The Dallas Mavericks did not get off to the start they wanted this offseason.
First of all, they were picking in the lottery, something they haven't done with their own pick in over a decade.
They had a good draft, by all accounts, with the most notable addition being Shane Larkin, a point guard out of Miami. Larkin just underwent ankle surgery and could be out up to three months, but there's potential there when he comes back. They also drafted PG Gal Mekel and SG Ricky Ledo, two players who are big on potential, but how they'll work in the NBA remains to be seen.
Then began the Mavs quest for a big man, with the obvious prize being Dwight Howard. Well, despite the Mavs being one of the favorites to land D12, he ended up with their I-45 rivals, the Houston Rockets. The Mavs then opted not to take a shot at the oft-injured Andrew Bynum. Most of the big ticket free agents had already begun to find homes.
The Mavs, however, recovered nicely. I think the Monta Ellis signing was big for Dallas. He's a shooting guard who can put the ball in the basket, and can shoot from deep. Some people think his attitude is suspect, but he can ball.
They also signed on point guard Jose Calderon. While his defense, like Ellis's is a little shaky at times, he can also score, and is a definite upgrade over the disaster the Mavs had at point guard last year. The back court is substantially better than last year.
As I'm writing this, the Mavs are very close to terms with center Samuel Dalembert, and are reportedly still pursuing Greg Oden. Should the Mavericks acquire one or both of these big men, they'll have an upgrade on Chris Kaman. If the Oden can stay healthy, there's still plenty of untapped potential there. It wasn't that long ago that he was picked OVER Kevin Durant.
As far as other bit pieces go, the Wayne Ellington add and Devin Harris probable addition (his deal was voided after a physical revealed a toe injury, but the Mavs are said to still want him) makes the potential back-up back court much stronger.
All in all, even though it got off to a rough start, I think the Mavs have recovered very nicely this offseason.