Mavs-Nets Devin? Woj Says Devin To Utah

UPDATE: Devin and Favors are going to Utah (says Woj) for Deron Williams ... As of Tuesday night, sources told DB.com that there was a Mavs deal to be done for Devin Harris. ...

The completion of the re-acquisition of a player thought of as ‘one of us' is dependent on how far Dallas will allow itself to be nudged away from the trio of principles the franchise has used to form its policy as this deadline approached. Here are those three policies and how they are being applied – or nudged:

1. "We'll take on salary for a player,'' a Dallas Mavericks source says, "if the player can play.''

This quote is specifically about months-ago conversations regarding Philly's Andre Iguodala and the baggage of Elton Brand that would come with him. The Mavs decided long ago not to hamstring themselves by taking on an extra bloated salary.

We've seen some fan/media speculation regarding Devin's contract as being "too much of a commitment.'' Respectfully: He's got two more years after this. He makes about $9 mil a year as a starting-caliber player now with star quality. In 2012-13 we can project him as the Mavs' starting point guard and he will be making $8.5 mil.

Those numbers are literally half of what Iggy is set to be paid. In fact, let's examine some of the dollars that are out there for the taking/non-taking.

Let's look at the salaries of an assortment of NBA players who in the last month have been associated with Dallas as trade possibilities.

2010-11

2011-12

2012-13

Iguodala*

$13,673,000

$14,859,500

$16,046,000

Harris

$8,981,000

$9,319,000

$8,500,000

Martin

$10,600,500

$11,519,840

$12,439,675

Wallace

$9,500,000

$9,500,000

$9,500,000

Murphy

$11,968,254

Prince

$11,147,760

Maggette

$10,031,040

$10,833,523

$11,700,205

Jackson

$8,453,250

$9,256,500

$10,059,750



*In addition to what's seen on the chart, Iguodala is due $17,232,500 for 2013-14.


We made this point a month ago. We'll make it again: Of this group of "candidates,'' Harris is clearly the best "bang for the buck."

We've written this repeatedly, and in the face of mainstream media that keeps insisting "Cuban doesn't want to add salary'':

That statement is simply incorrect.

To borrow an exaggerated point from our David Lord; Kobe makes $83.5 mil for the next three years. Cuban would be happy to "add that salary.'' But Cuban didn't want to add $42 mil to pay Al Jefferson to be a backup 4.

Relatively speaking, Devin's contract is affordable.

2 Dallas is seeking a "second star'' or at least someone to "put us over the top.''

This potential move isn't Melo, so it arguably falls shy of that. But the Mavs can acquire a young one-time All-Star who fits perfectly back into the system, who can start at the 2, run iso plays on the wing (despite not being a great jump-shooter), who can immediately be "little brother'' to KIDDIRK while being a big brother to Roddy B … and Dallas' backup PG problems are solved, too … Solved for today and solved for years to come.

It's a cute story that Harris, if this deal goes through, gets to return "home.'' But "cute'' doesn't matter.

What matters is his ability to "put you over the top.'' Which is debatable.

3. "Roddy B is untouchable; Caron is the most trade-worthy piece''

That "untouchable'' business was never the case. But it sure would be nice to upgrade the roster using only The Caron Coupon and not having to lose Beaubois.

Which brings us to what we believe is on the table … or, maybe, what are assorted ideas scattered on the table for the perusal of the Mavs and Nets.

We've said all along that The Caron Coupon is best-used now, before the deadline. Nothing against Butler and his "promise'' to return early from season-ending knee surgery, but if you can flip an injured starter for a healthy starter … no-brainer.

Butler tweeted on Tuesday night: "I aint going no where." And Jason Terry did a radio appearance in which he said the Mavs don't need to do a deal.

Newsflash: As respected as they are, Jet and Tuff Juice are not being consulted in this negotiations.

So anyway, Caron for Devin. Done! Right?

The Nets want more than just the dollar-and-cents relief of Caron's $10.6-mil expiring. So they have their requests. (Another player? A first-round pick?) And, as leverage, they have another bidder in Portland.

We're not certain why the Mavericks would play hardball to the deadline here arguing about not wanting to give up Dominique Jones, who has a walking cast on his foot and doesn't figure in this year's championship pursuit, anyway. … the only purpose is to attempt to "win'' the trade – which is fine, unless you lose the opportunity to actually pull it off.

We're told the Mavs feel they can give off a "non-urgent'' vibe here because of how some backcourt factors have transpired recently. Consider:

* The healthy return of Roddy B. The Mavs have a starting 2-guard who is an upgrade over what they had a week ago.

* Barea's play at PG has improved to the point where Dallas is congratulating itself on its patience there.

* Devin isn't quite the hot commodity he was a month ago, before the Melo-related trade rumors made him feel like he was being backstabbed by his Nets bosses.

Which brings us to where Devin was a month ago … and to where he can be again.

Using the same sampling of trade candidates from above, let's check some advanced stats (with the help of DB.com's Kammrath). But let's do it from exactly a month ago, before Devin went into his backstab-induced funk.

PER

Plus/Minus

Off P/M

Def P/M

Adj P/M

Iguodala

16.3

+1.32

-3.76

+5.08

-1.24

Harris

18.2

+3.70

+8.58

-4.87

+4.63

Martin

22.6

+2.36

+2.61

-0.25

-2.15

Wallace

14.1

+7.43

+6.40

+1.03

+7.36

Murphy

6.9

-2.92

-8.12

+5.20

N/A

Prince

16.7

-1.70

+4.11

-5.81

+3.71

Maggette

14.0

-5.54

+0.52

-6.06

-9.79

Jackson

14.3

-6.14

+3.76

-9.91

-8.51

Harris was among those who performed positively in the adjusted plus/minus category and Harris was the rare guy performing well above average.

Numerous reports have the Blazers wanting to grab Devin in a package with Troy Murphy that would cost them Andre Miller, Joel Przybilla and the injured Greg Oden. The addition of a No. 1 pick may be a hang-up here as it could be with Dallas.

The Nets might end up looking a bit foolish if they trade Devin back to Dallas; it will render their dealing of Kidd for him in 2008 a waste of effort, and Dallas will have a championship-caliber backcourt made up of ex-Nets who think they were done wrong in New Jersey. So they'd like to "win the trade,'' too, by getting those throw-in components.

How does Dallas win the trade? Ultimately, the pick and DoJo shouldn't be measurements. The measurements should be affordability, "over-the-topness'' and giving up only Caron and change.

That deal can get done – and won.


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