of their depth and defensive talent when they traded for Kyrie Irving. It was somewhat of a risky move, but we can’t really blame them too much for going through with it. When you have the chance to pair two of the most talented scorers in the game, you do it, even if one of them has a reputation for being flighty and unreliable.
There was no guarantee that Irving would not look at the roster around him and decide to move on during the summer. To his credit, Irving was once again not the problem when he came to Dallas. Nevertheless, they tanked out of the postseason.
The team was too thin. They couldn’t guard anyone. There was a lot of work still to be done if they wanted to build a championship contender around Luka Doncic. Work has been done this summer. They brought in Grant Williams as a defensive stopper and drafted well to avoid another disappointing season. It wasn’t just that no team likes to lose. The Mavericks cannot afford to have another season like that.
Doncic wants to compete. He was not thrilled when the Mavericks decided to tank, and rightly so. He is one of the best young point guards in the game. Why shouldn’t he be competing at the highest level? When you have someone like that on your squad, it is your responsibility to build a playoff team around him. If the Mavericks continue like they finished last season with clunky offense and non-existent defense, they not only run the risk of being on the wrong end of a bad trade, but Doncic might also consider if he wouldn’t have a better chance at competing somewhere else.
The clock is ticking. Doncic has been loyal so far, but how much patience does he have left? It is hard to believe that he would want to be a part of a rebuild, but if things do not work out and Irving has to be moved, it would be difficult to retool around Doncic with the few assets they have left. The Dallas Mavericks have a lot to lose next season if they do not figure things out quickly.