Last year, Deron Williams spurned the Mavs in favor of staying with the Brooklyn Nets. This summer, Dwight Howard headed to Texas alright, but signed with the Houston Rockets.
To be clear, the Mavs made plenty of moves. They just didn't land the big fish.
Jose Calderon and Monta Ellis represent the new backcourt, replacing O.J. Mayo and a revolving door of underachieving, or declining veterans. Instead of Howard, Dallas brought in Samuel Dalembert, a decent shot-blocker and rebounder.
The bench was revitalized with the returning Devin Harris, the inconsistent Wayne Ellington, a slew of draft picks and some flyers on some youngsters with potential.
"I really like some of the guys we've brought in and now it's time to go to work," star Dirk Nowitzki said on media day.
Nowitzki is still a huge piece of Dallas' puzzle. He was injured to start last season, but he's as healthy as a 35-year-old future Hall of Famer can be.
But the backcourt turnover is what the Mavs focused on when Howard went south to Houston.
Ellis is an accomplished scorer in this league and his assist numbers are decent for a shoot-first combo guard. He won't need to post big totals in that department with Calderon in Big D. The Spaniard has averaged over 7.0 apg five times in the last six seasons.
"Playing with these guys is going to be great. I'm real excited," said Calderon.
2012-13 Results: 41-41, 4th in Southwest; Missed playoffs
ADDITIONS: G Monta Ellis, G Jose Calderon, G Devin Harris, G Wayne Ellington, C Samuel Dalembert, G Shane Larkin, G Ricky Ledo, C/F DeJuan Blair, C Fab Melo, G Gal Mekel
PROJECTED STARTING FIVE:
PG- Jose Calderon SG- Monta Ellis SF- Shawn Marion PF- Dirk Nowitzki C- Samuel Dalembert
KEY RESERVES: G/F Vince Carter, G Wayne Ellington, G Devin Harris, G Shane Larkin, G Ricky Ledo, C/F DeJuan Blair, C Bernard James, F Jae Crowder, F Brandon Wright, C Fab Melo, G Gal Mekel
FRONTCOURT: Nowitzki's knee injury last season sent the Mavericks in a downward spiral from the beginning. His 17.3 ppg was the lowest season average since his second in the league back in 1999-2000. The 7-footer is still a lethal force on the floor with his range and proficiency. A bounce-back season is in store for Nowitzki, but his days as a one-man championship contender are over.
Marion, much like Nowitzki, is no longer the player he once was. However, the Matrix still has life in his sneakers. He averaged 12.1 ppg, 7.8 rpg and shot 51 percent from the field last season, which are solid numbers for a 35-year- old. Plus, Marion is still a plus-defender.
Dalembert is polarizing. He only played 47 games for the Milwaukee Bucks in part because of Larry Sanders' emergence. But Dalembert also fell out of favor with the Bucks. He's temperamental, but has career averages of 8.0 ppg, 8.1 rpg and 1.8 bpg.
BACKCOURT: Ellis has averaged at least 19.0 ppg every season for the last six. He's also posted marks of 5.0 apg or better over the past four. Ellis can be maddening at times, but his shot selection and distribution skills have improved since he left Golden State. Ellis only received a three-year deal from Dallas, and not for gigantic money, so he may feel like he has something to prove.
Calderon is a very steady lead guard. You can pencil him in for 11.0 ppg, 7.5 apg and shoot over 90 percent from the foul line, 45 percent from the field and 40 percent from the three-point line. A four-year, $29 million contract seemed way too high, but Dallas has a steady point guard to teach Larkin the ropes.