Mavs (National Donut Day) Donuts
The Dallas Mavericks are trying to get back to the point where they are playing meaningful games in June. Their core philosophy toward doing so: Assemble proven-as-great players via Summer Shopping.
They have always chased this dream by starting at the very top of the totem pole and then working their way down. We chronicle that chase every year while also hearing the lament of Mavs followers who cry, "But Dallas never signs the big-fish free agent!''
And it is true (if you foolishly discount the retention of Dirk Nowitzki). It's also worth noting that they lure their Summer Shopping prizes in other ways (last summer they traded for Tyson Chandler; what difference did it make how they acquired him as long as they did so at the right cost?) and that they lure next-level standouts with remarkable frequency (Monta and Parsons in each of the last two summers).
But wait ... since the installation of the 2011 CBA, a time during which Dallas' failure to acquire Deron, then Dwight, then LeBron are widely noted ... did all the other teams lure big-fish free agents?
Did the Lakers? Did the Celtics? Did the Bulls? Did the Heat? Did the Spurs? Did anybody?
Help me out here if I'm missing somebody but ... Dwight leaving LA for Houston. And LeBron leaving Miami to go home. That's it, right? So Dallas' "failure'' essentially matches the NBA standard (unless you want to credit the Mavs for being bridesmaids on Deron, Dwight and LeBron, which none of us are in the mood to do.)
We can still question the strategy of prioritizing a pipedream and its Mavs residual, which is a de-emphasis on the draft but at least some perspective on "Dallas' failure'' adds to the understanding.
Having said all of that ...
Here we go again, with the incomparable David Lord breaking down, with every detail and to the last dollar, how Dallas can pursue both LaMarcus Aldridge AND DeAndre Jordan. This is not a "prediction.'' As Premium Mavs Fans know, it is simply the most informed piece you will read regarding that "top of the totem pole'' ... complete with D-Lord's thoughts on whether there is wisdom in such a pursuit.
After 16 years of doing this, I am well-aware of the Mavs fans who are somehow irritated by such examinations. And I respond to that as I have for 16 years: Would you rather know the options available to the Mavs? Or would you rather those options not be examined, explained and then either pursued or rejected?
There are a whole bunch of "solutions'' that come out of D-Lord's piece. One above-the-fold thought: If Jordan and/or Aldridge are interested in taking advantage of the soon-to-be-bloated salary cap, and are willing to roll the dice on shorter-term deals (rather than the traditional four-years-with-new-team vs. five-years-with-present-employer) ...
A big fish can make a big score here.
A different approach to getting the players more than $80M would be to pursue a series of contracts that span four years, rather than a single deal signed in 2015. By taking advantage of the rising cap coming from the NBA’s new TV deal, in that manner the Mavs can pay far more over the next four years than the net of $77-79 mil available from the old teams over the same time span in a single deal.
Starting with a split-the-cap concept, the route to the biggest contract possible would be a one-year deal this summer (with a player option for a second year), followed by the same contract structure in the summer of 2016, and then a deal in the summer of 2017 using Early Bird rights. It would look something like this:
On one level, this would be a huge win-win for both the Mavs and the player(s). It would solve the shortage in cap room for the Mavs in being able to get both Jordan and Aldridge, as both players would fit in the $30M-ish of available cap room. And it also rewards the player with a huge upside, exceeding the $80 mil offer needed by 20-25 percent!
But there are some negatives that come with this idea. For the Mavs, it would certainly be preferable to sign each player on a four-year deal where he is being paid at 2015 levels for four years, rather than pay at the higher rates to come. And let’s understand that this ability to offer more money in this fashion is not exclusive to the Mavs, if the player wanted to try to pursue this elsewhere.
But the biggest downside to this for both team and player is that the extra reward adds risk.
While both sides can set out on that multiple-contract path in 2015, neither can get a commitment in writing from the other for the two future deals. The Mavs could decide they don’t want the player later, or the player could decide he’d rather leave before the four years are done. In addition, the CBA is virtually certain to be revised in 2017, leaving the door open for some sort of different contractual world at that point and perhaps making that last contract less desirable or maybe even impossible.
Would the extra upside for both player and team be worth the added risk? That’s one that only they can weigh. But this does solve the money and cap room issue, so we see this idea as a "Maybe so.” ... and it fits under the category of a "concept'' rather than a "prediction.'' Because as I often say, the movement of a big-fish free agent to a new team is a "One-Percent Chance.'' ... And it's pretty much established that Dallas is committed to taking that chance as a path back to glory.
We're going player-by-player here, with Barea and Aminu among the Mavs already under our belts. Go here to find the archived "Player-by-Player Seasons in Review for all the Mavs players.
Intriguing for 48 minutes, including LeBron and Iman Shumpert getting last-second cracks at the Game 1 regulation upset. And then OT in Oakland, and the Cavs suddenly looked tired, managed just one meaningless late bucket, and kinda got blown out, 108-100.
Shumpert almost changed all that in the final tick of the 48 ...
And it's not like LeBron didn't do his thing. But he did it mostly alone, with tons of iso's, and he scored 44, a Finals career-high. But especially with the gutsy Kyrie Irving limping about (and ultimately exiting with a bum knee in overtime) it was on James to almost literally score every time down the floor, or else.
The Cavs now live with the "what-if'' and the "or-else.''
I reported back on May 28 that while Chandler Parsons is "devastated'' due to missing the playoffs with a right knee injury that required surgery, we should "tap the brakes'' on assuming that this is career-threatening or even career-altering in its seriousness. I got chided for doing so ... but I'm not budging here.
The Mavs have been very careful to reveal very little about the nature of the procedure, and while there had been a great deal of speculation ... I'm simply not going to pretend to know something I do not know.
I know that Parsons is canoodling in New York with his new girlfriend, a model who used to date Leo DiCaprio. I know that Parsons is doing his canoodling without the assistance of crutches. And I know that while I wish the Mavs were more forthcoming regarding the nature of the surgery, my desire to know isn't going to push me into pretending to know.
So ... tap the brakes. Still.
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I don't know if this is part of a trend but it seems smart and slick: Big-shot agent Arn Tellem is switching sides, moving from repping some of the biggest names in the game to being part of the management team of the Detroit Pistons. Sounds like a muscular right hand to Stan Van Gundy as they try to get that thing fixed.
With the support of a Dallas Mavericks organization that understands the big-picture ramifications here, Dirk Nowitzki is signing on for one final shot at representing the German National Team in international play, this time in EuroBasket 2015, scheduled to be held in his native country.
“I’ve chosen to be in Berlin,” Nowitzki said Thursday at a press conference held by the German Basketball Federation. “I’ve had the whole month of May and used it to gain some distance and enjoy family time ... EuroBasket in our home country is a huge thing, and I look forward to it. I thought it would be a great way to conclude my National Team career.”
Success in EuroBasket can mean an Olympic berth for Germany. Nowitzki last played for the German squad in EuroBasket 2011. The attraction to playing at home is a major factor here.
“If it was anywhere else, at the age of 37 (in June), it probably would have been a no-go for me,” Nowitzki said. “But when I heard that EuroBasket would be played in Berlin, a great basketball city, it was something I'd dreamed about.''
Dirk joked that it was "lucky'' for Germany that the Mavs "lost so early.'' Meanwhile, the Mavs -- even as owner Mark Cuban has long been skeptical of the risks of international play -- have expressed their support of the idea in this case.
“The people that are involved there, if he decides to do it, will understand all the nuances of that and we’ll keep a close eye on it,'' Dallas coach Rick Carlisle said at season's end. "I’ve been to Germany enough times to understand the national feeling with respect to their team and, of course, his importance. Not just on a national basis, but a global basis.”
Fire the rest of 'em!
The official trailer for Dirk's movie, "The Perfect Shot''...
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