Mavs Donuts: Jack, Asik Next On List?

On the Mavs' wish list with a bullet: Point guards Jose, Mo and Jack. Dallas - with no visions of a lineup being quarterbacked by rookies or Israeli MVPs – is moving past the Bledsoe chase and has touched base with all three PGs. Those players, a Mayo-to-Milwaukee deal, and ‘Reverse-Tanking' – in Donuts:

DONUT 1: No Bledsoe With Eric Bledsoe being traded elsewhere by the Clippers (along with the $8 mil baggage of Caron Butler that Dallas wouldn't stomach), the Mavs move away from the clever plan to get him, keep that same blueprint in mind for ensuing talks, and also turn their attention to the PG chase via more conventional means.

DONUT 2: Jose Calderon We believe free agent Jose Calderon – long on the Dallas Mavericks' wish list – is a top target in this group. Calderon is a BBIQ playmaker with a career average of nine assists per 36 minutes and a 4.2:1 assist-to-turnover ratio.
He's a shooter rather than a scorer. He's a lousy defender. And he will turn 32 in September, making him nine years older than Bledsoe.

Calderon is accustomed to getting paid in this league. He's coming off a five-year, $45 mil contract and last year earned $10,561,983. Within the parameters of Dallas' plans … that sort of money is a huge problem. Can Dallas have discussions with Calderon that put him in the $7-mil range? That's the idea, but another problem:

The Kings have already visited with him. The Hawks, Rockets and Knicks are interested, and of course the Pistons might want to bring him back.

On the surface, it seems there is too much competition for him. Too much money for him. We shall see … and we shall see if "economic philosophy'' gets in the way, too, as we will discuss below.

Calderon remains in play after turning down a Kings offer.

It is being suggested Calderon doesn't want to play for a full-rebuilding-mode team. Maybe that x's out a return to Detroit. Maybe he wants more than he's being offered (and more than Dallas can offer.) But as the Kings turn elsewhere by agreeing to a three-way trade with the Pelicans and Trail Blazers with Greivis Vasquez as Sacramento's new point guard, Robin Lopez going to Portland and Tyreke Evans being signed-and-dealt to New Orleans, Calderon is still in play.

DONUT 3: Mo Williams Mo Williams' connections with Dallas already run deep. He lives in DFW in the offseason and runs a basketball academy here, too.

Williams is a 10-year veteran who has started 478 of the 635 NBA games he's played, has been an All-Star and was LeBron's caddie on a Cavs' ECF team. He's a starter and a fit. ... except for the financial part, which as of this writing is unknown.

Can Dallas get a semi-hometown discount here?

DONUT 4: Jarrett Jack Jarrett Jack increased his profile with the Warriors' preseason run, and Golden State maintains his Bird rights. Reports in Oakland have him "unwilling to go below $7 million a year'' may be the most encouraging news of all among this group of players as it seems to be an admission that somebody in this group might get pinched by the market.

DONUT 5: Monta in play? The previous three guys have something in common: The Mavs' perception (hope?) that they will be affordable. We address Dallas' thoughts on Ellis in that regard here.

An important application to the above names and more: If Dallas does secure the services of Dwight, it makes the idea of a point guard taking a little less to play here somewhat more feasible.

DONUT 6: When everybody else is selling … Buy?

That's how it works in the world of finance, and our David Lord has an interesting theory on how it can work for the Mavs.

As free agency began and while considering what the Mavs should do this summer, we proposed the unpopular idea that they should considering tanking the season if they miss out on Dwight Howard. We're not completely done with that notion, especially now that Dwight's decision has gone in a non-Dallas direction.

Meanwhile, we wonder: Has the lust for the 2014 draft gotten so popular that there's an opening for the Mavs elsewhere?

DONUT 7: A non-tank advantage… In figuring out where the Mavs are likely to look next without Dwight Howard, we've noticed something flying under the radar that may make it unexpectedly easier for the Mavs to add talent. It's based on the truth that if you're looking for veteran talent, it's a lot easier when many teams are eager to get rid of it.

That may be the case this summer, to a degree we don't yet realize. Why? Because the list of teams that decide to tank to get a shot at a superstar in the 2014 draft may be a long one.
To us, the option was obvious that if the Mavs don't land Howard, they should consider moving Dirk in trade for a season and be really bad. That was certainly an unpopular opinion with both the Mavs and their fans alike. But if we can see something so obviously enticing, so can GMs who do this for a living.

As it turns out, the sentiment exists in the same fashion among many GMs, those who don't have to wrestle with the thorny obstacle of whether to trade Dirk or not.

So that creates a great window of opportunity, if you are willing to go the other direction. Pick up veteran talent that isn't wanted, either by trade or because a lot of teams have no need for older guys in free agency when their plans are to start building around a young star in 2014.

Our Michael Dugat was the first to suggest the puzzle piece of Omer Asik from Houston as the Rockets shifted about to make Dwight room. Asik and Jarrett Jack, is we suppose, a Plan B of sorts.

DONUT 8: Chad Ford talk… Here are some tweet-notes from Chad Ford that expresses some of the thinking:

*We know Suns, Bobcats, Sixers, Celtics & Magic will be REALLY bad. Sources say add Hawks to list. If they don't get DH12, likely to tank
*Interest in 2014 draft class is unprecedented. We're going to have a lot of REALLY bad teams this year. #tank-a-polooza
*I think we may all be UNDERESTIMATING number of teams considering tanking this year. Been flooded with calls from GMs re 2014 draft class

*And then we pop in on Twitter, asking Ford, "Which Mavs exec has called you?

When everybody else is buying, sell. When everybody else is selling, buy.

DONUT 9: Or, put another way … "I'm a big believer that in business and in politics, when everyone is doing the same thing, none are probably as effective or successful as they could be. Typically it's not prudent for people within those industries, parties, or organizations to stand up and challenge the incumbents. It is usually a formula for losing a job, customer, or endorsement. My businesses are usually built around challenging conventional wisdom, so I tend to gain by taking the other side. It's been very profitable and entertaining for me."

That's Mark Cuban talking.

DONUT 10: More Cuban talk: ‘It was fun' … Our coverage of Dallas' three-hour meeting with Dwight, complete with Video of the Mavs contingent's exit … oh, and here, an explanation for why Dwight might've tweeted about China. And one more: Casey at the meeting and Roland at the meeting and what does that mean?
By now we know: It wasn't as fun as it could've been.

DONUT 11: This is not an endorsement … Just a link to a conversation that suggests Dallas is interested in JR Smith. Have at it, y'all. ... and maybe take it as a reminder of the wide, wide net being cast (especially now that JR is back in NY.)

DONUT 12: The Final Word What the Mavs need to hope, of course, is that they are the "pinchers'' and not the "pinchees.'' We cannot imagine that the Dwight Howard pitch meeting on Tuesday included mention of the possibility of Shane Larkin or Gal Mekel starting at the point – or for that matter Mike James being brought back to do the same.

Worth noting: That Bledsoe plan – a sign-and-trade that would've sent out O.J. Mayo – could conceivably be applied in the pursuit of these PGs, too. What it takes, of course, is their present teams' desire to acquire somebody on the Dallas roster.

The Dallas Mavericks had the resources to get Dwight, as we know. They believe they'll have the resources to add a point guard, somehow. But they have their conviction to their economic beliefs. We may be about to find out, starting with Calderon talks and Mo talks and Jack talks, whether financial realities overcome economic beliefs.

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