The Dallas Mavericks continue to search for the quickest route back to the top after capturing the 2011 championship. Mark Cuban and company have been active in free agency looking to add a franchise-caliber star to help transition the team away from the slowly closing Dirk Nowitzki era. While they have continued to miss out on the elite names, they have successfully managed to add ancillary pieces to surround Nowitzki and keep the team competitive.
The work of Casey Smith and the rest of the Mavs medical team has been one of the team’s major selling points in their various free agency pitches. Their success was apparent last season as Wesley Matthews, the team’s major free agency addition in 2014, led the team in minutes played despite coming off a torn Achilles tendon. As a result the team capped off their fifth straight year in the league’s top 10 for fewest games missed.
Cuban was active in the offseason starting with the decision to not resign forward Chandler Parsons. While multiple factors were in play, Parsons’ twice surgically-repaired knee was likely a deciding factor. Dallas instead invested the money in forward Harrison Barnes, a younger player with a cleaner medical history.
The medical staff also had a busy summer managing the rehabs of their point guard rotation as Deron Williams, JJ Barea, and Devin Harris all underwent offseason surgery to address a variety of ailments. Williams and Barea were both ready for the start of the season, though a preseason big toe sprain will keep Harris out for a while. Keeping the front court of Nowitzki and the often-injured Andrew Bogut healthy will also be a challenge, one Smith and company have continually proved they are more than capable of besting.