Tuesday Mavs Donuts: 1 Bunny & 30K Points

Tuesday Morning Mavs Donuts: Devin apparently just got hitched! To a Playboy Bunny! ... Dirk's retirement? No, not if he wants 30,000 points -- and he does ... Our Mavs Self-Scouting Report on rookie Ricky Ledo ... Some great news on Shane Larkin ... Carlisle lays out the 'make-the-best-of-it' plan in backing up Dalembert ... Donuts!




DONUT 1: Wedded Devin ...

It's always a bittersweet feeling to see one of our own grow up and leave the nest. That's true of members of the family ... and members of the Dallas Mavericks. And look who's all growed up!

Devin apparently just got hitched! To a Playboy Bunny!
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OK, forget the "bitter.'' That's just plain pretty sweet. Congrats to Meghan Allen and our man Devin!

DONUT 2: Our exclusive Scouting Reports ...

DallasBasketball.com has put the finishing touches on our exclusive Player-by-Player Scouting Reports -- projections and plans and upsides and pitfalls -- constructed with guidance from president Donnie Nelson, coach Rick Carlisle and elsewhere inside the Dallas Mavericks personnel department itself. It's 15 Mavs and 15 reports – Premium-grade information from inside the AAC. It's ready for Premium Mavs fans just in time for the start of the regular season. Here, a taste of what is included, featuring Ricky Ledo:

RICKY LEDO

Mavs scouting view: On paper, according to all the measurables, Ledo is a stud. Start with the fact that he's very long and he's physically strong. Add the fact that he thinks like a scorer but is also very confident about his ballhandling. Now add in a level of confidence that will be almost absolutely necessary to hold fast if he's to make the NBA leap to rotation player and ... well, on paper, he's a stud.

Projected role: This is a long, long-term project. The work will almost certainly begin in Frisco, where he must take the next step from a guy who in Las Vegas Summer League just looked like a gunner.

Upside: Before we envision him as a 6-6 point guard -- which is among the ways Ledo envisions himself, with visions of T-Mac and Penny dancing in his head -- we need to envision him as a wing with a solid BBIQ. He was a blue-chip high-school player, was recruited to a big program at Providence, and based purely on his skill set, was certainly a Round 1 talent. The Mavs think it's realistic to work towards having a kid who has been blue-chip at every level to someday do the same at this level.

Pitfall: Everyone involved downplays the off-the-court questions that naturally arise for a kid who missed his entire freshman season at Providence for academic reasons -- all that after having played at four high schools in four years. Ledo very calmly and patiently has explained the circumstances of those moves to us (and to anyone else who asks). But this is undeniable: The path he's taken has robbed him of having the finest coaching and maybe the best guidance in maturing in general.
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Contract: DB.com's David Lord was the first to report on the cleverly constructed contract here: A four-year deal with base salaries of $544,000, $816,482,$947,276 and $1,015,696, with the last two seasons non-guaranteed.

Quotable: "This isn't going to happen overnight. But we really like him as a prospect.'' Mavs coach Rick Carlisle.

Folks, we're launching our 14th year of Mavs coverage and as we continue to strive for your approval (and your dime a day!) we are so proud to be on this ride with you.

DONUT 3: Dirk for 30K ...

The newspapers say Dirk doesn't care about stats, blahblahblah. What The UberMan says in more private moments? He wants 30,000 points.

The desire is important if you do the math. Because it means Nowitzki ain't going away anytime soon.

DONUT 4: 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 5: 'The One-Year Experiment.' ...

You've seen the quote from Mark Cuban on last year's front-office philosophy:

"Last year was 'The One-Year Experiment.' We were trying to buy time, so that we could go out and make errors in judgment in free-agency, and that's what we did, and I thought we got good bargains, and we got good players for what we were doing. O.J. fell into our lap, Kaman fell into our lap, so we were really happy about that. But we made longer term commitment to these guys, because we think they're better."

A few things of note here: Cuban is officially conceding 'The One-Year Contracts Experiment' didn't work. He is also admitting that 2012-13 was a "buy-time'' season.

So the biggie conclusion: "Plan Powder,'' in that old form, will never be revisited. Oh, there will still be "buy-time'' seasons. This year might qualify. Oh, and creating and keeping cap room is still a desire. (Heck, next summer Dallas has Dirk, Vince and Trix going free, meaning there is only about $30 mil committed; that's dry.

But the death of 'The One-Year Contracts Experiment' means Dallas will go forward trying to "wait'' and "build'' simultaneously.

DONUT 6: The smartest money guys in DFW ...
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I'm not what you would call "wealthy.'' I'm just a broken-down ol' sportswriter with a desire to create a more financial future for my family. Let me please introduce you to Woody Levinson and Bill Saplicki at LS Wealth Strategies! Because they're Mavs season-ticket types, I like 'em. But because they've taken such a keen interest in using their skills to help my family handle our finances, our investments and our future, we love 'em! Give them a click or a call at LS Wealth Strategies! and tell them The Fish sent you!

DONUT 7: Trix' sugar ...

Hey, Trix, is it the Mavs' approach that every year should be/could be a title year? Should every team think that way?

"I can't sit here and say what's what,'' Shawn Marion answered. "You know, you don't know if you're a contender until you actually make the postseason. A lot of teams that look good on paper, but once they get into the season it goes from sugar to sh--, so it's just a matter of going out there and getting it done. We've still got to get it done.

"At the end of the day everybody feels like they can win a championship. But who really can, though?"

DONUT 8: Larkin injury update ...

He was running. Shooting. Jumping. Dunking.

Rookie point guard Shane Larkin is getting "antsy,'' he says, to practice fully with the team, something he wasn't quite able to do on Monday. But he did participate in some of the workout after spending the summer rehabbing from ankle surgery.

I'm told the Mavs are examining the idea of Larkin being a full participant later this week. DB.com will be at today's practice and will provide a full update.

DONUT 9 Wright's not yet right ...

Rick Carlisle has a policy, and it's a common one in sports.

we're only going to be talking about the guys who are available,'' he said to the media-at-large in regard to Brandan Wright.

But we gave Rick a nudge. This isn't just about some psychological out-of-sight/out-of-mind games teams require themselves to play when a guy is hurt, as is the case with Wright and his non-displaced left-shoulder fracture. This is about planning without him, and planning for how long.

"Somehow we'll find a way to hold the fort,'' Carlisle tells DB.com. "If you are asking about him for Wednesday (and the season-opener against the visiting Hawks), I'd say the next day to talk about it will be Friday.''

DONUT 10: Some 'Translating Rick' ...

OK, how about another nudge? In regard to the plan?

We did so, and feel comfortable paraphrasing the coach: Until then, they'll try to stay out of foul trouble. They maybe go small. And they take what they have to make an advantage of and they make an advantage of it.

*Stay out of foul trouble? That a directive to starting center Samuel Dalembert. Dallas saw DeJuan Blair's work in the final preseason game against Indy's Roy Hibbert and ... that didn't work.

*Go small? Rick said the other day he "categorically'' dislikes the idea. Blair is 6-6. That's small. I don't think that's what and who he means. "Small'' at center in Dallas has long meant Dirk getting some minutes there. It is, of course, an extremely viable option on one end of the floor.
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*Make an advantage of something? Dallas can try to find some strength in numbers. What if for the short term Dalembert can play safe and effectively for almost 30 minutes, and Dirk can eat up a few as an offensive center, and Blair can muscle his way to a few minutes of effectiveness against an opposing backup, and second-year man Bernard James can simulate Dalembert as a rim protector when needed?

Might that hold down the fort?

DONUT 11: Racine heroes ...

Abdul Jeelani, who scored the first points in Mavs history, has been inducted into the Racine, (Wisconsin) County Sports Hall of Fame. Jeelani will need to make room for a couple of other DFW-connected guys in the future; that's also the home base for Caron Butler and Tony Romo.

DONUT 12: The Final Word ...

Chris Bosh tells ESPN that he knows the Bulls want to ruin Miami's opening ceremony tonight -- featuring their championship celebration -- just like the Heat did in Dallas to begin the 2011-12 season.

"We wanted to defecate on their night & we know (the Bulls) want to do that to us,'' Bosh says.

Stay classy, Miami.

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