After finishing last season tied for the third-worst record in the NBA with a 24-58 mark, Dirk Nowitzki believes some key offseason pickups have the Dallas Mavericks primed for a major bounce back this year.
"I think we should be a lot better than last year. That's not a secret,” Nowitzki said, according to Mavs.com's Dwain Price. "I think DeAndre (Jordan) should be great for what we do for our system. When you're in (Rick Carlisle’s) system the (center position) has a great roll presence, a great rim presence on both ends. And there's obviously not a lot (of centers) that are better at that – he might even be the best at that in the league."
Jordan spurned the Mavericks during the 2015 free-agent period, where he initially agreed to sign with Dallas before being trapped in his home by his L.A. Clippers teammates until he re-signed with the franchise. He stuck to his word this time around, agreeing to a one-year, $22.6-million deal.
Dallas also acquired 19-year-old Slovenian sensation Luka Doncic on draft day in exchange for Trae Young and a protected first-round pick. High expectations surround the third-overall selection after he lead Real Madrid to the EuroLeague championship this past season, becoming the youngest MVP in the league's history in the process.
"Obviously we've put a lot in Luka’s basket, so hopefully he's going to develop nicely," Nowitzki added. "I think he's got all the tools. He's smart, he's already got a great basketball IQ for 19 years old. So hopefully he's going to bring a lot to the table."
The 40-year-old Nowitzki averaged 12 points and 5.7 boards through 77 games last season - his lowest averages since his rookie year.