I don’t really get the impression that the Mavericks have a “core” of players that they are definitely trying to build around long-term. A “core” has to include at least three players. That is the minimum amount for a core. A player is disqualified from being part of the core if they are older than 30, UNLESS the core is immediately contending for championships, which the Mavericks are not. That means Dirk is not part of the core and Wes Matthews is not part of the core. Coach Carlisle realizes this and makes them sit on the part of the bench that is reserved for non-core players.
By my estimation, there are two players that are definitely part of the core: Harrison Barnes (solid 18 PPG scorer who has hung around Stephen Curry long enough to be considered a “winner”) and Dennis Smith Jr. (young beast point guard who can dunk). It is unclear to me whether Nerlens Noel is part of the core. Given how he was treated in the off-season, I would be inclined to say no, he is not part of the core.
Seth Curry is also excluded from the core. Yeah, no. Just no.
That leaves the Mavericks’ “core” with just two players, meaning it’s not a core at all, it’s just a pair of good players who will probably be with the team going forward. That’s a start, but it’s not very much of one, and playoffs might still be a years-distant dream for this team. Cubes is welcome to prove me wrong, because I’ll just delete this description if he does.