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Mavericks want to make Dirk Nowitzki their second-best player

Apr 21, 2013, 11:32 PM EDT

Dirk Nowitzki, Ryan Anderson

For the first time since the 1999-00 season, when Michael Finley did it, Dirk Nowitzki didn’t lead the Mavericks in win shares. As Nowitzki missed a large of the 2012-13 season due to injury, Vince Carter, Darren Collison and Shawn Marion passed him in the all-in-one stat.

If the Mavericks have their way, Nowitzki won’t be their top player again. Rick Carlisle on KESN-FM 103.3, as transcribed by The Dallas Morning News:

On if the Mavs’ goal is to make Dirk Nowitzki their second best player:

“It’s definitely a goal. I think it’s a great goal for any team to have a new best player and have their present best player become their second best player. That’s something logical. I think any team would want to have that goal. Is it possible? Yeah, it’s possible. Now, how likely is that? I can’t tell you for sure. But you know Mark (Cuban), you know Donnie (Nelson), and I’m an aggressive guy to and we’re going to do everything possible to facilitate that happening. I can’t name any names, but we’re going to be into this, and we’re going to be aggressive.”

In his last healthy 82-game season Nowitzki posted 11.1 win shares. Only LeBron James, Kevin Durant, Chris Paul, James Harden, Russell Westbrook, Marc Gasol and Stephen Curry bested that total this season. Nowitzki has certainly declined since his 11.1 season, when he led the Mavericks to an NBA title, so the pool of players who could relegate him to No. 2 is bigger than those seven players. But it’s still a fairly small group.

The Mavericks clearly believe they can no longer build a team around Nowitzki and surround him with complementary players, and if their sole goal is a championship, they are correct. Look for more superstar chasing by Dallas this summer.

  1. patfic15 - Apr 21, 2013 at 11:43 PM

    I don’t think we need some lame win shares stat to tell us that Dallas needs some help.

    • jaerba - Apr 22, 2013 at 1:41 AM

      The point is to show that it’ll be hard to find help, capable of making him their #2 player.

    • genericcommenter - Apr 22, 2013 at 11:05 AM

      I’m sure I’ll get downvoted like the other guy who actually made a good comment, but the point of the article (and point of inclusion of the Win Share stat) was that Dallas doesn’t simply “need some help.” Dirk doesn’t need some help, he needs to BE “the help” as a complementary player to better, younger star/stars. The inclusion of the Win Share illustrated how difficult it is to find star players to replace declining stars. There simply aren’t many out there period, and very few available for acquisition. Top front office guys in the NBA know this, and it’s why they put all their eggs in one superstar basket when it comes time for free agency or pulling off big trades.

  2. saint1997 - Apr 21, 2013 at 11:47 PM

    Good luck doing that in this Free Agent class!!

  3. thetooloftools - Apr 22, 2013 at 12:09 AM

    SHUT IT DOWN !

  4. paulydefense - Apr 22, 2013 at 1:57 AM

    The front office has been saying this for the past couple years. It’d be nice for them to actually do it, instead of just talking about it.

  5. daddyghi - Apr 22, 2013 at 9:24 AM

    they been telking this story since the 2006 finals melt down… and besides, he may not ba a stat monster like kobe, lebron, cp3, durant or melo… but he’s there in terms of level of play… other than kobe, durant or cp3, i would take this guy over lebron or melo when ur team is down 1 and theres 5 ticks left on the clock!

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