Mavs Donuts: Why'd Celts & Grizz Dump Melo?

Why did Boston get rid of Dallas-bound center Fab Melo? Why did Memphis trade Greene for Melo, only to waive Melo? Apparently, both did it for a little bit of cash, and nothing more. And because the savings is so minor, don't we also understand that they are saying those two organizations are saying Melo stinks? The breakdown in Donuts ...

DONUT 1: Cash is king ...

Why did Boston get rid of Melo? Why did Memphis trade Greene for Melo, only to waive Melo? Apparently both did it for a little bit of cash, and nothing more. And because the savings was so minor, don't we also understand that they are saying he stinks as a player?

DONUT 2: Where the Mavs stand ...

By now you are probably aware of the Dallas Mavericks' position in all this: The interest in center Fab Melo extends all the way to last June, when he visited the AAC. Besides, it's "camp-bodies'' time, so Melo signs up along with D.J. Kennedy and Mickey McConnell to expand the current roster. (See the details on the adds here.)

But to understand what Dallas is getting in Fab Melo, we must better understand what Boston and Memphis decided they WEREN'T getting.

DONUT 3: Our reading of the Celtics ...
The Celtics were going to be a taxpayer, at about $800,000 over the tax line. This meant that Melo's $1.3 mil salary was going to cost them about $2.5 mil ($1.3 mil salary plus $1.2 mil tax). So they effectively erased his salary by trading him (along with $1.6 mil in cash) for Donta Greene's non-guaranteed $1 mil contract, which they presumably will waive. (As of now, Greene hasn't yet been waived, and Boston can wait until very early January to do so and still end up tax-free. The Celtics' reason to keep him longer would be to have him as trade filler, especially in the after-Dec. 15 window, or perhaps to try to trade him for a second-rounder to someone (possible but unlikely).

The Boston gain? About $900,000 in cash, plus a chance to sidestep a tax year. (They already have two years accumulated as taxpayers towards the repeater tax.)

DONUT 4: Now to Memphis ...

Prior to acquiring Melo, Memphis had 16 guys under contract, but three of those were fully non-guaranteed, including Donta Greene. They traded Greene to Boston, and took Melo and his $1.3 mil guaranteed deal plus $1.6 mil in cash. Then they waived Melo in a pre-Sept. 1 move, allowing them to stretch his salary.

Both before and after the deal, Memphis was/is more than $1 mil under the tax line, so tax wasn't a factor to them in these moves.

From a total cost basis, Memphis received $1.6 mil in cash, and then waived Melo at $1.3 mil, so they gained $300,000 in the deal. From a cash-flow basis, by stretching the waiver, they came out ahead by about $1.2 mil this season.

They could have kept Melo ($1.3 mil) and instead waived former D-leaguers Akognon or Reed (both non-guaranteed and making about $800,000 each), or Calathes (making $500,000 guaranteed). By their actions, it appears Melo is the one they liked the least as a player.

DONUT 5: The Fab Melo Bottom Line ...

What do our above calculations tell us?

*As Memphis is in no tax danger, it tells us that the Grizzlies see Melo as having almost no value. They'd rather have D-Leaguers.

*Perhaps it also tells us that even billionaire owners regard a few hundred thousand as real money worth saving.

*The conspiracy theorist would postulate that maybe Memphis is in dire straits financially.

*The Mavs need camp bodies, see no downside to chasing a project center who might end up as Frisco fodder, and recognize that a 23-year-old 7-footer with just seven years of basketball experience is worth a shot ...

Just as Boston and Memphis once thought, however briefly.

Know that Melo and all these guys (bringing the roster up to 18) are getting non-guaranteed contract, with the Mavs expectation (understood by the players and/or agents) that they are camp bodies. Likely future for Melo: He will be waived in training camp, and ultimately headed to a contract with Frisco (not Dallas) for the year.

Under D-League rules, the Legends get priority on any player who is first signed by the Mavs and then cut. Without these signings, the Legends would have to try to select these players in the D-League draft, and hope for the best on draft day.

So, Melo as a Mav? Not exactly because it's not for long. Melo in Frisco? Given the organization's desire to explore big men and Melo's need for basketball maturation, there's your match.

DONUT 6: Follow the Mavs on Twitter ...
Follow the Mavs on Twitter: Mike Fisher, Chuck Perry , David Lord and Michael Dugat keep you up-to-the-minute informed on all things Mavs!

DONUT 7: Purple Prose ...

You come to Michael Dugat for the purple prose. You stay for the Mavs factoids Easter-egged into his Stream-of-Consciousness Donuts.

DONUT 8: 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 9: Educate us, please ...

Lamar Odom spent $50,000 on drugs over the past three years, according to a man claiming to be his drug dealer.

It's a challenge to keep up with all the Odom-hits-rock-bottom tales making the rounds right now, and it leaves me with a pair of questions.

One, neither of us are exactly what you would call "drug guys.'' But $50,000 in three days? Isn't that, like, a year's worth for a normal cat?

And two, do we recognize that when we're trying to compile evidence regarding Odom's behavior that we're having to take the word of the sort of person who sells $50,000 worth of crack in three days to an addict?

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 brainpower ...

The Mavericks have lured away former Washington Wizards scout Mike Wilson, says Yahoo, with Wilson working in Dallas in a player-personnel position.

Wilson has served as Washington's head of college scouting for the past nine seasons, is a Pittsburgh guy (like Mark Cuban), has lived in Austin (a Texas guy!) and has scouting experience with the Nuggets to go with 13 years of college coaching experience.

Consider this a "refreshing'' of the Mavs braintrust, which now also includes new general manager Gersson Rosas (read all about him here) and new assistant Kaleb Canales (our first anecdote about his fit is here).
DONUT 12: The Final Word ...

We find ourselves in sports debates and once in awhile someone will attempt to bolster their argument by starting a sentence saying, "But Skip Bayless said ...''

Respectfully, people who watch "First Take'' for Mavs and Cowboys insight probably watch "16 and Pregnant'' for parenting tips.

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