Mavs Deadline-Day Donuts

DALLAS - The Mavs are juggling a lot of balls right now, with the trade deadline coming at 2 p.m., a Donnie Nelson presser at the AAC at 2:30, and the 7 p.m. unveiling at OKC of a team that figures to have Rajon Rondo and Tyson Chandler back from injury - but no Amare Stoudemire quite yet. Oh, and more 'shoes to drop,' maybe. Mavs Deadline Donuts:

DONUT 1: The Big Lead

The Dallas Mavericks are juggling a lot of balls right now, with the trade deadline coming at 2 p.m., a Donnie Nelson presser at the AAC at 2:30, and the 7 p.m. unveiling at OKC of a team that figures to have Rajon Rondo and Tyson Chandler back from injury ... but no Amare Stoudemire in uniform quite yet.

DONUT 2: No trade expected?

Donnie tells that Dallas does not expect to make a trade before the deadline. And we agree, given the trade cupboard's emptiness and the buyout plate's fullness.


But just in case? Our "Mavs Trade Central'' stacks up all the Mavs Premium scoop as it happens, and we have a trade base covered that involves Raymond Felton ... against, a just-in-case formula as we count down.

In that same section, we break news on Amare, on Kevin Martin, and yes, on a flip-flop on Larry Sanders ...

DONUT 3: Sanders calculations

Speaking of whom ...

We are well-aware of the problems with Larry Sanders. So are the Mavs. But where once they viewed him (from afar) as untouchable -- in large part because the Bucks erred in giving him that $44-mil deal -- now they are in examination mode.

Because he's given up the money to get out. And may be giving up basketball, too.

That could be a ploy, Sanders' representatives using Yahoo to get the word out that the drug-plagued potential star is so focused on getting his life in order that he's not even thinking about sports right now.

Finding that out will be part of Dallas' investigation, too.

DONUT 4: More calculations

And if the Mavs come to the conclusion that taking on a 6-11 center with star potential while somebody else is actually paying the price?

We say they lock this thing down thusly:

After a buyout, discuss with Sanders (and Mavs-friendly agent Happy Walters the idea of working for the minimum this season and next. Then, after having had a chance to restore his value, jump back into free agency in the summer of 2016.

That would allow another team, once he's bought out, to sign him to a two-year deal using the minimum salary exception.

Part of that thinking is rooted in the "right of set-off'' (where generally a player loses half of the new salary to pay back the old team). And if it's accurate that Sanders will be getting only 13 mil to get his release, and that makes us think we may be on the right track here.

A buyout can only change guarantees and set-off rights, so we say an agreement can be structured that looks something like this:

*2014-15: $3.5M (or, whatever is still owed) and 100% set-off of all beyond the minimum (he can get about 400K)
*2015-16: $9.5M-ish guaranteed and 100% set-off of all beyond the minimum (he can get about 1.1M)
*2016-17: $0 guaranteed and 0% set-off
*2017-18: $0 guaranteed and 0% set-off

The end result is that Sanders can sign that two-year minimum deal with Team X and come out whole for this season and next, and he has a chance to repair his reputation and then start over in 2016 when the new TV money hits NBA spending.

And even with all the risk involved, we can paint a picture that has the Mavs as Team X.

DONUT 5: Summer signing

Of course, the Mavs always have, top-of-mind, how to fit all these puzzle pieces together once it comes time for summer spending. Because of the cap issue of finding a way to pay all three of Ellis, TY, and Rondo in free agency this summer, the Mavs' ability to spend on others that they might add would be severely limited.


But a relatively talented player like Amare staying here for two more years (as Mavs sources tell is desired)? And another talented guy with measured level of risk, added at the minimum, for the rest of this season and all of the next? (Not Martin, who will want to get paid sooner rather than later, but Sanders?)

There we go, that fits just fine. It's called "Asset Management.''

DONUT 6: No Amare

Rick Carlisle said after Thursday shootaround that Amar'e Stoudemire won't play tonight or tomorrow against Houston. He will spend that time getting acclimated to the Mavs system. He is already enamored regarding the Mavs program, however.

“I’m excited to be a part of a first-class organization,” Stoudemire said. “To play alongside Dirk Nowitzki, Tyson Chandler and other great players, I think it’s a tremendous opportunity for me to compete for a championship.”

DONUT 7: Yes Rondo

Point guard Rajon Rondo is experimenting with protective goggles -- which Carlisle says he thinks look "cool.''

“Maybe he’ll wear them, maybe he won’t,” Rick said, noting that Rondo has been requesting "more contact'' in workouts to further the goggles/mask/nothing testing.

Rondo went through his first full practice Tuesday since sustaining that nasty orbital fracture to his left eye and a nasal fracture when he collided with teammate Richard Jefferson on Jan. 31 in Orlando.

DONUT 8: Quoteboard

"I think my goal this (All-Star) weekend was to have some fun, also mix in some rest, play a few minutes, keep a rhythm, get a lob. So everything that I wanted to do, I got accomplished.''-- Dirk Nowitzki.

DONUT 9: Apple Moving Move of the Day

Your Mavs Apple Moving DFW "Move Of The Day''?

It would, ideally, be a move up in the standings.


Dallas' privately-held goal coming into the year? A top-four seed. The shuffling-in of newcomers presents answers ... but also challenges. At 36-19 and with 27 games remaining, being the No. 5 seed is a start. But Dirk notes that those remaining 27 could represent trouble.

"The schedule we’ve got coming up the last 20-something games is a beast,’’ Dirk said. "We’ve got one of the toughest schedules remaining in the West. There’s not a lot of Eastern Conference teams left. It’s going to be all Western powerhouses night-in and night-out, so hopefully we can win our fair share of it and get some momentum going into the playoffs.’’

So there's their move - a hope for momentum. And yours? Call Apple Moving DFW, the very best in the business, when you need a mover. And tell 'em sent you!

DONUT 10: KG rumor

The Kevin Martin buyout idea is attractive to Dallas, for obvious reasons. But what if Minny can trade him instead?

That's even better for them.

But what if they trade him to Brooklyn in order for them to reacquire Kevin Garrett, as ESPN is reporting is possible?

What's the point for Minny? Nostalgia? Ticket sales? The appearance of being busy?

DONUT 11: The Maverick Bar

The Fish family will be hanging out tonight at The Maverick Bar. No big promotion, no dancing girls, no balloon-shaping clowns. Just watchin' the Mavs on the 200-inch screen and drinking a cold one.


Come by if you please and say howdy.

DONUT 12: The Final Word

"I thought I had a good shooting rhythm going into the Break ... I’ve just got to keep that going, keep looking for my shot if it’s there and hopefully be the efficient scorer I can be going towards the playoffs.’’ -- Dirk Nowitzki

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