Mavs Donuts: A 12-Question Tyson Quiz
DONUT QUESTION 1: Tyson Chandler is _______
Completely posturing by suggesting his days as a Mav are likely over?
"I really think I'm going to be on a new team come training camp," Chandler told ESPN.com. "I'm really taking a hard look at all of my options, trying to see what best suits me."
If I insist that TY is being "strategic'' here, does that mean he's not being genuine?
Nah. His comments are obviously part of a strategy. A strategy to gain a larger contract, likely the last big 'un the 29-year-old will ever sign. A strategy to solicit public favor. A strategy to put the ball in the Mavs' court. A strategic to pave his exit. Something.
"Strategy'' doesn't mean "insincerity.'' Tyson can be both strategic in his moves and sincere in his motivations.
DONUT QUESTION 2: Tyson Chandler is _______
A "perfect'' fit with the Dallas Mavericks, the "perfect'' compliment to Dirk?
This is hyperbolic and linear thinking. He's a better fit than Nene would be, not as good a fit as Dwight Howard would be.
DONUT QUESTION 3: Tyson Chandler is _______
Angry as being disrespected by the Mavs?
I've spoken to two people who are in fairly frequent contact with TY (one media guy, one business guy) and both of them suggest that this is the case. The source of TY's ire?
He's miffed that Dallas didn't make him a monster extension before the June 30 deadline, before a new CBA was in place.
Tyson can do what he wishes and Dallas can do what it wishes and neither side is necessarily "wrong.'' But Tyson's position here is intellectually dishonest. Last spring, I talked to him frequently about his feelings about signing a deal before the summer. He expressed to me complete understanding as to why the timing was so inappropriate.
If you are a Mavs Premium Fan (which you can become right now, with a free 7-day trial and then a buy-one-month-get-one-free deal, all for pennies a day!) you are likely already aware of spring visits with Tyson Chandler regarding negotiating at that time, in the middle of the playoffs.
"I really don't have it on the front burner of my thinking,'' TY told me.
Now suddenly he doesn't understand? And his feelings are hurt that the Mavs didn't break the bank for him when they didn't even know what the bank contained?
It's a stupid position on TY's part. And it is intellectually dishonest.
One more thing here, something Jerry Jones taught me 20 years ago: "Never let your money get mad.''
Translated for TY purposes: Don't get so offended that you end up getting a few more bucks than Dallas would give and next thing you know you are spending the rest of your career as a rich Raptor.
DONUT QUESTION 4: Tyson Chandler is _______
A foolish man suffering from a case of Diarrhea of the Mouth?
There's not much going on here that Chandler's agent isn't connected to. Chandler's agent, Jeff Schwartz, is also connected to the Mavs in his representation of other members of the "family.'' There is little chance of miscommunication here.
Chandler's comments are unusually strong. But they are not unique in nature, they are not accidental, and only time will tell if they are foolish.
DONUT QUESTION 5: Tyson Chandler is _______
Forced to suffer because the Mavs "have championship steak in their bellies''?
This is a theory espoused by DB.com pal Ben Rogers of "The Ben & Skin Show'' on 103.3 ESPN. Ben's thought is this: After 31 years, the Mavs have their first title. They needn't make desperate moves or drastic decisions to "get that first title'' because they HAVE that first title. It buys Mavs management some patience, some leniency, as they plot not only for Dec. 25 but also for beyond.
The Mavs "have championship steak in their bellies.'' Which isn't to say they have the right to get fat and lazy on us.
DONUT QUESTION 6: Tyson Chandler is _______
Injury-prone and therefore a long-term-contract risk?
Is it fair for this to occur to Mavs management as they evaluate the vision of Tyson Chandler being paid in excess of $10 million to be the team's second-best player over the long-term? He's played half-seasons in three of his 10 NBA years while working for four different teams. And injuries are the main reason he's been so on the move.
You might consider it and then dismiss it. But you do consider it.
DONUT QUESTION 7: Tyson Chandler is _______
Worth well over $10 million a year?
I believe that we're going to find out that the Golden State Warriors believe that is so -- and that they like him better than Nene. In New Jersey, maybe they like Nene better. And in Houston, wouldn't TY be a great centerpiece to a pretty talented team in need of a center to get over the hump?
We can ask ourselves if TY has gotten a bit full of himself, believing the hype when Dirk billed him as "our MVP.'' But if the Mavs are prepared to offer him less than $10 mil, and Golden State is prepared to offer him $14 mil ... Well, then Tyson's opinion of himself is verified.
By the way: I'm hearing propaganda about TY "getting the max'' from somebody, meaning $18 million a year. I don't see it, not only because it's excessive but also because as I dig team by team, I don't really find many who can even do it.
DONUT QUESTION 8: Tyson Chandler is _______
Not Dwight Howard?
That's obvious. But the question really is, "Is Dwight Howard the reason the Mavs are trying to keep their powder dry''?
I'm a believer that one good chance at a championship now (and this year's Mavs with TY have a good chance) is better than the possibility of future titles in the bush (Howard being the prize in the bush). But what if Ben's "steak in the belly'' theory means Mavs management believes that last year's title buys it time to tinker and to wait ...
And what if the Mavs know something about Howard's wishlist as he works his way out of Orlando -- which reportedly includes Dallas?
DONUT QUESTION 9: Tyson Chandler is _______
I don't buy this, but I am reminded of TY's appearance with Ben & Skin when he said (with great CBA authority): "With the collective bargaining agreement and some of the things that they're trying to enforce, it would basically prohibit me from coming back. It would take it out of my hands -- and the organization's -- because it would almost be pretty much impossible for me to re-sign. I just think that can be the worst thing that can happen."
And he was and is wrong. It is not out of his hands and it is not out of the organization's hands.
It is IN THEIR HANDS.
By the way, the headline from the Jason Terry open-gym session yesterday is a mischaracterization of Jet's message. It's "on ownership to make it happen'' has gone national, but that's just a sliver of what Terry actually said. Believe me, he is acutely aware of the realities of the situation.
It's "on'' both sides.
And, going back to TY's aforementioned remarks, I don't blame you for wondering why Tyson sounded like he's got a foot out the door when he didn't need to step at all.
DONUT QUESTION 10: Tyson Chandler is _______
Deserving of a raise?
One financial argument in TY's favor is this: Tyson made $12.8 million last year. Why should he take less now that he's a championship player?
Another: Cuban got his savings when he "underpaid'' Dirk. Now he can balance the scales by keeping Tyson alongside Dirk by "overpaying'' Tyson.
But then you come back to keeping your powder dry for Dwight Howard (or Deron Williams or whomever). You picture Tyson Chandler being informed, in general terms of this plan. And then you understand why his feelings are REALLY hurt.
DONUT QUESTION 11: Tyson Chandler is _______
One of the reasons another star might sign here?
Yeah, this is a problem. Luring DFW's own Deron Williams here as the heir to Kidd is a wonderful idea. But does Deron want to join a Mavs team stripped of Chandler, with a soon-to-retire Kidd and an approaching-mid-30's Dirk?
It's almost enough to make you understand why the Mavs might convince themselves that they can win this year with Brendan Haywood as the starting center and Ian Mahinmi as his backup. Or heck, go get Sam Dalembert for that MLE he's saying he'd sign somewhere for. Or Jeff Foster to take up some minutes on the cheap. Or ... maybe you make this the strip-down year and half the roster is on-the-cheap and short-term ... And if a strip-down is an option, maybe that explains why the Mavs aren't pounding down Caron Butler's door with a long-term commitment.
Does that allow you stay in contention now ... and be in Summer of 2012 Free Agency then?
DONUT QUESTION 12: Tyson Chandler is _______
A "must-sign'' for the Mavs?
That "must-sign'' thing was a headline on Bleacher Report and I went to FishSports on Twitter to joke that Tyson Chandler himself must've just gotten a job as a headline writer on Bleacher Report.
I've said and written this many times in my 28 years as a reporter: There is no such thing as "Win or Bust.'' (Or "Insert-Any-Verb-Here or Bust.'' Wasn't last summer "LeBron or Bust''? How'd that work out?) The sky is never falling because skies don't fall. Tyson Chandler is a free agent and is therefore under no obligation to sign here under whatever circumstances. The Mavs just won a title and are under no obligation to "reward'' him further.
Those are the questions. Fill out your Tyson Chandler answers. Clip and save and we'll hand out grades when the bell sounds.