Why Calderon/Gay Third Team Can Be Mavs

The Mavs are attracted to Jose Calderon and his $10.6 million expiring. They are now seeing Kaman fall out of favor (and apparently fall on his head). They easily fit into the 'third team' role needed by Toronto and Memphis to complete the rumored Calderon-for-Gay swap. Here's how the pieces fit ... and how Dallas can help facilitate such a move while helping itself.

In the last few days, the rumored Rudy Gay-to-Toronto deal has inched closer to consummation. However, according to Yahoo! Sports' Adrian Wojnarowski, one of the final hurdles to the deal requires a third team to take back Jose Calderon and his $10.6 million expiring contract.

Before getting in to the nuts and bolts of how the Dallas Mavericks can help facilitate such a move, let's first look at what each team wants in this deal.

Memphis is in the midst of a salary dump and is looking to unload the talented Gay and the $37 million still owed him. According to Woj's sources, Memphis is also seeking a "less expensive small forward," to take Gay's spot.

The Raptors, on the other hand, covets Gay and has made no secret of their desire to bring him to Toronto. However, they need to find a landing spot for Jose Calderon first.

Enter Dallas, who has both what Memphis is seeking, financial relief in the form of a bevy of expiring contracts and what Toronto wants, a landing spot for Calderon. Further, despite the progression of Collison this season, the "Bank of Cuban" is open and PG is an area where Dallas could benefit from a talent influx.

In trying to find a workable deal that satisfies all three team's goals, many possibilities are available. One idea to keep in mind is that Dallas would likely prefer to take back short-term contracts to maximize their ability to remain a player in the free agent market this summer.

The major components of the deal would then break down thusly:

- Gay to Toronto, as the primary catalyst of the deal.

- Calderon to Dallas. The Mavericks would also need to take back a smaller piece to make the salaries work. Dallas' first choice would likely be to take back Tony Allen due to his favorable contract and steller defensive potential, assuming his issues with O.J. Mayo are behind him.

- Some combination of expiring contracts and a small forward to Memphis. A package of Chris Kaman, Dahntay Jones and Ed Davis of the Raptors works from a salary perspective, but many possibilities remain here and the final assortment of players will depend on the specific needs of the Grizz. (We cannot help but note that Kaman is also expiring, is suddenly out of favor with the Mavs, and due to concussion issues sat out Dallas' disappointing 106-104 loss at Porland on Tuesday.

Why Toronto Does the Deal: This one is easy, as it nets the Raptors the player they covet most. As the team most eager to make this particular deal, Toronto may even be willing to absorb contracts Dallas would prefer to avoid to consummate the deal.

Why Memphis Does the Deal: Based on their earlier dumping of three contracts and a first-round pick, the Grizzlies are determined to shed salary with approximately $65 million owed to Zach Randolph and Marc Gasol through 2014-15. In this scenario, Memphis would get a change of pace big man in Kaman to spell Gasol and provide spacing for Randolph, a multi-faceted SF in Jones and an extremely-talented, but raw, big in Davis.

If Memphis wants more offense from the SF position, Dallas could include Vince Carter or a younger piece like Roddy Beaubois or Brandan Wright. The important point is that Dallas has plenty of flexibility to fulfill Memphis' desires with a combination of youth, favorable contracts, and a surplus at the Grizzlies stated position of need.

Why Dallas Does the Deal: This is also simple: because it makes them better. With a career 7/1 assist/turnover ratio, Calderon is the type of veteran decision-maker Carlisle craves. He is also enjoying a career year from the arc, shooting .429 from the arc as of this writing and boasts a career shooting mark of .481 from the field overall.

Though he's never been known for his defense, Calderon's arrival would allow Collison to move from the role of borderline-solid starter to elite-level change of pace guard in the mold of Devin Harris in 2006.

Furthermore, Calderon brings the type of contract that both Donnie Nelson and Mark Cuban would enjoy as it expires as the end of the year, leaving the front office with as much or more flexibility than they would otherwise possess.

It would be a move that pacifies a hungry fan base, a coach that eschews mistakes, and a front office that wants to keep the powder dry for a big swing in the offseason.

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