The Dallas Mavericks are still trying to pick up the pieces of the DeAndre Jordan debacle. It’s even worse when Mavs owner Mark Cuban implied that had the Mavericks not landed marquee free agents, they would have considered “taking a step back” and “tanking”. Jordan backed out of a verbal agreement and now Cuban and co. appear to be at a crossroads.

Except that they’re not.

While Cuban said the team would consider tanking, it doesn’t look like they’re entertaining the thought now. Instead, they acted fast by repairing their ugly center situation by trading for Milwaukee Bucks big man Zaza Pachulia. That probably shouldn’t be the end of their work in the paint, but it’s certainly a start and it only cost Dallas a second round draft pick.

More moves could be on the way, as Brooklyn Nets star point guard Deron Williams is said to be attempting a buyout from his current deal with the team. Once/if he gets out of his contract, a return home (he’s from Dallas) to the Mavericks could be in order.

Dallas coveted Williams back in 2012 when he was a free agent, but D-Will instead chose to sign on with a Nets team that appeared to be stacking talent for a title run. That didn’t work out so well, as Williams has only struggled during his time in Brooklyn, dealing with nagging injuries and the team failing to move far in the playoffs.

There’s no guarantee Williams would be the huge signing he could have been three years ago, but at 31 years old a healthy D-Will could still be somewhat in his prime. Regardless, Williams would serve as a clear upgrade at point guard, where Dallas is currently prepared to roll with a rotation of Devin Harris, J.J. Barea and Raymond Felton. Acquiring Williams would give them the credible starting point guard they’ve craved and could also make one of their current point guards expendable.

Dallas isn’t built to make a run for the NBA Finals just yet, and their title odds definitely support that notion, as they hold just 50/1 odds to win it all. However, adding Williams would give them a more than serviceable staring unit of Williams, Wesley Matthews, Chandler Parsons, Dirk Nowitzki and the aforementioned Pachulia. With solid reserves in Barea, Richard Jefferson and Charlie Villanueva, the Mavs could at the very worst compete for a low seed in the Western Conference’s playoffs.

They don’t have enough ammunition to increase their title odds as they stand, though, and landing Williams probably wouldn’t change that. Had Jordan held to his word, the situation would be very different and adding Williams could have been the final piece to the puzzle of re-building a potential title contender.

Williams would still be a strong get and certainly shouldn’t hurt the Mavs. Being removed from the high-pressure situation in Brooklyn and starting over in his own backyard could do wonders for him. The Mavs were well constructed elsewhere on the wings and an aging Nowitzki is still a fairly strong second or third offensive option. Pachulia is a stop-gap center, however, and the Mavs would be at their best if they found another starting option and had him as their top backup.

Dallas could be in a worse situation in terms of trying to compete in the brutal Western Conference, but they remain a ways away from being serious threats – especially with Jordan returning to the Clippers and the Spurs landing LaMarcus Aldridge. Cuban has been known for big, bold moves in the past, though, so acquiring Williams could be step on toward putting Dallas back on the map. Until that happens, though, NBA bettors probably shouldn’t bank on the Mavs being serious contenders for the 2015-16 NBA season just yet.

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