Mavs Rumor Mill: Buzz On Roddy B, Nash, Nick
The Steve Nash Rumor
The Steve Nash Rumor isn't a "rumor'' in the sense that despite vocal denials from Phoenix management, Nash's name has been discussed by suitors, certainly in New York and Minnesota.
What my sources will say about Nash:
*They believe the Suns will respect the 37-year-old point guard enough to trade him only to a place he'd like to be. That would include New York and would not include Minnesota.
*They believe that a deal for Nash to wherever is not imminent, largely because Phoenix needs him as a drawing card … and that the Suns fan base will reject a non-contender that doesn't at least feature the performances of a marquee player like Nash.
(I will add this: How much do you want to bet that when Phoenix picks at No. 13 the Suns will consider "box office'' potential almost as much as basketball potential?)
*The Suns want to move up in the Draft order but are finding a deal difficult to pull off … without Nash's name coming up.
(Which brings me back to the box-office factor: If you see Phoenix trying to trade up for forward Derrick Williams, know that he played his college ball at … Arizona.)
*The blanket denials are empty. Suns exec Lon Babby tells The Arizona Republic, "We are not trading Steve Nash. Period. Exclamation point." And then he said the same thing about center Marcin Gortat.
But as Phoenix sits there now, the Nash-Gortat combo has them as the 13th worst team in basketball. Bold pronouncements aren't as needed as are bold moves.
My educated guess is that Dallas has not specifically phoned Phoenix about Nash. So I don't want to create a screaming headline out of this, but … members of the Triangle of Trust sure can rattle off by heart Nash's contract status and his personal feelings and his health situation … I mean, the Mavs sure do seem "concerned'' about how their former PG and Dirk's close buddy is doing, is all. …
What is fact: There is a short list of places Nash would love to someday land. Dallas is among them. And those in the know have in the past whispered to me how they believe Steve could co-exist as a Mav even with Jason Kidd at point guard.
It's not a "pipe dream'' exactly, because it would be easier to pull off than last summer's "pipe dream'' of, say, LeBron James. And the hush-hush reactions I'm getting make all more intriguing the notion of the Mavs and Suns eventually talking.
Get more background on the Nash-to-Dallas idea here.
What Does Dallas Think of O.J. Mayo?
The Griz may view O.J. Mayo as expendable; they almost gave him up last February for a body and a pick. But as they shop him, they will not receive positive responses from Dallas. The Mavs continue to view him as something well shy of a"difference-maker'' and don't see him as worth the trouble.
The Josh Smith Three-Way
"That,'' a source tells me, "is directly and obviously agent-created.''
The rumor, gossiped about in various forms, would have Dallas losing Haywood and Beaubois to gain Marvin Williams from Atlanta, with Josh Smith escaping the Hawks for Orlando.
Giving up Roddy B for Marvin Williams is not a Dallas reality.
The driving force: Josh Smith's camp. He wants out of Atlanta and apparently wishes to be in Orlando. The Mavs? They just got drive-by'ed here.
Tony Parker Leaving San Antonio?
This isn't just the Spurs trying to sell Parker in order to get into the top five or six picks. This is about SA trying to dump some salary, too. If you want Parker, 29, to come run your team, you will have to forfeit a premier No. 1 AND accept a player/salary SA no longer wants.
That's a tougher sell than just "Parker for a No. 1,'' which on the surface seems like a no-brainer for a team in need of a PG star.
Is There A Player at 26?
The Mavs believe that while many characterize this as a "weak draft,'' the last 10 picks of the first round will be bunched together talent-wise and that there are real NBA prospects to be had. Dallas is wisely not pinpointing a position, chosing instead to pick the best future prospect.
Yes, "future prospect.''
The stashing of a draftee is a plan Dallas believes in. Indeed, it is working with point guard Nick Calathes, who is plying his trade in Europe while waiting his turn. A Mavs source tells me they are "ecstatic'' with his progress and are in constant contact with Nick and his camp.
So when does the new draftee end up in a Mavs uniform? Take this under advisement: I am told Calathes' role on the 2011-12 Dallas Mavericks is directly related to the free-agency destiny of J.J. Barea. If JJB stays with the Mavs, as the club hopes, Nick stays stashed. If JJB departs, Nick gets to move up to the varsity. The same sort of path will likely be put out for Thursday night's newest Mavs personnel. It will take patience … something easier to come by around here for fans now that there is a banner to raise.