Sunday Donuts: A Look At The Mavs Roster

Mavs Sunday Morning Mavs Donuts: If you understand the money, you understand the moves. And when you understand the moves, you understand the roster - at least as it shapes up at this moment, because you also need to understand the future. Have a look ...

DONUT 1: As part of Mavs management's mind-boggling juggling act as it continues to master in the area of Asset Management, Lamar Odom is coming to Dallas.

What it means to LA? Upon further study, it looks like nothing more than a salary dump, the Buss family deciding that being $25M above the tax line is too rich even for them.
Oh, LA gets picks. But nothing that has to do with helping them get D-Howard, and as Sefko first noted, Dallas gets to pick which year on the No. 1 pick given and can defer the decision for as long as six years.

So the Lakers got essentially nothing for the NBA Sixth Man of the Year, a 6-10 perennial champ (with a rep for coasting, admittedly) who is also a perennial 15/8 guy, with four assists per game last year.

DONUT 2: What about the TE created for LA in the trade? That isn't big enough to lure Howard or or to take on Turkoglu, and can't be combined towards them, either

So the Lakers, at this moment, just got worse ... pending what happens next with Dwight.

If the Lakers already had the assets it takes to get DH12, they still do. And if they didn't have enough (as Howard has expressed his desire to be in either LA, NJ or Dallas), they still don't, because this Lamar deal adds nothing to their bag of assets that Orlando desires.

What does Orlando desire? Young talent. Good picks. Cap room.

DONUT 3: LA is out of the Chris Paul chase, so he's back on the market. Dallas, at this moment, is attempting to balance dominoes against one another, working to get them to fall against each other just right. Remember that "dream world'' Dirk talked about on Friday? Dwight/Deron/Dirk is that dream.
DONUT 4: So Lamar Odom is coming. Vince Carter is coming. Brian Cardinal announced on Twitter that he's coming back. Rudy Fernandez will be here this week. ...

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Or you can keep listening to Skip Bayless predict that Tyson Chandler is going to Miami for the MLE. Your choice.

DONUT 6: And the roster is taking shape.

As we wrote last week: Heads-up on the short-term offers. Dallas wants to acquire talent using only those sorts of offers. The Mavs are gathering assets in order to keep their powder dry for a trade. No, not just for next summer. A trade before the deadline. A trade NOW.

Short-term? If it's not Sam Dalembert, is there another able center willing to be a Starter 1B on a do-whatever-it-takes-to-win title contender?

How about convincing Chauncey Billups to be the much-better version of the vet-minimum backup PG the Mavs tell us they've envisioned adding?

Lamar's deal can be up after this year. So is Rudy's, and Cardinal's will be, and Kidd and Jet can be done, too ...

Keep checking MAVS RUMOR CENTRAL for 'round-the-clock updates!
DONUT 7: While you're surfing today, come give the Mavs Facebook Page a Like, too! And join the Mavs Twitterverse by following Fish on Twitter, too!

DONUT 8: But back to the roster:

At center, the Mavs bring back Haywood and Mahinmi in (Chandler out), and are working to add a third. Obviously.

At PF they bring back Dirk and Cardinal and have added Brandan Wright.

At SF they bring back Marion and Brewer, (Butler and Peja out) and they add Odom.

At SG they bring back Jet, (they subtract Stevenson) and they add Vince Carter and Rudy F.

At PG they bring back Kidd (lose JJB) and elevate the hopefully-developed Beaubois and DoJo ... and maybe work for another add.

DONUT 9: How's that look to you? At this moment, are the Mavs a poorer team on paper than they were a week ago? In June? In fall of 2010?

*Odom fills a huge hole backing up both Marion and Dirk. Dallas is much stronger there with, for the first time, as legit a backup to Dirk as can be found in the NBA.

*The versatility of Odom makes this front line very flexible. Marion and Odom can play both spots; if Dallas wants to go "small,'' it's Dirk and Odom and Marion upfront and that's a big, skilled small.

*Rudy and Vince offer an overlooked upgrade at SG, too, and fill the club's stated desire for some offensive help around The UberMan.

*The Mavs are not as deep at center (but as Rick says, Haywood is a legit NBA starter). They are not as accomplished at backup PG (unless Roddy B or DoJo make the necessary strides ... or unless another PG is added.)

DONUT 10: What are the chances of that?

First, to the cap. capologist David Lord guesstimates that the Mavs are at about $78M as we speak, with 14 players. As we try to squish it all in there, D-Lord also predicts the Vince Carter deal will be for the mini-MLE.

DONUT 11: What is left to spend? Ah, the leftover TE from having gotten from New York (for Chandler) and given to LA (for Odom). We've got that leftover TE at about $4.5M.

DONUT 12: And this decision will be Dallas showing its hand ... because we'll know what it thinks about both its money and its roster.
There is now one open slot on the roster. So does Dallas chase a veteran backup PG (Billups at minimum salary if he clears waivers)? Or a center? (It would take a great deal of persuasiveness to get Dalembert using the leftover trade exception of about 4.5M. But it's available for somebody.)

It's all about "Asset Management,'' and nobody does it better than the world champs. Their choice for that last roster spot will probably reveal their hidden feelings about the potential of Roddy B and DoJo ... and maybe about the potential of making another big trade, too.

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