Report: Mavs' Rudy Is A 'Lame Duck'
A report from Sportando has the Spaniard following through with the oft-rumored plan to give into homesickness and leave the NBA to join Real Madrid, apparently under the terms of a four-year contract that would begin after the 2011-12 season.
(Editor's note: It's more likely that the four-year contract begins this season, and will only "begin'' after 2011-12 in the event of there being an NBA season. Also, various reports say the deal "isn't done yet,'' but that seems almost a semantic argument at this point.)
Therefore, the Dallas Mavericks are in Rent-a-Rudy mode – having talked openly about hoping the 6-6 shooting guard wins the starting job … only to have to replace him once again when this season is through.
The arguments for Fernandez?
*The Mavs tout some advanced plus-minus that make Rudy seem closer to elite than the rest of the world thinks he is. (As a guy with a career averages of 9.1 points on 39.4 percent shooting, 2.4 rebounds and 2.2 assists).
*They gave up relatively little for a possible starter – even one who is a short-termer.
*Fernandez represents a "permanent upgrade'' over what Dallas did at the 2-guard last year, where everyone from DeShawn Stevenson to J.J. Barea took a turn … and as effective as that was, both those players are now free agents. "Permanent,'' that is, at least for one season.
*Dallas lacks offensive creators on the wing. Fernandez is capable of providing that.
*Rudy's presence means Dallas needn't hurry young Roddy Beaubois, a natural 2-guard who could really help the club if he could develop as a point guard.
*Fernandez's contract, which has one season remaining with a $2.1 million salary, is a bargain.
*Rudy has the Dirk Seal of Approval.
I think he fits in well," Nowitzki said back in June. "He had a tough time there in Portland sometimes coming off the bench. He wanted out and I don't think the whole situation for him was that great. But when you come to a team that has great team chemistry and good leaders and veterans, guys always fit in well and they want to win and sacrifice and in this case, I think it's going to be great for the team."
Ah, but now Rudy apparently wants out again. Eventually.
Which brings us to the negatives:
*Fernandez has the skills to break down defenses with one-on-one play … but he doesn't often do it.
*For whatever DeShawn and JJB's flaws … they showed up for work every day. Rudy, on the other hand, has been whining about escaping Portland for years.
*The main piece Dallas sacrificed in its draft-day deal with the Blazers was first-round pick Jordan Hamilton of Texas. Is one year of Rudy more valuable than long-term employment of prospect Hamilton?
*If the report is true, and if there is an NBA season, Rudy will bring with him a cloud of drama and a question of commitment. That's not exactly the Maverick Way.
In Dirk's positive remarks about the acquisition of Fernandez, The UberMan also said of his championship club, "When you come to a team that has great team chemistry and good leaders and veterans, guys always fit in well and they want to win and sacrifice and in this case, I think it's going to be great for the team."
That's what Rudy is getting in Dallas.
But assuming the accuracy of the story, what the Mavs are getting in return is not just an "odd duck'' … but also a lame one.