DONUT 1: DUNCAN AS ROMO
I was so receptive to Tony Roma’s Triple-S involvement with the Dallas Mavericks in otherwise-meaningless Game 81 (Sentiment, Silliness, Sales) that I suggested at the time that it might catch on with other teams, with other celebrities, as a way to commemorate greatness without actually interfering (too much) with the actual game. (For our unmatchable coverage of Romo and the Dallas Cowboys and the Mavs, that night and beyond, click here.)
And now along comes Danny Green of the Spurs jokingly suggesting that San Antonio should do a “Romo deal’’ with retired Spurs legend Tim Duncan.
“He’s trying to stay in shape,” Green said of Duncan, via the San Antonio Express-News. “He’s still looking like we could sign him. He could come back for Game 6 in the Finals or something like that and collect a ring, if we make it. If we are up in Game 6, 3-2, sign him to a Romo deal.”
Obviously, the Spurs signing a Spur is different than the Mavs signing a Dallas Cowboys QB.
But the sentiment, the silliness and the salesmanship? Pretty much the same. Watch and see: This "Romo deal'' will become a "thing,'' a way to commemorate, a way to honor ... a way to infuriate observers who take themselves far too seriously.
DONUT 2: B.A.A.
The other day, Dallas Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle offered up a bit of draft philosophy that matches what I’ve long believed should be the rule of thumb in the NBA and the NFL.
"If you look at our roster, we do have certain needs,’’ Rick said. “But at the same time. if there is a player that can really be a star, there’s an awful lot of merit in just taking him and figuring it out from there.’’
In other words, what I call “B.A.A.’’ (“Best Available Athlete.’’)
What does this mean for this draft? For a Frank Ntlikina and a De’Aaron Fox? And for Dirk? Click here for “A Mavs Draft Philosophy: A Star PG For The Future, Or For Dirk?’’
DONUT 3: JAVALE, WE HARDLY KNEW YE
Javale McGee is now doing nice things with the Warriors after spending a year of self-discovery sitting on Dallas' bench.
Did the Mavs screw up in not being able to get this much out of him?
From our David Lord:
I understand what we're saying about McGee. In another context, I'd agree.
But on a Mavs team trying to develop players, and with plenty of big men already, I think McGee made no sense in summer 2016 to keep as a 4th- or 5th-string center. (Remember, Dirk was moved to center, along with ALREADY having Mejri, Powell, and having drafted Hammons.)
In practical terms in the summer of 2016, both based on cap room, cap rules, and roster slots remaining, they were able to give multi-year (ie three- to four--year) minimum deals to Brussino, Finney-Smith, and Hammons with the cap room that would otherwise been used on McGee. Was McGee worth that sort of commitment, which then would have forced them to offer shorter (two-year or less) deals to those guys, and not sign one of them at all?
I don't think so.
And I would add this:
There is no way to project that what McGee is doing in Situation X would've been matched in Situation Y. There are 1,000 links in a chain of success.
The Warriors have more links to offer almost any player than the Mavs do.
DONUT 4: SO EIGHT AIN'T GREAT
DONUT 5: A FAILED BIT
I love my friends at FOX Sports Southwest. My time there on the Mavs studio show was special stuff for me, and now, with our Texas Legends telecasts airing there, the connection continues.
But I’m not sure what my friends are trying to pull off here.
Yes. But everyone's known of this one for 15 years.
No. No. No.
DONUT 6: QUOTABLE
"I think this is a big offseason for me. I'll be looking to spend a lot of time with Coach Carlisle." - Nerlens Noel.
DONUT 7: THE OTHER YOUNG CENTER
Meanwhile, I hope rookie second-rounder AJ Hammons is similarly committed, not so much to getting bigger, but more, to adding a certain down-low ferocity to his game.
Hammons has first-round talent but dropped to Dallas due to what GM Donnie Nelson frankly termed a possible lack of "tiger in his tank.'' But in my discussions with Mavs staffers, it's something more than that: In addition to being a natural shot-blocker (a good thing, of course), he's also got naturally soft hands and a soft shooting touch. That touch was further developed this season, in Dallas and in Frisco, because he worked a great deal on baby hooks and fade-aways.
Those aren't bad weapons. But the time spent on them may have been the result of AJ not loving to spend time on the interior banging that a center of his size must master.
I'm not saying he's "soft,'' and neither are his coaches. But the fade-away shots move him away from contact ... and for him to be an NBA player worth keeping, he's going to have to learn to deal with -- or maybe even enjoy -- contact.
DONUT 8: MARKKED MAN?
In no way are any Mavs sources telling me that they think Lauri Markkanen is worthy of the ninth pick.
You should know just how highly aware they are of the 7-0, 255-pound Finnish star from the University of Arizona.
Their studies have them believing that one of his greatest flaws as a player -- the lack of rebounding prowess -- might be correctable because of the evidence provided by the present 7-foot shooter on the roster.
No, this doesn't mean I (or the Mavs) want to lavel Markkanen as "The Next Dirk.'' (There are enough of those already, and yet there are actually none of them.) This is just a nugget about how Dallas sees the Finland center and thinks, "Dirk taught himself to rebound. If Lauri is a Mav, maybe Lauri can learn to rebound, too ... with Dirk standing right next to him.''
DONUT 9: A LIGHTER LOAD
Five of coach Rick Carlisle's staff members took on a late-season challenge from players to improve their fitness and lose some weight. The five guys dropped about 120 pounds in eight weeks.
"And they were able to reap some financial benefits from a group of players that was skeptical that it could happen," Carlisle said. "So I'm very proud. And our plane will not be using as much fuel as normal."
DONUT 10: SUPPORT DB.COM!
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DONUT 11: DESPICABLE!
DONUT 12: THE FINAL WORD
"After a season like this, anything (in terms of change) is possible." - Dirk.