Live From Mavs Workout: 'Cool S----!'

Shawn Marion was backpedaling down the AAC practice court when he noticed a clever summer-long feature on the scoreboard. Permanently frozen there: ‘MAVS 105, HEAT 95' – the last score of the NBA Finals. ‘Damn, they still got that up there!' ‘Trix muttered to himself. ‘That's some cool s---.' More ‘cool s---' from inside Tuesday's Open Gym … quotes, notes, observations, scoops and deep thoughts:



COREY ALMOST GOES DOWN: The four Mavs in the gym this morning (Marion, Haywood, DoJo and Brewer) engaged in some light shooting on their own before undergoing some flexibility and conditioning drills under the supervision of staffer Robert Hackett.
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Good thing Hackett wasn't watching, as I was, when Brewer was goofing around with off-balance jumpers and caught his foot awkwardly on the floor as he uncoiled an airball.

"Wow, I almost blew out my ankle!'' Brewer said.

And listen, this roster is thin enough without a basketball disaster like that happening. Be careful out there, son.

THE ULTIMAGE SWAG: "It was a great team championship," Marion said, reflecting back to that NBA Finals win over Miami. "I can't say enough about how everybody contributed. Everybody did something special for this team. That's why it was so special for us. We was hot. We were feeling each other. We came into the gym and we just knew.

"We just had the ultimate swag.''

ONE-YEAR FEVER: My understanding is that no matter the reports that say Dallas isn't in contact with him, the Mavs have issued to Caron Butler the parameters of a one-year contract. Maybe he views a one-year offer as so insulting that he doesn't consider it "contact'' at all. I don't know what the plan is with JJ Barea, though ideally he can be cap-friendly enough going forward to earn a longer-term deal.

However …

THE BACKUP PG: If JJB leaves, that doesn't mean the Mavericks are completely ready to hand over the job of Jason Kidd's caddie to Roddy B.

Beaubois is in town and is working out. But he's still at least a week away from being fully recovered from a foot surgery. … and he's still largely unproven at the 1.

Beaubois as a backup combo guard is intriguing. (Maybe, hopefully, to teams like Orlando and New Orleans and New Jersey?) But the indications I get are that if JJB leaves, the Mavs will explore the acquisition of a veteran PG with a minimum contract to stop-gap his way through the season. I visited at length one-on-one with Dominique Jones, who appears to be slimmer in the midsection but bulkier in the chest and shoulders.

"Yeah, I added some muscle so I'm up to about 220,'' DoJo tells me. "My playing weight is 210, and I'll get back there once camp starts. The running will get rid of the water weight. But I think I'm better than ever and ready to go.''

WHO LIKES FOSTER? I mentioned it in Donuts earlier this week and now Sefko is getting the same vibe: Indy center Jeff Foster represents a contingency plan for the Mavs. No, he's no Chandler. And no, the Mavs aren't interested in competing with the Knicks if they really want to give him the MLE of $5 mil. But Foster – and players like him – might be needed to fill out the roster, depending on whether Chandler and Caron depart as free agents or as sign-and-tradees.

WARRIORS BODIES: Play around with this: You lose Tyson to Golden State but bring to town Biedrins and point guard Charlie Bell. Biedrins is 25, does everything pretty well except shoot free throws (Gary Boren might fix that) and is considered a financial burden because he's got three years and $27 mil left on his contract.

Yet $27 million is one-third or one-fourth of the size of the commitment TY might be requesting. Then …

CARON LEAVES: And you replace him with a $1 mil vet. Doesn't look like Grant Hill is leaning here and Tayshaun Prince (if he and Carlisle are OK together) would be more pricy than that. But something like that … Oh, and with Rudy Fernandez maybe starting at the 2. …

And how much worse off is your roster than it was a year ago?

Stay competitive with a roster like that … keep your powder dry … and try to be a player for Howard/D-Will/Paul either in the 2012 free-agent derby or this year before the deadline.

If I'm not being clear enough: The Mavs are not prioritizing Caron Butler.

Marion and Haywood's comments indicate they understand the business end of this.

Marion: "Hopefully we'll be able to keep most of our team intact. That's the positive side of it, hopefully we'll be able to, but you never know.''

Big Wood, after saying he would be happy to be part of a TY rotation: "But if I get more minutes out of the situation, that's fine, too.''

You'd like a guarantee that this is gonna work? I don't have that for you. On paper, it appears that New Orleans, to pick one, is going to receive offers (from the Lakers) that Dallas cannot match. But once LA shoots its wad on one deal, it figures to be out of assets. And then it can be the Mavs' turn.

ARE THEY MOVING TRAINING CAMP?: Yahoo reports that NBA camps may start on Monday instead of Friday. That's news to the Mavs coaches, who are working furiously to assemble a plan (which apparently includes working at the AAC instead of at SMU).

"I haven't heard that,'' assistant Monte Mathis tells me. "The unknown is tough. We're trying to orchestrate plans, but we don't know who will be here, so truthfully, starting on Monday, a few days later, would probably work out OK for us.''

But alas, I'm told the move isn't happening. Friday it is … with whatever bodies Dallas can collect. Maybe some D-League kids can come downtown from Frisco?

DIRK'S IN TOWN: So is JJB. Nowitzki will likely speak to the media on Wednesday, but the MVP will probably be at the AAC tonight. Why? Jay-Z and Kanye are in the building. And The UberMan will likely be in the Mavs suite, taking it all in.

Maybe he'll lean over the railing and sing "We Are The Champions''?

IS TY GONE?: I think percentage predictions are silly. There is no way for certain of knowing how many offers will roll in, how great they will be, how attractive the teams will be, or what the Mavericks might do in response.

If Dallas offers him $10 mil and GS offers him $12 mil, someone might want to point out:

A The difference in cost of living between San Francisco and Dallas

B The 10.3-percent state tax he'll pay in California in his tax bracket (that' 10.3 percent more than he'll pay in Texas)

C The fact that the Warriors suck. And if Tyson Chandler is slated to be their top-paid player for the next four or five years, they will continue to suck.

The Mavs have and will argue to Chandler that five years in Dallas is better than four years anywhere -- and that if he's willing to make the same sort of sacrifice co-team leader Dirk did, the Mavericks can employ Dirk and TY as the Nos. 2 and 3 players … because they'll have a shot at a new No. 1.

THE PAIN IN SPAIN: Visa problems. He's stuck in Spain for a bit. Sometime soon, he will end up in Dallas and contend for the starting 2-guard job.

GOLDILOCKS: Marion has the golden hair. So does DeShawn Stevenson. Remind me to ask them if they did it together, and if it's supposed to be "golden'' because of the color of the Larry O'Brien Trophy … or just because some girl lied to them and told them it looks good.
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TONIGHT'S SCHEDULE: DB.com will cover it like a blanket, with quickie reaction from our staff and then in-depth thoughts on the condensed 66-game schedule – featuring the Christmas Day home opener against Miami and at least one back-to-back-back – with help from Mavs insiders (and Premium Mavs Subscribers) Mark Followill and Chuck Cooperstein. Sources told me this morning that the Mavs are under the impression that they'll start the season with a back-to-back. And one leak has the Mavs in LA for the Clippers on Jan. 18. We'll see … and we'll see much more tonight!




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