15 Mavs & An 8-Pack Of Opinions & Whispers
1. The Mavs entered the day having 13 under contract. James is coming up. West is coming back.
The rotation depth chart may be about to look something like this ...
C - Kaman, Brand, Wright, James
PF - Dirk, Brand, Marion, Wright, Crowder
SF - Marion, Carter, Crowder
SG - Mayo, Dahntay Jones, Beaubois, Carter
PG - Collison, Delonte, Mayo, Beaubois, Dojo, Cunningham
The Dallas Mavericks issue isn't quantity at any position. They already have lots of bodies for every position. ... Also worth mentioning is that we see almost no playing time for the rookies, which is based on the Mavs' inability in recent years to land anyone playable via the draft. If they have a reasonable expectation that any of their draftees actually can contribute at an NBA level in their first year, it would change things considerably.
2. The conventional thought has been that slots 14-15 will consist of "sign James, sign West, and close up for the summer." Conventional seems about to be set as we understand Delonte is planning to settle on a one-year deal to return.
3. Once the amnesty window closed, the Mavs signed Mayo, Crowder, and Cunningham, one signing every day or two ...But as more time elapsed without James or West occurring, the more it made sense that something more complex might be under discussion. ... and maybe still is.
4. West was always interested in Dallas and vice versa. Looking at the depth chart, he will add value since he's no worse than their 3rd or 4th best guard. And it's key to remember that he's only 29 on Thursday. ... But if a one-year room MLE deal was totally desirable to both sides, it probably would have been done. So options were being weighed. Our guess is that he preferred a two-year deal, the Mavs clearly won't offer that length, and he took his time determining if anyone else will.
5. James played fairly well in Summer League. The fact he hasn't yet signed means one of four things, and we don't know which, but in order of likelihood, here's how we'd rank them:
a - The Mavs and James are haggling over how much money is guaranteed and/or length of contract.
b - It's just a matter of getting player, agent and Mavs in same room to do the paperwork.
c - Mavs are pushing him to go to Europe.
d - Mavs might be talking of including him (his rights) in a trade, and signing him would kill that possibility.
As we write this on Tuesday afternoon, we may be a matter of hours from a) and b) coming together with a deal being done. Until then, we'll wonder ... and keep you posted.
6. One thought is Andrei Kirilenko, who may be the biggest potential bargain left. Unfortunately Dallas is probably out of the mix. He wants money but can't be acquired via a SNT. Room MLE is probably going to be iffy to woo him. He plays way more SF than PF but the bigger issue with him would be finding the minutes to make him want to be in Dallas on a discount deal. ... especially when he's got his Russian Nets connection and now, reportedly, serious talks with Minny.
7. There's always the possibility that trade talks are afoot. The most likely possibilities would be a trade to simply clear a roster spot, or one that packages several smaller pieces for an available player making a bit more money. (An example would be a package of Carter, Dahntay Jones, DoJo, and Beaubois for Calderon.) ...
It should be noted that if the Mavs fashioned a trade including Dahntay Jones or Collison, it might have to wait until September to be approved due to CBA restrictions.
8. For many moons the Mavs have made the roster-clogging mistake of routinely exercising team options year after year on low draftees that can't play a lick and have shown nothing. They have a decision to make on DoJo this summer.
Will they do it again?
They've always had the alternative of declining the option, which would allow the player to be a free agent the following summer. At that point, they could still sign them again if they wanted. In the case of DoJo, up until Oct 31 they can guarantee him the 2013-14 season at $2.3M - and if they do so, someone should be fired for being the Dumbest Guy in the Room.
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