Toronto Raptors: Who from the Southwest Division can compete with the Raptors?

SAN ANTONIO,TX - OCTOBER 23: LaMarcus Aldridge
SAN ANTONIO,TX - OCTOBER 23: LaMarcus Aldridge /
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DALLAS, TX – DECEMBER 26: Dirk Nowitzki versus Delon Wright
DALLAS, TX – DECEMBER 26: Dirk Nowitzki versus Delon Wright /


Last season actual: 24 – 58

This season forecast: 43 – 39

Welcome: DeAndre Jordan, Luka Doncic, Jalen BrunsonRay SpaldingKostas Antetokounmpo, and Ryan Broekhoff

Farewell:  Nerlens Noel, Seth Curry, Doug McDermott, and Yogi Ferrell

No team in the division improved in the offseason more than the Mavericks. The franchise suffered its worst season during the Dirk Nowitzki era and swiftly made additions to return to contender status.

DeAndre Jordan is the team’s biggest get. After initially snubbing the Mavericks three years ago, the 2017 All-Star will give Dallas stability in the middle, something the franchise hasn’t had since Tyson Chandler left in 2011.

Jordan’s presence at centre will allow the Mavericks to play more freely, especially with the addition of Slovenian wunderkind Luka Doncic.

The 6’7” swingman became the youngest to win both the EuroLeague MVP and EuroLeague Final Four MVP after leading Real Madrid to a championship.

Doncic and Dennis Smith Jr. will form one of the NBA’s most exciting backcourts. With Doncic sharing ballhandling duties, look for the Smith to further elevate his game and play more efficiently.

The Mavericks added more depth with Ray Spalding and Jalen Brunson. Spalding is a shifty power forward who can guard multiple positions. His scoring needs work but the playmaking of the backcourt will help him a lot.

Brunson, the 2018 National College Player of the Year, will provide leadership and a winning mentality to the second unit. Kostas Antetokounmpo is still raw and will be a G League mainstay for now.

Not to be forgotten is Nowitzki. At 40-years-old, the 13-time All-Star can still score when called upon.

Dallas will again contend but may fall just shy of the final playoff spot.