Amateur GM On ESPN's Deron-To-Dallas Plan

Give ESPN's Chris Broussard this: He might not know that the Mavs will a) decide Dirk can't lead them to another title, b) try to acquire Deron, and/or c) try to acquire Dwight. But he knows how to get attention for himself by crowding that trio of blockbuster suggestions into a single headline. How do we respond? Fish, D-Lord and Chuck Perry go to the Mavs Roundtable to play Amateur GM:



There are four declarative positions in Broussard's piece and ESPN's "plan'' for "how the Dallas Mavericks can remain contenders.'' … and we find serious fault with … well, all four of them.

Broussard's declarative positions:

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1 In the summer of 2012, Dirk Nowitzki will be 34 years old and … entering his 15th season. While I fully believe Dirk will still be a terrific player, I don't think he'll be good enough to carry a team with no other stars to the title.

2 I wanted to add Dwight Howard to the Mavericks, but Tyson Chandler and Roddy Beaubois weren't enough to get it done.

3 … the Mavericks … think (rightly) that D-Will and Dirk can keep them in title contention.

4 It will take a fertile dose of imagination and creativity to make a deal. Since I've got both, I've come up with a wild four-team deal …the salaries are close enough to be within the realm of possibility.

First, to point No. 1: "Dirk won't be good enough to carry a team with no other stars to the title.''

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FISH: I think it's odd that Chris would make this argument just relative moments after The UberMan accomplished exactly that. It's impossible for Dirk to do something he's already proven he can do? Besides that, who says there are "no other stars'' on the 2012-13 Dallas Mavericks?

D-LORD: That's my greatest criticism of the story – which we all understand is intended to be speculative and should be taken that way. Still, this isn't even a trade idea for this coming season. It's for July 2012.

Between now and then, Broussard's fantasy assumption has crafted several layers of "hypothetical" as assumptions. He assumes 2011-12 performance and results that are simply an assumption by Broussard, creates cap rules that are also crafted to fit Broussard's preferences, and then offers a trade that Broussard has decided every team will love. That makes it something more than "speculative,'' something more than "hypothetical.''

FISH: It's certainly unrealistic just because of the sheer volume of his proposal, which features what, nine players and four teams? It reads like it's crafted by somebody who likes the NBA and has a lot of free thumb-twiddling time on their hands. (Which includes pretty much all of us, right?)

CHUCK: It seems Broussard is trying (although not very hard) his hand at a trade our own David Lord long ago mastered – Amateur GM. It's summertime and we are all stretching our neurons to come up with something – anything - to write about the NBA.

Indeed it seems Chris has hit on the Jackpot – a topic upon which he can't be disproven while making himself look semi-smart.

This trade proposal definitely makes the Mavs sexier, flashier, and more marketable from an ESPN hype-machine perspective, but I am not sure that it makes them better.

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To point No. 2: Dwight Howard to the Mavs – or not.

D-LORD: Could the Mavs at some point in the future try to make a run at a Dwight Howard or Deron Williams? Sure. In fact, I'd be surprised if they didn't. But as we sit, we don't know what will happen in 2011-12, so we can't even begin to formulate the best way to try to make those happen once we get to July 2012.

Who knows where the Mavs sit in July 2012? The Mavs might be coming off back-to-back titles, with Butler back and healthy and serving as a true Robin, with JJB back and better, with TY back and playing two-headed dominator with Haywood, with Roddy B and DoJo and Rudy all playing at an high levels, and with Dirk-Kidd-Jet showing no signs of slippage.

FISH: When you map it out like this, it does not sound ridiculous … I'm ready for another parade!

CHUCK: On the flip side of the Roddy B involvement: Another assumption in Broussard's thinking is that Roddy B's value will rebound in the 2011-12 season that's still in jeopardy.

D-LORD: True. But what if those things are happening as detailed above, and Dallas is on the way to contention, and in February 2012, at the deadline, the Mavs make a big trade? Any of that sort of change destroys Broussard's fantasy concepts, and we have no way of knowing which of those is going to happen before it's time to chase a trade.

FISH: D-Lord and I believe in organizational blueprints. We've written about them on DB.com, and we often have the chance to get Mavs front-office input into our thoughts, to run them by the guys in the know to test the logic of our views. Broussard's piece doesn't pass that test at all – right down to his dismissal of the possibility of a Howard acquisition. Saying "it can't happen because Chandler/Beaubois won't be enough'' sounds silly; what if it IS enough? What if the Mavs offer more?

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Point No. 3: The Mavericks think that D-Will and Dirk can keep them in title contention.

FISH: Broussard is right about this, in one respect; as obvious as it seems that there might be a future connection between the DFW native and the Mavs, it counts as an accuracy in the piece.

I'm a little hung up on this, though: All these machinations, motivated by what Chris says is a Dallas team that will be too old to win in 2011 … but he wants the starting lineup in 2012 to be "D-Will, Jason Terry, Shawn Marion, Dirk Nowitzki and Brendan Haywood''? Let me do some math here … that means the then-28-year-old Deron will be surrounded by Jet at 35, Marion at 34, Dirk at 34 and Big Wood at 33.

What happened to "getting younger''?

CHUCK: That's among the many 'oops' moments in find in the article. Can I rattle off a few?

*Chris says the Mavs will re-sign Jet, only a few paragraphs after saying his expiring contract would be used to free up cap space? I guess Broussard thinks Jet, not exactly known for humility (not a bad thing), will be happy to take a substantial pay cut.

*Further, the piece began with an appeal to "breaking up the champs" because of age. Jet certainly wont be any younger two more seasons from now.

*Neither will Matrix. A starter in Broussard's piece though readers of DB.com will know that's not the Mavs' preferred role for him.

*If you think the Mavs are old now, shipping out the young part of the roster - Roddy B, Rudy, Corey - will represent a pretty substantial doubling-down on an already aged roster to win-now.

*Further, we've seen the value of two quality centers this postseason; it allowed the Mavs to counter the vaunted size of the Lakers and control the paint against Miami, a crucial check on the Heat's unstoppable athleticism on the perimeter.

FISH: You done, Chuck?

CHUCK: One more thought on this: After the Mavs spent so long finding the athletic/defensive big man to pair with Dirk, do they really trade big-for-small (a basketball no-no) for D-Will? He's fantastic, and one of the few that may be worth breaking that truism for, but still, to me, it's a stretch.

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Point No. 4: "A wild four-team deal.''

FISH: Again, the sheer massiveness of this proposal adds to its unlikelihood. But I think it's funny that Chris compliments himself by stating that he possesses a special skill that allows him to create a "wild'' imaginary trade. Maybe he's being self-mocking there.

Anyway ... In a sense, this is as simple-minded as it is complex. Chris sends Deron to Dallas, Bogut to Utah and Jennings to Brooklyn because there are local ties or whatever in the three cases. I'm quite sure GMs don't do their dealings with that deep-as-a-Frisbee mindset.

CHUCK: Bingo. Broussard makes a lot of the idea that Deron Williams is a Dallas-area native and therefore he would naturally desire to play here. Has there been any chatter to that end? Remember Bosh is also a local but it was well known that he did not want to play in front of the home crowd. Could D-Will be the same? Does he want to build his global brand in a big market like NY/LA?

Oh, and about Jennings and Brooklyn: Is Brandon now a streetball legend in NY for bouncing a ball off some poor stiff's dome? Fish, with your newfound gangsta' street cred, you probably can best answer that!

FISH: Broussard and ESPN are obviously connected enough to eventually be the ones who break the Deron-loves-Dallas story (or the Jennings-loves-Brooklyn story) and make that connection. But no. It hasn't happened yet. Deron's visit to the Mavs championship-run locker room while wearing a red Rangers cap isn't quite going to seal it.

CHUCK: This ridiculously hypothetical deal hinges on Milwaukee's involvement but it is unclear what their motivation would be to get involved. Perhaps they would be worried about getting ‘Decision-ed' and make a pre-emptive strike like Utah, and to a lesser extent, Denver did in shipping out their superstars. But again, a reach ...

FISH: Chuck, take us to school here, and then D-Lord, you get the last word.

CHUCK: In philosophy classes they teach you the power and the value of basing an argument on a hypothetical set of premises. When one constructs an argument thusly, you can say whatever you want, there is simply no way to poke holes in an argument that follows from an undisputable starting point. That said, your entire argument is simultaneously useless because its not grounded in anything concrete. Broussard, using a "fertile dose of imagination and creativity," (and, presumably, a whole lot of boredom) has built an elaborate castle in the sky, stacking one far-fetched assumption upon another.

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D-LORD: It's simple for me: Each of us could also make up trades we like, if we had the power to fashion future performance, game results, CBA rules, as-now-unknown salaries and obviously unexplored teams' willingness to fit our own whims. This is difficult enough to pull off in the best of times – that is, when we at least know the rules and are looking at moves for tomorrow using the assets available on current squads.

But this? A "fertile dose of imagination and creativity,'' indeed.




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