DONUT 1: DIRK VS. LeBRON
For one month, frozen in time, one of the two best players ever - LeBron James - was no better than the second-best player on the floor.
Because Dirk Nowitzki was on the floor.
It’s astounding, looking back now, that the 2011 NBA champion Dallas Mavericks were somehow better than Miami and LeBron in his prime … though it can be argued that James is even better now, with age, than he was six years ago.
Hopefully, Dirk will be remembered for that greatness … and for doing it without ring-chasing, as Charles Barkley noted this week on KESN-FM 103.3 (ESPN Dallas).
"One of the reasons I respect Dirk Nowitzki,’’ Barkley said, “can you imagine if Dirk Nowitzki had left the Mavs and kind of cheated his way to a championship? What you people would be saying about him in Dallas? But he hung in there, Mark (Cuban) and (staff) put a team together and they won it. And that's better on your resume than calling all your friends and saying, 'Hey, let's get together and dominate the NBA.'
You have to factor that in. Nobody wants to do that anymore.''
I don't fault LeBron for doing it his way. I really don't.
I just like Dirk's way better.
DONUT 2: A BOSH HOMECOMING?
Chris Bosh has spent the last year in basketball limbo and in medical limbo. He’s on the verge of clarity in the former, suggests he’s got clarity with the latter, and now there might be clarity regarding his exit from the Miami Heat, too.
But no, the Dallas Mavericks aren’t planning on doing anything more than their usual research on Bosh, the 33-year-old DFW native, a perennial All-Star sidelined due to blood-clot issues.
DONUT 3: ONE MORE THOUGHT
From our David Lord, who wonders why the NBA is working to give the Miami Heat a special cap-related exemption due to Bosh’s illness:
"I'm not sure how it would be fair for Riley, Miami, and Bosh to merit any special CBA cap treatment as they are trying to plot. It echoes how the NBA let the Heat collude and tamper to form a super team, and then rewrote the rules after the fact to allow it when such actions had always been illegal previously.''
DONUT 4: THE ‘VANISHING FOR VALUE’ TRADE CONCEPT
There is the in-public stated reason the Dallas Mavericks took a flier on shooting guard DeAndre Liggins late in the year: There was a "Tony Romo-era'' roster spot open, essentially for Game 82 at Memphis, and with Dirk Nowitzki not even making the trip, it was basically an exhibition game in which bodies would get a look.
But are there are other reasons for Dallas to have developed an interest in Liggins, a rotation player and part-time starter in Cleveland before being released there (the Cavs wanting to go with a big for the playoffs) and being claimed by the Mavs, who gave him 25 minutes against Grizzlies?
Terrific work by The 75-Member Staff on what we’re calling ‘The Vanishing For Value’ trades that can involve Liggins and Devin Harris … but with a limited shelf life. Click here for the scoop.
DONUT 5: EURO INTEL
We’ve reported that Donnie Nelson is in Europe and we’ve reported three specific reasons why. All scouting hands need to be on deck here, of course, so why not Dirk and Holger?
Cuban tells "Ben & Skin'' at 105.3 The Fan that Dirk is becoming more involved with the Mavs’ scouting department, at least in one area.
“There are some Europeans we’re talking to about him now, talking to him and getting feedback from Holger (Geschwindner),who’s maybe seen them. And having him talk to coaches, he’s a little bit more involved early in the process rather than just walking into the war room and giving feedback then.”
Dirk as the Assistant GM? Not good.
Two cents from everybody? Good.
DONUT 6: OUR TOP-10 FOR THEM
Oh, and here, our scoop on the Mavs attending a trio of pre-Draft workouts. Enjoy again!
DONUT 7: YOUR QUESTIONS, ANSWERED
One of the strengths of DallasBasketball.com: While other outlets ponder, “What if the Lakers draft Lonzo Ball and therefore wish to trade D’Anthony Russell?’’ … or, “What do the Mavs think of Lonzo?’’ … or, “Will Dallas pursue Kyle Lowry?’’ …
We provide answers.
DONUT 8: DOUBLE-UP AT CENTER?
If you are going to sign Nerlens Noel (more on that below), should that cause you to not bother drafting a center like Zack Collins of Gonzaga at No. 9? I know what the Mavs think … and you get to discuss those thoughts here on DBcom Boards.
DONUT 9: TRADE DOWN AND UP?
The information I have at this moment is that the Mavericks are not planning on trading the No. 9 pick in the upcoming NBA Draft. That is what I'm being told in on-the-record conversations, and it's what I'm being told via behind-the-scenes whispers, too. And I believe – based on the information that the Mavericks presently have - that it's the truth.
But what happens as they advance their information? As their information changes? Does trading 9 then become more viable? More advantageous?
Quite possibly. Here’s a deep dive into the details of what Dallas can do in a move down … and in a move up, too, especially considering what I know to be the Mavs’ fondness for De’Aaron Fox and Jonathan Isaac.
DONUT 10: NOEL AT WORK
As we work to crunch numbers and ask around on Nerlens Noel and the money that’s coming to him, Noel himself is doing the work.
“I’m not allowed to talk about (negotiations),’’ Cuban said, “but all I can tell you is he’s one of a bunch of guys who came in, they all got together and said ‘Let’s go down to the practice facility and start working out together. So they’re down there now and so that’s exciting to see, and he’s part of that group.”
It’s a start.
DONUT 11: DIRK AND RO AND MO’
The Mavs have a history with the 9th overall pick, and they’ve managed some pretty decent players each time.
Our Steven Kilpatrick examines the Mavs’ selection of Rolando Blackman (the man who held the Mavs scoring record for 18 years until Dirk broke that record in 2008), and of Dirk, and of their habit for bringing in other teams’ Nos. 9, too, here.
DONUT 12: THE FINAL WORD
“We’ll probably err on the side of long-term. We’re not drafting for need., so we’ll probably take the best possible player.’’ - Mark Cuban.