Wednesday Mavs Donuts

Greg Oden zips through DFW ... Brandan Wright checks in with ... Does a Monta Sign-and-Trade still have life? ... Where'd Sarge go? ... What are those exact numbers on Jose Calderon's first year and why does every penny matter? ... The boomeranging of Devin Harris ... It's Wednesday Mavs Donuts!

DONUT 1: Clearing up Devin ...

We thought we cleared up Devin's potential Dallas Mavericks boomerang here in Monday's Donuts, but let's give this one more try:

Devin agreed to a three-year, $9M deal. Came in the office to get moving on it and, as it standard, underwent a physical. His toe was a problem.

So the never-done contract never got done.

We wrote on Monday that both parties would revisit the idea, quite possibly at a rate far less than the $9M. We stand by that. There was no "conspiracy'' and nobody got "screwed.'' The Mavs smartly unplugged from an arrangement because it would've been dumb to buy damaged goods. (Let's let the Knicks corner the market on that, shall we?) That's why teams require players to undergo a physical first, before they cash any checks.

Had the the Mavs ignored the toe injury and signed Devin anyhow -- because they "like him'' or because they "trust everything will be OK'' -- they assume all the liability for the medical issues ahead, and they have no assurance he will ever be able to play (especially given Devin's infamous fragility).

We said Monday he'd end up boomeranging back for more Mavs talks. And he has.

We've said for years that Harris' kamikaze style contributed to him being too-injury prone to give big money to. And that's come true, too. We want Devin here at the right price, and all things considered, we prefer the right price be less than $9M. The circumstances make for a costly break for him, but in terms of filling the roster with appropriately-priced talent, the circumstances work out in the team's favor.

DONUT 2: Does a Sign-and-Trade live? ... breaks the news that the amnestying of Drew Gooden from Milwaukee re-opens the door for the Bucks to possibly sign-and-trade Monta Ellis to Dallas.

And this explains yet again while the Mavs have their Ellis deal on the front burner but not yet fully cooked.

To make something like this work, there is still the issue of the Mavs finding $5.3M in outgoing salary, to match. Would Dallas find extra pieces somewhere? Is Roddy B or some of the kids worthy bait?

Seems difficult. But if Ellis can be added via sign-and-trade in this manner, his $8M salary can be added with as little as $5.3M in cap room going out ... which would open up an extra $2.7M to spend elsewhere.

You get the picture: An Ellis sign-and-trade, as unlikely as it seems, is so helpful in providing Dallas more room that it must be explored ... because it can result in money for a center ... and maybe a way to get two of them.

DONUT 3: Brandan Wright checks in with ...

I visited with Brandan Wright last night and he shares that he's "just sitting tight and waiting,'' confident, I think, that he and the Mavs are close to being settled on a two-year deal nearing $4M per.

Why is he 'sitting tight'?

Because he will have to be signed using Early Bird rights (giving permission for the Mavs to exceed the cap and offer him a deal up to about $5.5M) ... and therefore he will have to be signed after the Mavs have otherwise used up their cap room.

He says he'll check back in with when he knows more. Meanwhile, there is other business to be done ... and B-Wright sits tight.

DONUT 4: Follow the Mavs on Twitter ...

Follow the Mavs on Twitter: Mike Fisher, David Lord and Michael Dugat keep you up-to-the-minute informed on all things Mavs!

DONUT 5: Greg Oden zips through DFW ...
Faithful reader 'Falcon99' snaps the photo of Greg Oden at DFW Airport on Monday. Coming to Dallas to see the sites? Coming through Dallas on his way for that Monday night meeting in Vegas with Mavs officials?

Either way, Oden was here. And in exclusive breakdown of Dallas' dollars, we tell you how the Mavs can keep him here.

By the way: We keep seeing published reports suggesting a variety of teams "will bid $3M a year'' and the like. The Pelicans are supposedly one of those teams. But David Lord's research suggests New Orleans is presently capped out and has only a two-year, minimum salary deal to offer Oden. For now, at least.

The Pelicans been working this summer as an under-cap team, and have filled up their $58.5M and have also spent their Room-MLE. Oden can't be acquired via S&T, so that avenue is closed as well. So they would have to make a trade to send away salary, with nothing coming back, to open up room for a "substantially more" Oden contract.

D-Lord notes there are ways to do that. They have, for instance, been shopping Gordon, hoping to find a taker for his big contract. If they were able to move him, with the other team perhaps absorbing some of the salary in the process rather than sending back dollar-for-dollar, they could free some room for Oden.

But there don't seem to be many snap-fingers ways for other teams to offer Oden big money. Other clubs are scrambling, just as the Mavs are.

DONUT 6: Party time! ...

A tip of the cap of appreciation to Frisco Party Station, your neighborhood headquarters for all your party needs ... everything! All the neighborhood schools represented -- college and even high school! -- and the party is on!

DONUT 7: Larkin's surgery ...

Here's the word from the Mavs on rookie Shane Larkin's ankle surgery, expected to keep him out for three months.

DONUT 8: Najera to Milwaukee? ...

Eduardo Najera, who in his role in charge of the Texas Legends is the first Mexican-born head coach of an NBA-affiliated team, might be moving back to the big leagues as an assistant coach. Najera tells that he's visited with new Milwaukee coach Larry Drew about joining the Bucks as an assistant coach.

"I do know Larry Drew, but we've just had conversation so far,'' Najera says.

Najera's NBA career began with the Dallas Mavericks in 2000, after he became the first Mexican-born player to be drafted in NBA history. He played 12 seasons in the NBA, five of those in a Mavs uniform. His scrappy style of play made him a fan favorite as in his first four NBA seasons he averaged 17.4 minutes and as a rookie helped Dallas return to the playoffs after a decade-long draught.

We may know more on this later this week.

DONUT 9: The Buck Stops, And ....

We know where the buck stops. That's with Mark Cuban, and that's a good thing. But along with the buck stopping, should "Plan Powder'' stop, too? Our examination.

DONUT 10: Thanks to Red Rock! ...

Our North Dallas hangout for sports and live music? It's Red Rock Bar & Grill! They help make what it is ... thanks, guys!

DONUT 11: More than meets the eye ... reported exclusively this week that the deadline to either guarantee Bernard James' deal or let him walk was dealt with by the Mavs ... one way or the other. Suddenly, as the Mavs shop for centers and evaluate their pieces, Sarge is unavailable for Summer League play.

Coincidence? I think not.

DONUT 12: Jose and $8,430 ...

Lacking exact numbers, we had been estimating Jose Calderon's salary. We now have the actual number for this season, and it's a hair under the $6.8M we've used as a rounded-up estimate.

His first year salary is actually $6,791,570, which adds $8,430 to the Mavs cap room from what we had been using. The running Mavs cap thread - a terrific resource for Mavs Insiders -- has been updated with the new results, and it now has the exact cap status for the Mavs with the league at this point.
Every penny of that $8,430 counts, of course, as the Mavs try to squeeze bodies onto the roster. Meanwhile, we're more attracted than ever to Calderon's contract. Didn't he make $10M last year? Doesn't that make $6,791,570 all that more palatable?

DONUT 13: The Final Word ...

This isn't a Johnny Manziel issue specifically any more than it's a Lindsay Lohan issue specifically.

Because really, it's not about the 20-year-old star who goes from being bratty and out of control to dangerously out of control. It's about the person who is supposed to be in control of 20-year-olds.

Im not anti-Manziel. I'm not a fan of "my cellphone was off'' or "I overslept'' or "Hey, I haven't really committed any crimes,'' all part of Johnny Football's presentation today at the SEC media gathering. But the announcement from the father of the Texas A&M quarterback that characterizes the young man as "dehydrated'' comes straight from the Hollywood playbook, and I'm opposed to that.

In short -- and this is about your 20-year-old and my 20-year-old, about NBA players and NCAA athletes and about young men and women, not just the Heisman Trophy winners and the Golden Globe wannabe's -- I'm against excuse-making for children because that leads to them growing into irresponsible adults.

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