Uncensored Looks At Martin & Haywood

Some advanced Kevin Martin numbers, some uncensored Brendan Haywood thoughts, a sneaky Big Wood video, and a dozen Sunday Morning Mavs Donuts … with glaze but no varnish, all them detailing as many Haywood/Martin angles as we can cook up:

DONUT 1: You already know about our breaking story involving Houston and Dallas and Brendan Haywood and Martin. "Intensely covet,'' and all that.

With the invaluable help of DB.com contributor Nick Reed (know that all stats below are going into Friday), some assembled thoughts from Kammrath's excellent pros-and-cons MAVNALYSIS, takes from DB.com Boards and, of course, help from the two NBA sources who first steered us to the details of the teams' interest in each others' players, let's first make it clear:

This isn't a trade. It isn't even "trade talks.'' (Unlike what almost certainly occured between Houston and Orlando, when Martin was discussed before the Magic shipped Gortat to Phoenix.) It is, however, Team A liking a player on Team B, and Team B simultaneously liking a player on Team A.

It will almost certainly blossom beyond that before Feb. 24 … heck, it might do so before I press "publish'' on these Donuts … but in-house discussion remains the essence of it.

DONUT 2: Gotta begin with visual support of our "accusation'' that Big Wood doesn't seem to be fully invested in the fun of being with this program. I noted the other day that even when he comes through the enthusiastic fans who line the corridor as the team takes the floor, he positively trudges through the hallway.

He acts like a fifth-grader who's been ordered to the principal's office.

Let's go to the DB.com Boards video (thanks, Lukor.)

Doggone it, Big Wood, this is supposed to be fun! Those humans creating that Human Tunnel, they love you, big fella!

Love ‘em back!

Our friend Jeff Caplan of ESPNDallas writes that Haywood is …

" (T)rying to focus on staying focused. … Part of that strategy is to avoid reporters or decline interviews. Before Friday's 106-91 win over the Phoenix Suns, Haywood said he believes an inaccurate or unfair portrayal of his season, meaning the perception that he is unhappy or frustrated, is being written. So he said he prefers not to say anything.''

Smile

Make sure that you understand that the coming barb is not directed at Jeff (the messenger) but at Brendan (the originator of the message):

That's some happy horseshit right there.

Here's what we wrote on the same subject, interpreting Jeff's gentle words:

He's upset because the media writes that he's upset when he's not upset.

And you know how that makes him feel?

Upset.

So he doesn't talk to the media … because he's upset that the media says he's upset.

Which upsets him.

Son, you ain't been done wrong. You don't want people to say you "trudge up the tunnel''? Then don't trudge up the tunnel. You don't want people to say "he seems unhappy''? Then tell ‘em you're happy.

You don't want people to say you are a contract whore who is now doggin' it? Then … well, you know.

We've had a dozen pleasant conversations with Brendan Haywood in the last few months. We find him to be intelligent, funny and charming. We are also pleased to report on his charitable good works. (See here.) But this sour approach regarding the media/fans is one of the surest signs that a player just might be:

a) Emotionally immature and personally irresponsible

AND

b) A product of a program that either coddled him or taught him unprofessional behavior.

We're going to guess that the University of North Carolina coddled Brendan, incredible homegrown high-school talent that he was. And we're going to guess that years with playing for the Washington Wizards taught him unprofessional behavior.

There are two Mavericks players who – lovely and thoughtful as they usually are – have taken to avoiding the media of late: Brendan Haywood and Caron Butler, both graduates of the Washington School of Playing For The Wizards.

Fellas, if you want to play basketball without the pressures and the scrutiny and the fans and the criticism and the media, this is 'Merica and you can do that.

In a vacuum.

In your driveway.

Without the multi-million-dollar paychecks.

Deal? Or would y'all prefer to leave your set-up just as it is?

DONUT 3: Kevin Martin's always had a very efficient offensive game. After last year's dip in 3-point percentage, he's back up over 40 percent.

Smile

Do the Mavs need another shooter?

Martin has always shot a high percentage from the free-throw line, and gets there often. So far on the season he's leading the league with 195 made free throws – that's more than Dirk and Jet combined! (125 + 64).

Think about that for a moment.

DONUT 4: Before we consider where all the minutes might be distributed if a Martin-to-the-Mavs deal actually ever occurred, let's allow Nick to play a deeper game:

Martin's played 792 minutes; Stevenson and Barea have played 792 minutes combined. If we do some rough calculations on replacing their shots with Martin's, the Mavs vault from:

*15th in the league in Free Throws Made per Field Goal Attempt …

To …

*Third.

DONUT 5: Dirk's having one of the best shooting seasons of all-time on the mid- and long-range 2-pointer. So far he's averaging 1.47 points per field-goal attempt. Kevin Martin's ability to take and shoot the 3-pointer (56 makes; Kidd is the Mavericks leader with 42) combined with his free throws has him at 1.58 points per field-goal attempt.

If he can accomplish this as a scoring duo with Luis Scola, couldn't those numbers look even better alongside The UberMan?

DONUT 6: It's clear that Martin is an efficient offensive player who could provide some additional punch to the Mavs offense. In his time in Sacramento, however, he was always mentioned as being sub-par defensively.

Is that fair?

If you look at the adjusted plus minus numbers, he's always been slightly below average. (07-08: -1.93; 08-09: -1.47; 09-10 (Kings): -1.32; 09-10 (Rockets): -1.32; 10-11: 0.29).

With his prowess on the offensive end, that leaves you feeling like his rebounding (Career 2.6 RPG from a guy who is the same height as Shawn Marion) and defense must be lacking.

Houston's GM, Daryl Morey, is a well-respected stat guru, so clearly he saw something in Martin more than those numbers suggest.

Or possibly he understood his team would need scoring, and was willing to accept the good with the bad in Martin.

By the way: If Houston fans think Morey is smart for getting Martin … and he was … do they now think he's dumb for eyeballing Haywood?

And he is. He is eyeballing him.

This is a chance for us to reiterate the details of Haywood's salary, and how so many people misunderstand it: It was announced as six years. But DB.com was the first to report that it's only five years guaranteed. It was announced as $55 mil. But we reported that it's only $43 mil guaranteed.

And then our David Lord broke it down further, reporting that the July deal pays Big Wood an average of $8.3 mil annually and a total of $6.9 mil this season.

If Brendan Haywood is your team's starting center – and you get him plugged in – that is NOT "overpaying.''

It's only overpaying if Haywood EARNS just 10 minutes in a game, as was the case this week in his uninspired stint in a win over Portland.

DONUT 7: In terms of swapping out Martin for Haywood, it seems like a raw talent upgrade, and certainly should help offensively.

That's especially true if you allow emotions to come into play. Who among us is really excited about Big Wood's first-third-of-the-year performance?

Yup. We're about as excited as he seems to be.

We do wonder, though, about how such a deal would increase the logjam at the wing, where Terry/Marion/Butler/Stevenson are already battling for minutes. (And don't even start us on Roddy B and DoJo. Where do they get to eventually fit?) With Stevenson's excellent 3-point shooting, it seems like he deserves more minutes, not fewer, and this sort of acquisition would probably cut him out of the rotation entirely.

Or maybe Stevenson is part of such a trade.

By the way, a smart observer of such things suggests we consider Dallas tossing into this deal something like two first-rounders, Nick Calathes, and DoJo … in which case some of the logjam would clear.

DONUT 8: One other concern about a swap-away of Big Wood: We worry about moving Haywood before the Mavs get a chance to run through the whole league. Yes, he's in a funk. A largely self-induced funk.

Yet, we feel the Mavericks were right in their original intentions, to have four capable bigs that will come in handy against teams like the Lakers or Magic. We're big "Coach ‘Em Up'' advocates, as you know. And part of Rick Carlisle's job this year is going to be finding those teams that Haywood can excel against and let him go "Just Work Here.''

DONUT 9: The Mavs are 26th in the league in Offensive Rebounding percentage. (We know this is affected by the Mavs' commitment to transition defense and other factors, but still. …) Haywood was third in the league last year in Offensive Rebounds and second in offensive rebound percentage in 07-08 and 09-10.

So we'll say it again: Are you sure THAT Big Wood is all gone, never to return?

DONUT 10: We love Carlisle's between-the-lines method of delivering lines.

Smile

"Haywood's situation is a little different this year," Carlisle said early Friday, certainly with some knowledge of the trade-gossip rumblings. "His minutes haven't been as high because he's been coming off the bench. Generally speaking, I like the way he's played. There are times when he influences the game positively when he doesn't necessarily have a lot of stats. … We want him to be big and physical and he's done that.''

Wait for it. …

"Systematically,'' Rick mentioned in the middle of all that positivity, "he has to approach the game the same way all the time, and we have our scouting stuff to help with tendencies of the opponent.''Aha!

Who here speaks "CoachSpeak''?

*"Systematically'' is code meaning Brendan is not going about his business in an orderly fashion.

*"Approach the game the same way all the time'' is code meaning Brendan is wildly inconsistent in his preparedness.

*"We have our scouting stuff to help with tendencies of the opponent'' is code meaning that Brendan doesn't study hard enough.

Who speaks "CoachSpeak''?

We do. Twenty-eight years in this business. We know how to translate.

DONUT 11: So yes, the Mavericks are still issuing votes of confidence to Big Wood. And here's what you need to consider if they ever really move in another direction:

They'll be issuing a sincere monster of a vote of confidence in Ian Mahinmi.

Are you ready to see Ian taking on Duncan and Okur and Byrum for 15 minutes a game, and more if the aggressiveness of Tyson Chandler lures T.Y. into foul trouble?

DONUT 12: The reason this is a worthy debate – for fans as well as for the potentially-involved teams – is that there is an argument to be made both ways.

Getting the offensive dazzle of Martin in exchange for a "mopey'' backup center? Exciting.

Getting Haywood going and involved in the offense by waiting on/encouraging him to crash the glass, get some pep in his step, and be Starting Center 1B? That could conceivably help the Mavs offense as much as moving him for another wing, no matter how stellar. That makes us advocate some level of patience here.

Smile

It was fun watching him wrestle with Hakim Warrick on Friday. Warrick is a Suns backup big. He's chippy. And he put up his second double-double of the season. But Big Wood gave the Mavs 10 rebounds, six points and a steal. The free-throw thing is still a freak show. But Haywood shoved Warrick around, didn't take any crap off him and tried.

Brendan Haywood tried.

Which is really all anybody around here is asking of him.


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