The first domino: Kevin Durant is leaving OKC for the Golden State Warriors, a two-year, $54-mil monster move that loads down one end of the balance of power in the West.
The second domino: This means the Warriors will not match Dallas' four-year, $94-mil offer sheet on Harrison Barnes, so the 24-year-old starting Golden State forward will become a Mav sometime shortly after 11:01 p.m. on July 6. (If Golden State renounces now, as is being reported? Mavs can formalize agreement but must still wait until the end of the moratorium to get the signature.)
Barnes "is fired up!'' a source close to the situation tells DB.com, and he should be. He'll get the chance to be a featured player in replacing the departed Chandler Parsons (to Memphis). The Mavs flip-flopped on the value of these two in the last two weeks, but it's immaterial now as to Barnes on the floor, where in the Mavs' private view, the 6-8, 225-pound former lottery pick is a better defender (and can defend more positions) and more athletic than Parsons ... while Parsons is inarguably more of a threat with the ball, more skilled, more of a playmaker.
And one more thing that simply does not go away: Dallas remains concerned that CP's knee issues linger. So they flip ...
The Mavs are prepared to argue that $22 mil to start for Barnes is an acceptable price in a market that is paying Evan Turner $18 mil and Ian Mahinmi $16 mil. And now they try to find value elsewhere -- including with a search in Oakland, where sources told DB.com at 10 a.m. Monday that center Andrew Bogut was a Mavs trade target. ... and now he's a Mav.
Discussions began this am, we're told. This is the result of "BLOAT,'' as predicted by DB.com earlier in the weekend here: A trade featuring a newly-built "superteam'' trying to shed ballast. That applies absolutely to Bogut, 32, who is in the final year of his three-year/$36-mil contract and will count for $12.6 mil against the cap this year (affordable) and then would come off the books next summer, providing Dallas with its precious dry powder.
The blockade to any Mavs-Warriors trade, one source suggested to us: There might be some unfriendly "irritation'' due to Dallas' Barnes offer sheet. But maybe the Warriors are so elated at getting Durant -- and so desperate to unload BLOAT -- that they' cheerily overlooked that conflict. And indeed, now pending league approval, NBA sources tell us Dallas has completed a Bogut swap largely made up of "air.'' ... amounting to, we're told, a conditional second-round pick coming to the Mavs.