1 important lesson Spurs can learn from Mavericks NBA Finals run

The Dallas Mavericks are in the NBA Finals after early mistakes with Luka Doncic and the San Antonio Spurs can learn from their journey for Victor Wembanyama's benefit.
Victor Wembanyama
Victor Wembanyama / Ronald Cortes/GettyImages

PAFTO have to take inventory of the league around them, acting as informational sponges to absorb all the different dos and don'ts of a rebuild strategy. There are plenty of examples around the NBA of teams that went too fast, too slow, or made the wrong choices when constructing their supposed roster of the future. The San Antonio Spurs would be wise to avoid the pitfalls other organizations have made in their attempts at growth.

The Dallas Mavericks went through some of those troubles after adding Luka Doncic to their roster in 2018. He averaged 21 points, eight rebounds and six assists in his rookie season. Doncic was an equal-opportunity highlight distributor, giving buckets to just about every team that he laced up against.

Dallas is in the NBA Finals six years later, but not without taking steps in the wrong direction. Their impressive pivot and Luka's greatness can be grouped with the stumble into an all-encompassing tale San Antonio should be paying close attention to.

Dallas tried to go too fast and threw caution to the wind

The understandable hype surrounding the Slovenian powerhouse was so high that the Mark Cuban-led Mavericks took a leap of faith when they acquired Kristaps Porzingis. The deal could at least be defended on its face. DeAndre Jordan, Wes Matthews and Dennis Smith Jr. were swapped with KP, Tim Hardaway Jr., Trey Burke and Courtney Lee.

They wanted more offense to surround Doncic, giving him plenty of outlets and space to operate. He is an offensive savant, so one could understand the thinking behind the deal, but Porzingis only played in 48 games the previous year, his lowest in 3 years. Though each subsequent year since his arrival had seen him dress for fewer games than before so it was no shock when the 7'2 unicorn was routinely on the sidelines in street clothes during his time in Dallas, including during playoff time.

While they have recovered tremendously, the move set them back a few years. The Spurs have to be careful with who they select to partner with Victor Wembanyama. Making a move to acquire a partner for Luka wasn't the problem; there was a desperation to return to relevance that led them into dealing for an expensive, unproven player with an injury history. So, don't do that.

San Antonio has the benefit of observing recent rebuilds and learning how to avoid certain traps. The large number of picks in the Spurs' back pocket will help reset any potentially damaging move they make in the early days of Victor's tenure, but preferably, they'll just avoid them altogether.