DONUT 1: Mavs 99, Kings 79 - Table Turned
I cannot write about the Dallas Mavericks playing the Sacramento Kings without doing so via the prism of "What If.'' ... as in, "What if the Mavs had a player like DeMarcus Cousins? How would he fit here? How would he mesh with coach Rick Carlisle? Could he put the turmoil that has plagued him in Sacto behind him?''
Acquiring a talent like that has long been a dream scenario for Dallas, but we wake up from the dream following Sunday's matinee result -- even as it's an impressive Mavs 99, Kings 79 result -- with some negative realizations in terms of "macro,'' but some positives, for sure, in the "micro'' of the actual game. My column addresses all of that here.
DONUT 2: Boogie Nights
Regarding Boogie and the CBA ... Writes David Lord:
There's something new about DeMarcus Cousins this trip, and it is likely to have a positive impact on the Mavs' future - but perhaps not in a way that anyone has been anticipating. ...
For Cousins, we believe that on July 1, 2017 the Kings will be able to offer him perhaps as much as $225 million (the exact amount would be unknown until the 2018-19 cap is set, to extend his existing contract by another five years. No one else will be bidding, it will be a far bigger amount than any other team would be able to offer him a year later (and perhaps by as much as $85M), and every penny will be fully guaranteed to him, no matter what happens later, from the day he signs it.
So we said this news is likely to have a positive impact on the Mavs' future. But how so? To us, he's certainly not headed to the Mavs (or anywhere else) in trade now. So what’s the positive news? Read here.
DONUT 3: A Cavs-Mavs Trade Match
If you're a member of Mavs DB.com Boards (yes, membership is FREE!) you can get in on this discussion: The Cavs are in the midst of a bit of a roster shuffle and have been often rumored to be a Dallas trade partner ... D-Will, Bogut, whomever.
DONUT 4: A Draft In Here
Just as interesting, to me, as a trade to acquire picks, is what Dallas would do with those picks. We're working on a series of inside looks at lottery prospects -- that coverage begins here with a Mavs-centric scouting report on Lonzo Ball -- and it will soon include looks at Markelle Fultz and more.
There is a bigger piece to this, too, and it regards two shifts in Dallas' approach. One is all about "valuing the draft,'' something we've all harped on for years. Another is whether the club has a "BAA'' philosophy (Best Available Athlete, Best Available Player) or whether the guy's position should be included in the Donnie Nelson-overseen Big Board rankings of prospects.
Stay tuned. This is a good 'un.
DONUT 5: The New CBA
I mention above David Lord's piece on Boogie and the Mavs and the CBA. While we work to delve deeper into the CBA, an invitation to take a quick look at D-Lord's forecast for this CBA. Read it and join me in betting that Lord's predictions are, in large part, coming true. And note that if you want to get the deepest and best analysis of the Mavs available, we'd love you to give the holiday gift that keeps on giving: A 10-cents-a-day subscription to DallasBasketball.com.
As has been the case for 17 years, we'll do our best to earn that dime ... and we appreciate your support of the site in this manner ... while also appreciating your contributions to and enjoyment of DB.com at any level you wish!
DONUT 6: Quotable
"Smiles. Smiles are underrated. 'Nice' is underrated. He always made you smile, and not many people can say that." - Mark Cuban on the late Craig Sager.
DONUT 7: The Highlight Reel
It starts with Cousins ...
But ends with Mavs goodies!
DONUT 8: Who Deserves 'The Dirkie'?
Mavs-Kings included an assortment of top performers. Dorian Finney-Smith is the natural front-runner, but you get to vote ... so do so here!
DONUT 9: Dirk Update
Dirk Nowitzki has put into frank words his consideration of retirement -- no, it's not his plan, but saying, "If things don't go so well and it hurts everywhere, it could be that 2017 will be the end," is newsworthy. At the same time, The UberMan is doing what's necessary to get that Achilles right so he can return to the court, maybe sometime this month.
DONUT 10: Devin, Is That You?
Eleven days after a 31-point loss at home to Sacramento, the Mavs did this. Finney-Smith gets those "Dirkie'' votes, but how about a nice bust-out for Devin Harris, who offered up a season-best 14 points?
"About time he showed up," Wesley Matthews. "I didn't recognize him at first."
Let's keep an eye out for who among The Older Generation goes tonight in the 8 p.m. Dallas at Denver tip. Keep in touch via the GameThread here on DB.com Boards and by following me on Twitter at FishSports!
DONUT 11: But ... Ranking The Trade Assets ...
.. Is a viable exercise. So we do so here: Ranking The Mavs Trade Assets,'' the podcast and related links, here.
DONUT 12: The Final Word
"Obviously, we don’t (even) have to try (to lose games on purpose). It’s kind of been a self-fulfilling prophesy." - Cuban on his 7-20 club.