Mavs Rank: Tyson And The Center Targets

Among the Mavs' offseason focal points: Returning to a time when they employed a top-notch two-headed center - with Dalembert as the second head. We've gone inside Mavs HQ to collect thoughts on Monroe, Gortat, Gasol, Hawes, Sanders and - most interestingly - old friend Tyson Chandler. Premium stuff inside:

"Ranking'' the Dallas Mavericks' offseason center targets is tricky on two fronts.

One, most lists include only free agents, and that's a far too linear way of thinking - for us, certainly, and from our discussions with sources, for the Mavs, too.

And two, any "ranking'' must include the price. I "rank'' a Ferrari as my top Christmas wish, but Marcia doesn't seem to have the resources to quite pull off that trade.

So, with that in mind, and with information gathered from inside Mavs HQ, a non-linear but realistic look at Dallas' offseason targets at center:

Greg Monroe, Detroit. The feeling from people close to that situation is that prior to Stan Van Gundy going to Detroit, Monroe ($4,086,453 salary last year) might leave the Pistons. But SVG has a great deal of stroke with players and his presence figures to change Monroe's position.
The Mavs think very highly of the 6-11 Monroe (15.2 ppg, 9.3 rpg) and believe there is even more untapped potential there. But will they will explore a bid on the restricted FA, they won't waste much time here after they confirm their belief that the Pistons will do what it takes to retain him.

Marcin Gortat, Washington. The Mavs' affection for the 6-11 Gortat is long-standing. You will recall their bid on him as a restricted free agent in Orlando -- complete with coach Rick Carlisle camping on his doorstep -- before the Magic surprisingly decided to retain him as a high-priced backup. His level of play in Washington (13.2 ppg, 9.5 rpg) confirms what the Mavs projected for him; but it also means the Wizards are more likely to keep their gang together – at least that is what Mavericks officials believe.
Gortat ($7,727,280 last year) is in for a big payday with the Wiz.

Anderson Varejao, Cleveland. He's not a free agent. (Though the Cavs could trade him or consider cutting him from his $9.7 million salary to save $5.7 mil.)

So wouldn't he make sense as a high-energy trade target to complement Dalembert? We are surprised to learn that this name isn't discussed inside Mavs HQ with near the frequency it's bounced around here at

Omer Asik, Rockets. Dallas' view here is unchanged from deadline time. The Mavs are not scared off by the money but in a deal with Houston, the Mavs want to "win the trade.''

Worth noting: If Houston is able to secure the services of a "big fish'' again this summer, some salary-dumping might be in order. Dallas as a dumping ground for Asik is viable.
Pau Gasol, Lakers. The Mavs do not believe that Gasol is a match financially or a mesh with Dirk on the floor. Too much redundancy, two little defense, no likely marriage here.

Larry Sanders, Bucks. "The jury is still out.''

That's what somebody in the know tells us regarding Dallas' feelings for the mercurial talent. Dallas has not yet cemented a new view on Sanders, who represents a huge risk if acquired. The Mavs believe they have the sort of strong locker room that can guide the troubled Sanders in the right direction when it comes to practice and games. And they absolutely love his unique talents and body type. But they themselves question whether or not that aforementioned strong locker room has a carryover effect to Sanders when he exits the locker room and hits the nightclub.

Read more here to learn why the Mavs front office jury is still out here.
Spencer Hawes, Cavs. He's unrestricted. He probably doesn't love Cleveland after being shipped there by Philly. He's 7-1 and has the stats (13.2 ppg, 8.3 rpg) to suggest he can do some two-way things. Hawes is coming off a season in which he made $6,500,000 so maybe bidding on him doesn't break the bank.

But here's the biggest Hawes issue of all (and I'd forgotten had found this out until researching this story): The Mavs talked to Philly about Hawes at the trade deadline.

At that time, Philly demanded two No. 1 picks. Dallas had zero No. 1 picks to offer. End of discussion.

Time for a new discussion.

Tyson Chandler, New York. Bingo. This is where the list becomes truly compelling.
If NY is of the mind to dump TY, the Mavs are all-in on reacquiring their title-season big man. He fits in every way -- except that he is scheduled to make $14.6 million in 2014-15 -- the final year of his contract. ... that same figure that caused the Mavs to let him go in the first place.

This would be a feel-good thing but that would be the wrong reason for Dallas to trade for Chandler.

Dallas might hope that Carmelo Anthony leaves the Knicks, which would propel NYK into re-build mode -- and could cause them to sell off assets in pursuit of 2015 cap room. Could you really get Chandler in exchange for a couple of kids and a pick? Could you do so even if 'Melo stays in New York?

The Mavs tell us they really aren't aware of what New York plans to do here. But we can tell you that depending on what New York does, we know what Dallas plans to do.

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