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What Jameer Nelson Would Bring To New Look Mavericks

by Michael Lark on July 23, 2014 in Mavs 09 comments

Nelson

Last night, it was reported by Mike Fisher of DallasBasketball.com that the Mavericks front office has scheduled a face-to-face meeting on Thursday with recently cut veteran point guard Jameer Nelson.  The Mavs only have the room level exception of $2.7 million to offer Nelson, but there have also been reports that Mavs have also met with veteran combo guard Mo Williams who lives in the Dallas area.  The Mavs currently have three roster spots open (Rashard Lewis’ contract has been voided due to injury) and sources have indicated to ESPNDallas.com that Bernard James is expected to take one of those slots and the other should go to a backup power forward.

This is your latest update regarding the Mo Williams/Jameer Nelson update.

This was meant to be a debate between the two guards, but due to this recent development, I will break down what the Mavs and all of Mavs Nation can expect with an addition of Jameer Nelson to the Mavericks.

This summer the Mavs were able to bring 2011 championship defensive anchor, Tyson Chandler back to Dallas, but in return left a gapping hole at the starting point guard position by giving up Jose Calderon in the process.  The Mavs were fortunately able to re-up with oft-injured guard Devin Harris for four-years, $16.5 million to add to an already crowded backcourt that included firearm enthusiast Raymond Felton and little known, second-year Israeli point guard Gal Mekel.   The Mavs currently have Harris penciled in as the starting point guard for the 2014-15 campaign.  Defensively Harris is quick and fulfils the defensive inabilities that Jose Calderon had. Offensively, he leaves a lot to be desired and is not the pass-first, veteran starting point guard Rick Carlisle envisions, which is why the Mavs are on the prowl for another guard.

Enter recently waived veteran, point guard Jameer Nelson, the all-time leader in assists for the Orlando Magic.  At 32, Nelson is a savvy, pass-first point guard who can defend well with adequate size (6′ 0″, 190 lbs).  He has excellent ball handling skills and has vastly improved his jumpshot since entering the league in 2004. From behind the three-point arch, Nelson has shot 38% for his career, something that Mavs will desperately need after the departure of Calderon who shot 45% from three last season.  Nelson is a great floor general who can facilitate the offense and consistently knock down big shots.  Last season Nelson put up solid numbers, averaging 12.1 points, 7.0 assists and 3.4 rebounds per game for the lowly Magic, while showing little drop off in his game despite being on the wrong side of 30.  Most importantly Nelson is known around the league as a leader and great locker room guy.

Nelson can also help stick it to Houston Rockets forward, Dwight Howard.  In March 2013, after whining and crying his way out of Orlando, he publicly declared the Orlando Magic a team “full of people that nobody wanted.”  Nelson responded back calling Howards antics unprofessional, reacting to the implication that Howard said he didn’t need him.  Wow, trashing your teammate on the way out the door? It seems to be a common trend for Howard who recently said that Chandler Parsons’ departure from the Rockets wouldn’t affect them at all.  Also, let’s not forget how Howard chose the Rockets over the Mavericks last offseason.  I would bet that Nelson is ready for some payback as a Maverick against an important division rival.

Take a look at what type of game Nelson put together back in February against Cleveland. 14 points, 4 3PM, 6 Rebs, 9 Asts. With a much more talented group behind him in Dallas, he figures to get plenty of good looks and have a plethora of options for him in the passing game as well.

 

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Optimism At An All Time High In Mavs Nation

by Ryan Wilson on July 23, 2014 in Mavs 09 comments

ChandlerParsonsArt

My, how things have changed. It was around this time last year when the Mavericks were once again left scratching their heads in disbelief, after failing to land yet another big name free agent. Dwight Howard had given the Mavericks the opportunity to woo him, but in the end, he chose to join forces with James Harden and Chandler Parsons in Houston. How he could pass up on a pitch of this magnitude I’ll never truly understand.

 

Mark Cuban and Donnie Nelson, as they typically do, found the best way to make do with what was left, eventually striking gold with Monta Ellis, a player that was labeled selfish by many of his critics.

The 2013-2014 season proved to be a season of ups and downs for the Mavericks, and dealing with the Western Conference night in and night out didn’t help their cause much either. After finishing the season in the eighth and final spot, many NBA “analysts” gave them no chance whatsoever in competing with the San Antonio Spurs in the 1st round. What the analysts failed to understand was the Mavericks were ready for the challenge, as they pushed the eventual NBA Champion Spurs to the brink of elimination in 7 games, ultimately falling short.
TysonChandlerFast forward to June 26, 2014. What had been rumored as a possibility had finally became the reality all Mavericks fans had dreamed of. Tyson Chandler would be returning to the Dallas Mavericks in a 6-player trade that would also land them troubled point guard Raymond Felton. Dallas gave up quite a bit to get Chandler back in the Mavericks blue, including Samuel Dalembert and Jose Calderon. In completing the trade, the Mavericks would once again have that big defensive presence in the middle, which was an obvious weakness in the San Antonio Spurs series.

That brings us to July 1, 2014, a Christmas of sorts for NBA fans everywhere. Free Agency was finally underway, and all of the MFFL’s clung to their social media apps waiting for news of who the Mavericks were going to bring in. Once again, they had their sights set on another big time name in Carmelo Anthony, as the Mavericks were one of five teams to get a sit down meeting with the highly coveted forward. In typical fashion, the Mavericks were left waiting for a response from Carmelo, ultimately allowing other free agents to sign elsewhere. That was until they prepared a huge offer sheet for Houston Rockets forward, Chandler Parsons. Later that night, Parsons would meet with Mark Cuban in a Florida nightclub, and sign the offer.

We were all prepared for the Rockets to eventually match that offer sheet, but the curveball that Chris Bosh delivered in the Rockets direction was something they couldn’t swaChandlerParsonsllow. It had seemed likely that after hearing the news of LeBron’s return to Cleveland, Bosh would sign with Houston, and they would match Parson’s offer sheet, giving them a “Big Four” in Howard, Bosh, Parsons, and Harden. When Bosh decided to return to Miami, Houston couldn’t convince themselves to match the Parsons offer sheet, officially landing him in Big D.

The Mavericks now featured a starting lineup that looked like this:

C – Chandler

PF – Nowitzki

SF – Parsons

SG – Ellis

PG – Felton/Harris 

A week or so later, the Mavericks would replace Vince Carter with Richard Jefferson, who still appears to have plenty of gas left in the tank, and should still be able to provide a spark off the bench with his shooting ability.

The Mavericks won the NBA championship back in 2011, and the team was ultimately dismantled in the wake of the NBA’s new Collective Bargaining Act. Many people were hard on Mark Cuban and criticized some of the moves he made. It looked like Nowitzki’s best chance of winning a 2nd NBA Championship had ultimately vanished. Year after year of failing to land the proverbial “big fish” was hard for the Mavericks and their fan base to understand. Fast forward to now, and the Mavericks find themselves once again being talked about as possible championship contenders again. Credit everyone from the top down. Mark Cuban and Donnie Nelson stuck to their game plan. Rick Carlisle got the best from what he was given, which he always does, and Dirk Nowitzki showed just how valuable he is, and just how lucky all of us are to have him as the cornerstone of this franchise. He could’ve signed for a max contract in Houston or Los Angeles, but he wanted to give this city one more good run, so he signed for far less than he should’ve received, ultimately allowing the Mavericks to land Parsons and some others.

It’s a great time to be a Mavericks fan, and we have all of the organization to thank. They have given Nowitzki one final run at a title, and we may have found the future of the franchise in Parsons.

Good times ahead MFFL’s. Good times!

Mavs

 

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Dirk’s Act Of Humility, Generosity And Loyalty

by Michael Lark on July 15, 2014 in Mavs 09 comments

DirkFeature

While the big story around the NBA this offseason has been centered on the “Chosen One” deciding to “come home,” a more humble story was developing for the player who never left.

12-time NBA-All Star Dirk Nowitzki officially signed off on a $25 million deal to remain with the Dallas Mavericks for the next three seasons. Following the last year of a 4-year, $80 million contract, Dirk made it clear that he intended to come back to the Mavs on a discounted price in order to allow the team to go out and get other big time free agents.

The Mavs courted LeBron James and Carmelo Anthony in free agency, but ultimately took a free agent gamble and successfully landed restricted free agent Chandler Parsons, after trading for defensive stalwart, Tyson Chandler. Put those Chandlers Bings together and you have a team ready to compete for another championship.

The best 7-footer to ever play the game began his career with Dallas in 1998 as a skinny, awkward kid out of Wurzburg, Germany with uncertain expectations.

In his first season, he led the Mavericks to a mediocre 40-42 seasons and missed the NBA playoffs after averaging 17.5 points and 6.5 rebounds. He continued to improve every season and successfully led the Mavs to their first-ever NBA Finals trip in 2006, before ultimately losing to the Miami Heat, 4-2.

The bitter end to the season didn’t have Dirk looking for the exit, and he didn’t need to collude with other free agents in order to win an empty championship, in a random town of bandwagon fans.


He instead chose to believe in his city and his owner. In Dirk’s eyes, if he was winning a championship, it was happening in Dallas.

In 2007, Dirk won the league’s Most Valuable Player awards after averaging of 24.6 points, 8.9 rebounds and 3.4 assists, while leading the his team to a franchise record 67 wins – but fell short of an NBA championship yet again.

Finally in 2011, Dirk hoisted the Larry O’Brien Trophy in a parade in front of his town with the same fans that were there with him from the beginning.

In 16 seasons, Dirk has never had an NBA agent. He’s made over $200 million in his career and reportedly left max offers in the $60 million range from the Los Angeles Lakers and the Houston Rockets to remain with the only franchise he’s even known.

When the free agency period began at midnight on July 1, the Mavs never questioned his desire to compete for another NBA championship in Dallas. Dirk realizes the landscape of the NBA. He desires winning over money. Loyalty over royalty.

Dirk Nowitzki is Dallas Mavericks basketball and when he’s ready to retire, Mavs fans will remember this sacrifice that he took, because the one-legged fadeaway statue in front the American Airlines Center won’t have one ring on it. It will have two.

Photo credit - AP Photo/LM Otero

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Chandler Parsons, The Wait Is Over

by Greg Higgins on July 14, 2014 in Mavs 09 comments

ChandlerParsonsArt

Each year around this time, the NBA goes into a frenzy as marquee players are offered contracts by teams from all over. Every year, a group of elite players are wined and dined in hopes that they will wind up in their city.

Because there are only a few of these superstar players each year, usually it’s the next group of guys that make the difference. This next group of players don’t quite fit the “max contract” mold like the superstars but they are good enough to fill a role on a team.

This is where the Dallas Mavericks come into play. Every year, the Mavs take a shot at one of the big-named free agents on the market. Every year, these free agents flirt with the idea of making Dallas their home and yet ever year the Mavs wind up empty handed (unless it’s bringing back one of their own like Dirk Nowtizki.)

Even though there were talks with Carmelo Anthony, most Mavs fans knew he wasn’t going to sign with Dallas. There was too much money to be had with the New York Knicks. LeBron James was a good thought as well but we all knew that wasn’t happening. Instead of being left high and dry, though, Mark Cuban went on the offensive.

The Houston Rockets were in advanced talks with Chris Bosh and had offered him a max contract. Sources said Bosh was considering this move so Cuban went after Rockets’ small forward Chandler Parsons. Parsons, a restricted free agent, was offered a three year contract worth around $46 million. Being a restricted free agent, though, meant Houston could match the offer sheet the Mavs had in place.

As the waiting game ensued, reports came out that if Houston could land Bosh, they would match the offer made by the Mavericks. Luckily LeBron left the Miami Heat and signed with the Cleveland Cavaliers. This caused the Heat to keep Bosh and the Rockets allowed Chandler to walk away and become a Maverick.

This was a move that almost all Mavs fans wanted to happen during this offseason. As great a defender as Shawn Marion was, the Mavs needed to get younger at the small forward poition. Chandler allows this to happen.

Chandler (25) will be replacing the 36 year old Marion. Parsons, in only his third NBA season averaged 16.6 points per game. He also had 5.5 rebounds, 4 assists and 1.2 steals in 74 games with the Rockets. Compare those numbers to Marions (10.4 points, 6.5 rebounds, 1.6 assists, and 1.2 steals) and you can instantly see an improvement in the small forward position.

Last season the Mavericks won 49 games with Dirk, Marion and Samuel Dalembert in the front court. How many more can they win this season with Dirk, Parsons and Tyson Chandler? I don’t know the exact number but I can’t wait for the season to start so we can find out.

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Devin Deal: Mavericks Keep Harris with 3-Year Agreement

by MavsFanatic on July 5, 2014 in Mavs 09 comments

DevinStays

Devin Harris always considered Dallas his NBA home.

He’ll be calling it that for the foreseeable future as he and the Dallas Mavericks close in a new three-year pact.

The Mavericks were in need for point guard security with the recent trade which sent last year starter Jose Calderon to the New York Knicks. Raymond Felton and Gal Mekel are the other two point guards on Dallas’ roster.

Harris returned to the Mavericks last year after being traded away from the organization in 2008 for Jason Kidd. After stints with New Jersey, Utah and Atlanta he found his way back to Big D.

Originally agreeing to a 3-year $9 million contract last summer, a toe injury and surgery forced the Mavs to void his deal. It led Harris to delaying his return before eventually signing a one year contract at the veteran minimum.

The extra money allowed the Mavericks to strike a value signing in Monta Ellis who chose less money in Dallas to win than a 3-year $36 million extension in Milwaukee.

Harris played in 40 regular season games averaging 7.9 points and 4.5 assists. He also played an important role off the bench in Dallas’ playoffs series against San Antonio.

Fantastic keep by the Mavs.

 

 

 

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Carmelo Anthony: Free Agent Scouting Report

by Damian Jackson on June 28, 2014 in Mavs 09 comments

MeloFI

Strike One. Strike Two. Strike Thr

Let’s hold off on Strike Three for a moment and delve into Carmelo Anthony, the Dallas Mavericks’ most realistic ‘Big Fish’ option this time around. (LeBron isn’t happening)

The Mavericks half-heartedly whiffed on Deron Williams in 2012, followed by watching Dwight Howard pick neighbor Houston last summer.

Dallas enters this shopping season with ample cap space while also coming off an impressive season and playoffs in which they took eventual champions San Antonio to a complete seven-game first round series.

Already in good spirits, the Mavericks’ bolstered their roster by reacquiring defensive center and beloved 2011 champion Tyson Chandler in a six player trade with New York on Wednesday.

Take a closer look at what he brings to any squad in this loaded Free Agent Scouting video put together by Mike Schmitz of DraftExpress.com:

It’s important to take this information and analyze how Anthony’s strengths can be enhanced while also seeing his weaknesses reduced in the right situation.

We used the comparison of Mavs guard Monta Ellis and his adjustment to the Dallas system under head coach Rick Carlisle and playing alongside Dirk Nowitzki.

While Anthony is an even better talent than Ellis, this basic concept exists. Carlisle rests comfortably among the elite active coaches in this league. Carlisle does his best with veterans, pros, guys who relish the desire for ultimate success. Can Carmelo show he’s that dude?

The health uncertainty in Chicago paired with somewhat stripping away parts to make room for Anthony, leaves them with the hope Derrick Rose stays healthy and Joakim Noah recovering from a knee injury himself.

In the Eastern Conference your odds to make it to the NBA Finals are better, but winning always comes down to the best team. Indiana didn’t even get the chance and Miami got served a wealthy plate of whoop-ass from the Spurs.

If Anthony’s choices came down to Houston and Dallas, I look at it this way. Both would become better and closer to legit championship contender.

The difference for me is what Anthony said in his interview with VICE in which he said this free agency decisions depends largely on the family aspect just as much as the basketball side.

“The average person just sees opportunity to say that, ‘Oh, Melo should go here, Melo should go there. I think he should do this, I think he should do that.’ But they don’t take into consideration the family aspect of it. Your livelihood. Where you’re going to be living at.”

Dallas’ core of Dirk, Monta and Tyson share something in common that has nothing to do with basketball. They’re married, they have kids, they are family men.

I’m only pinging off Anthony’s comments about the importance of taking his family into consideration, not saying I have inside knowledge of any family members.

The Mavericks are a well-structured organization that focuses on the ultimate goal – WINNING.

Ellis wants to win. Dirk and Tyson want to win, again.

 

 

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Mavs Fanatic Six Pack: Tyson Back In Big D: Good Move?

by MavsFanatic on June 26, 2014 in Mavs 09 comments

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A rumor that started a little over a month ago turned into a reality much faster than any Mavs Fanatic could have imagined. Tyson Chandler is back in Dallas, and we can only hope that he can fill the void many believed was missing following the historic 2011 championship run.

We gathered all of the Mavs Fanatic contributors to get their thoughts on this move. Here is what they had to say:

Ryan Wilson 

Good opening move by Mark Cuban and Donnie Nelson, but there must be more to follow in order to make a true impact. The Mavericks did give up one of the top three point specialists in the NBA in Jose Calderon, and both of their draft picks, along with a few other players. However, they are filling two huge needs before Free Agency even begins: A defensive presence in the paint, and attitude. Tyson Chandler provides both, and the Mavericks didn’t even have to give up Brandan Wright in the process.

Sure, they gave up both of their draft picks, but the Mavericks have never really prided themselves on the NBA Draft anyways. It’s also important to note that the Mavericks could still find a way to get back into the 1st Round of this deep draft class.

If the Mavericks are able to land Carmelo Anthony, because of his respect for Tyson Chandler in New York, great! If not, the Mavericks need to add two solid players to go along with Nowitzki, Chandler, and Ellis.

The addition of Felton is questionable at best. Losing Calderon leaves no point guard on the roster at the moment, because Devin Harris is a free agent at the moment. Even if the Mavericks re-sign Harris, as expected, I’m still not sure he is a starting point guard in this league.

It’s too early to tell. One thing is for sure, the Mavericks came out guns blazin’ and have gotten this “arms race” started far earlier than expected.

Damian Jackson 


The trade works for me, easily.

TysonIf anything really stung it was the short-term idea of losing our starting point guard Jose Calderon and the 34th pick in the draft.

Dallas is in win-now mode and this trade exemplifies such. We landed the best player in the deal.

The most iffy part about the whole trade was taking back Raymond Felton, but financially made out well by shedding Calderon’s contract which runs through 2017.

Parting with Shane Larkin, a waste of a draft pick,  and Wayne Ellington was not and shouldn’t be tough. Neither guy was making an impact on this team going forward.

Sam Dalembert had a roller coaster season and did well in stretches. DeJuan Blair was the Mavericks best center in the playoffs against the Spurs, a series in which Dallas struggled to defend the interior.That problem was addressed with Chandler. Chandler also poses a possibly important figure in the Mavericks pitch to Carmelo Anthony whom he was locker pals and most respected Knicks teammate.

Oh, and Dirk’s happy about this trade, so I’m happy that Dirk is thrilled.

Greg Higgins 

Any time I hear the name Tyson Chandler in association with the Dallas Mavericks, I get excited. I mean, let’s face it, he’s one of the main reasons the Mavericks made it to the Finals in 2011. Most Mavericks’ fans don’t understand the legistics as to why Mark Cuban let him go after the championship and they will always ask the question, “What might have been?”

Unfortunately that’s a question that will never be answered. We do, however, have another saga to discuss. Tyson Chandler 2.0 will be in effect this next season. Chandler was traded to the Mavs along with Raymond Felton for Samuel Dalembert, Jose Calderon, Wayne Ellington and Shane Larkin. The Knicks also get two second round picks (34 and 51 overall).

At first I didn’t know how I felt about this trade. I’m a huge Chandler fan and I love the fact that he will be back in a Mavs uniform this next year. However, I was a little worried that the deal involved two point guards in Larkin and Calderon. With Devin Harris not guaranteed back next season, I was a little baffled by getting rid of those players in this deal.

Then I was reminded of something by another MavsFanatic.com writer. I was reminded to trust in Cuban. Sometimes we don’t understand every move but there’s usually always a means to an end. There have been times I didn’t agree with his moves and there have been times my reasoning was proven right. However, more times than not, I’m proven wrong in my reasonings.

I know there’s a long way to go with free agency and we’ve only just begun to see the moves that will be made. I know the Mavs have an idea of where they want to go with this so I’m going to trust them. Because I’ve decided to do this, the Chandler deal makes me extremely happy.

Michael Lark 

I love the deal. The Mavs get back the player that was the defensive anchor to the only championship this franchise has ever known and a fan favorite that brings a number of intangibles to the table, including leadership and energy that the Mavs have been severely lacking since he left.  Sure, it sucks to lose Calderon, who finished 5th in the NBA in 3-point field goal percentage (44.9%) but most importantly I think it’s a great trade because as free agency kicks off in a matter of days, the Mavs are armed with a core of Monta, Dirk and now Chandler that they can bring to the discussion table as they attempt to lure the “big fish.”

Dwight-Howard-Deron-Williams-Future-MavericksClearly, Mark Cuban and the Mavs front office have learned from their unsuccessful attempts to sign Deron Williams and Dwight Howard the past couple of off-seasons. Williams was quoted as saying the Brooklyn Nets trade for Joe Johnson just hours before he re-signed, significantly influenced his decision to re-up with the Nets.

This time around the Mavs are ahead of the curve, having decided to not rely solely on cap space to lure free agents, but to upgrade their roster via trade in the process. Worried about those draft picks? Quick, name me a 2nd round prospect you believe can immediately and significantly help this team become a top 5 contender? Yeah, that’s what I thought.

This team is and will always be in win now mode as long as Dirk Nowitzki is in a Mavs uniform so, you can forget about getting younger and developing players for now.  Let’s retool and get another championship with Dirk.  Who knows? Maybe the Kings will buyout the last year of Jason Terry’s contract and we’ll resign him for the minimum and defend that 2011 title, three years later.  The possibilities are endless. It’s a win for the Mavs.

Terence Huie


I might be the only MFFL who doesn’t agree with this trade. For the most part, I feel that the Knicks-Mavs trade could have been negotiated better so that Cuban would not lose all the assets.

Losing Jose Calderon puts the team at a huge disadvantage right now. The team loses a guy who is in the top 10 category for three-point percentage. After dropping Darren Collison and picking up Calderon last summer, the Mavs jumped from 12th to 4th in team offensive efficiency. Not to mention, the backup guard Devin Harris is currently a free agent. Right now, Raymond Felton is the only point guard on the team now. This isn’t a good feeling considering Felton coming off a struggling year.

It’s good that Tyson Chandler is back in a Mavericks jersey. BUT, Chandler is 31 years old with injuries that are affecting his play on the court. Chandler only played 55 games last year, compared to Dalembert who played 80 games. If the Mavs want to content for a title, Chandler has to stay healthy. Point blank, period.

Marc Cashion 


The biggest complaint that I have seen over this giant Tyson Chandler trade has been the loss of Jose Calderon.  The best way to look at the results of this trade is to look at the depth of each position.  According to ESPN’s Real plus or minus stats the 25th best point guard is Jrue Holiday, who actually is a really good point guard in the NBA. The 25th best center is Pero Antic, who I honestly have absolutely zero knowledge of.  The point being point guards are replaceable, Damian in his top 10 PG free agent article has Isaiah Thomas as his 7th best point guard.  While my top 10 Center article, that will be out Friday, has (SPOILER ALERT) Jermaine O’Neal.  Thomas is a starter in this league while Jermaine O’Neal is not.  Point being, a good solid Center is much more difficult to come by than a point guard.

After those that are angry about losing a good point guard have died down, you have to look at the big picture.  We now have a great core of players that are just begging for a superstar to catapult us to a championship caliber team.  The addition of Melo, for example, would give us Monta Ellis, a rim protecting center in Chandler, and one of the greatest power forwards of all time Dirk Nowitzki.  Breaking down the trade piece by piece looking at last year’s results: Wayne Ellington was a no factor, Shane Larkin was a no factor, Samuel Dalembert sometimes didn’t even want to play, and Jose Calderon was great on offense but had no defense.  This team will never have an issue scoring so adding a high caliber defensive center is a dream scenario.

The main thing to realize is this front office is not even close to through, Mavs fan’s need to hang tight and be excited about this teams future.

 

Photo Credits: Doug Pensinger/Getty Images

 

 

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Free Agent Forecast: Power Forwards

by Michael Lark on June 26, 2014 in Mavs 09 comments

PF

First, let’s be clear Dirk Nowitzki will re-sign with the Mavs. There’s no doubt about it.

The only question that remains is, for how much.

With that in mind, this list is built on who would be the best available backups after we sign Dirk. In the unfortunate event we don’t resign Dirk and the world for the Mavericks collapses then… wait, never mind. Trust me, 100% that just will not happen. Here are the top 10 free agent options at power forward.

1. Dirk Nowitzki | Mavericks (Unrestricted)

21.7 PTS 2.7 AST 6.2 REB

He is the Dallas Mavericks. Conventional wisdom and early rumors say Dirk will sign in the $8-10 million range, leaving room for the Mavs to sign another big time free agent possibly Carmelo Anthony who will reportedly opt out.

After that, the Mavs will focus on signing a solid back up who won’t take up too much money on the salary cap, while providing the Mavs a player who can give Dirk ample rest during the regular season.

2. DeJuan Blair | Mavericks (Unrestricted)

6.4 PTS 0.9 AST 4.7 REB

He’s a familiar name with a familiar foe in the San Antonio Spurs. The Spurs proved once again they are the team to beat in the West and Blair provides the Mavericks with the best option at the backup power forward position because of his energy, his ability to play at the 4 and 5 and most importantly, his desire to get revenge against his former NBA team, the San Antonio Spurs.

3. Boris Diaw | Spurs (Unrestricted)

9.1 PTS 2.8 AST 4.1 REB

At 6’8”, 250 pounds Diaw is now a world champion. He’s a veteran of 10 years in the league, but at 32 years old the Frenchman would be the perfect complement to Dirk.  He’s a great rebounder and passer at 3.7 assists per game in his career with a high basketball IQ, who can play almost any position and knock down the three ball with consistency.

4. Jordan Hill | Lakers (Unrestricted)

9.7 PTS 0.8 AST 7.4 REB

After 4 years in the league, Hill has been a mixed bag of results. He’s a former lottery pick (No. 8 in 2009) who has finally showed some promise after playing the past couple of seasons with consistent minutes with the LA Lakers. He has a huge NBA body at 6’10”, 235 pounds and is probably a more natural fit at the center position, but lacks low post moves. He could be a great fit for the Mavs long term at only 27 years old, but after making $3.5 million last year his price tag may be too high.

5. Josh McRoberts | Hornets (Unrestricted)

8.5 PTS 4.3 AST 4.8 REB

He’s a supremely athletic big man, who’s only 27.  In 6 years in the league, McRoberts has bounced around the NBA. He can give the Mavs valuable energy off the bench, respectable rebounding and defense, but has little to offer in terms of offensive skill.

6. Glen Davis | Clippers (Unrestricted)

9.4 PTS 1.1 AST 5.2 REB

“Big Baby” is a skilled big man who can consistently knock down mid-range jumpers.  He’s athletic for his size and weight, but has struggled recently with his conditioning at 6’9”, 289 pounds.

Davis is young, but has struggled to stay healthy the past few seasons.  He was bought out of his contract mid-season from the Orlando Magic before joining the LA Clippers.   There have also been rumors he lacks a desire to work hard.

7. Drew Gooden | Wizards (Unrestricted) 

8.3 PTS 0.7 AST 5.2 REB

Gooden has played for 10 NBA teams in his 12 year career and played with the Mavs back in 2009-10 before being traded to the Washington Wizards.

In his short, 46 game stint with the Mavs he became a fan favorite for his positive attitude and high energy. Still at 32, the former Jayhawk can re-up with the Mavs for cheap and provide excellent hustle, rebounding and a decent low-post scoring while backing up Dirk.

 

8. Al Harrington | Wizards (Unrestricted)

6.6 PTS 0.8 AST 2.4 REB

Now 34, Harrington and the Mavs had mutual interest back in 2010 before he ultimately signed with the Denver Nuggets and essentially began the downhill slide of his career after averaging 17.7 points per game the previous year.

At this point in his career, Harrington is nothing more than a role player who can provide below average defense and rebounding, but can consistently hit three pointers (35.2% for his career).

9. Elton Brand | Hawks (Unrestricted)

5.7 PTS 1.2 AST 4.9 REB

After 14 years in the league and an extensive injury history, Brand has little left in the tank.  However, he’s a high character player that is familiar with Rick Carlisle and the Mavs system after playing with them in 2012-13 (7.2 points, 6.0 rebounds, 1.0 assists).

He can also backup the center position, although he’s slightly undersized, but can provide great rebounding and leadership for the veteran’s minimum.

10. Kenyon Martin | Knicks (Unrestricted)

4.3 PTS 0.8 AST 4.2 REB

At 36, “K-Mart” is a strong, athletic big man who plays with a ton of energy and intensity.   The Dallas native lacks a low-post game and relies exclusively on pick and rolls to get his points.

He’s significantly past his prime, but can provide adequate defense in a limited role.  He would likely command only the veteran’s minimum on a one-year deal.

 

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Dirk’s Heroes Celebrity Baseball Game Recap: Fun, Fans and Bad Baseball

by Michael Lark on June 22, 2014 in Mavs 09 comments

Heroes

Last night, Dirk Nowitzki hosted his 3rd Annual Celebrity Baseball Game at the Dr Pepper Ballpark in Frisco. In front of a sellout crowd of nearly 9,200, Dirk’s White Soxs prevailed over the Blues Sox 17-16.

The night was filled with several big name celebrities and athletes; including Tony Romo, Michael Young, Dez Bryant, Jason Garrett, Terrell Owens, Terrance Williams, Vernon Wells, Tyler Seguin, Josh Henderson and Pudge Rodriguez.

The Dallas Mavericks were represented well in the game with Rick Carlisle, Donnie Nelson, Eddie Najera, Michael Finley, Shane Larkin, Monta Ellis, Devin Harris, Bernard James and former 2011 Mavs Champion Brian Cardinal. Even Mavs fan favorite Jason “JET” Terry was spotted signing autographs before the game, but didn’t play.

Of course, the game wouldn’t be complete with the Mavs Maniacs, Dancers and Drumline on hand as well.

The evening provided an up close and personal opportunity for fans to see their Mavs relax and just have fun. And they showed just why they are professional basketball, not baseball, players.

While Dirk will be known by the end of his career as one of the greatest basketball players of all time, he will unavoidably be known as perhaps one of the worse baseball players of all time. By the end of the night Dirk, who played first base, was able to crank out one single and a run scored while leading his team to victory.

 

Devin Harris showed off his athletic ability playing respectably well at second base and Monta Ellis showed he should stick to playing on the hardwood, and I think we’re all okay with that.

Mavs Champion, Brian Cardinal was Co-MVP for the night with the Big German after getting the game-winning hit in the seventh inning. For those concerned Mavs fans, the most important news of the night was that the game ended without any injuries to any of the players.

The unsung hero of the night had to be Michael Finley who spent the majority of the night signing autographs and interacting with fans. Harris and Michael Young provided lots of lucky fans with autographed memorabilia. Dirk Nowitzki, according the Ben Rogers, was one of the last players in the park, signing autographs for fans even after the lights turned off.

Screen Shot 2014-06-22 at 2.55.33 PM

 

Make no mistake with all the fun and action during the Celebrity Baseball Game the real stars weren’t actually in the big game at all. They were those that got to play a game on the field before the game, youth with physical and intellectual disabilities.

The game provided them an unforgettable experience filled with excitement, courage and inspiration – not to mention huge applause from the crowd as they left the field. Their smiles coming off the field to the cheers of the crowd were the true highlight of the night.

I’d say the Heroes Foundation achieved its goal.

Click here to see more photos in our Facebook Gallery!

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NBA Draft Primer: An Elite Option for Dallas’ 34th Pick

by Damian Jackson on June 14, 2014 in Mavs 09 comments

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Isn’t it crazy to think the NBA Finals could end tomorrow night and the NBA Draft is less than two weeks away?

While the San Antonio Spurs attempt to dethrone the 2-time defending champion Miami Heat, the remaining 28 teams are in full gear prepping for the upcoming draft on Thursday June 26.

That includes our very own Dallas Mavericks who own two second round picks, the 34th (via Boston) and 51st selections.

ESPN.com’s Chad Ford had this to say about possible draft movement:

Look for the Bucks, Hawks, Mavs, Blazers and Raptors to be especially busy trying to move up or acquire a second pick. 

The Mavs do not boast the most amazing draft results over the past decade, but they did recently reel in a worthy catch by snatching Marquette’s Jae Crowder with the 34th pick in 2012.

No question the 2014 NBA Draft provides some very top heavy talent, but the rest of the way trickling out of the lottery and into the second round, it’s still rather deep with reliable role-player potential at the NBA level.

Here is a list of some recent updated Mock Drafts:

1) DraftExpress.com – Dallas selects Cleanthony Early (Wichita State)

2) CBSSports.com – Dallas selects Jahil Carson (Arizona State), Mitch McGary (Michigan), Glenn Robinson III (Michigan)

3) B/R Jonathan Wasserman – Fits for Dallas at 34 – K.J. McDaniels (Clemson), Glenn Robinson III, Jerami Grant (Syracuse).

I’ll key in on Michigan’s Glenn Robinson III who is projected to be a late first round to early second round selection.

Screen Shot 2014-06-14 at 11.27.17 AM

The son of former NBA star Glenn Robinson has seen his stock roller coaster ride since they fell short against Louisville in the 2013 NCAA championship game. Had he jumped to the NBA then he was mid-first round talent, but opted to return for another collegiate season.

Since that time, Robinson III now finds himself down the boards in a loaded draft.

How Robinson III works for the Mavs at 34

With Shawn Marion hitting the free agent market this summer, the Mavericks need to be looking for a young replacement who can bring some of the similar aspects of the Matrix’s game.

No one will really ever replicate an exact Marion-style because the former UNLV standout is insanely unique in his own way. BUT it’s the way Marion approaches the game that can be copied and translated into efficient team basketball success.

When you think Shawn Marion – awkwardness aside – versatility, athleticism and effort come to mind. Let’s peek at how Glenn Robinson III will be able to emulate those very qualities in the pro game.

Versatility

 

At 6-foot-7 and 211 pounds Robinson III has a solid NBA body that will continue to develop  as his career progresses. His frame fits very well into the small forward position, but may be able to shift over to the 2-guard spot at times or in some rare situations a small four.

Robinson III has the ability to adapt to any environment, fulfill a variety of functions and contribute without being the vocal point.

You will be impressed with his high basketball IQ and the way he can impact a basketball without any plays called for him. As Robinson III says in the video above, he’ll be able to switch mentalities on and off the court. He understands when and how to be focused, displaying a maturity that many 20-year-olds lack.

Athleticism

 

This is GRIII’s greatest attribute right now.

At the NBA Draft Combine in Chicago, Robinson III impressed with an improved jumper, but his 41.5″ vertical stood out. He’s an elite finisher in transition and the open court. He does a wonderful job with his off-ball movement and cuts to create easy scoring opportunities for himself.

Robinson was a much better freshman than sophomore at Michigan and I believe part of this was the impact of playing alongside both Trey Burke and Tim Hardaway Jr. Both of those guys left for the NBA with Burke a starter in Utah, while Hardaway Jr. was one of the lone bright spots for a dreadful year in New York.

This leads to the belief that Robinson’s athletic ability will be amplified playing with better players which naturally happens at the NBA level.

Just think about him on the wing being set up by the likes of Jose Calderon or Monta Ellis on the fast break. It could also be Robinson III moving without the ball a la Shawn Marion and receiving a dish out the double team from Dirk Nowitzki.

Effort

 

Hard work. Dedication. Hustle. Desire. Passion.

The list can go on and on with what defines a basketball player’s effort.

You can see that Robinson III isn’t solely driven by following in the legacy of his father who was drafted exactly 20 years earlier. While that’s a special feat in and of itself, he wants to be his own player similar to that of the aforementioned Hardaway Jr. who found success despite starting the year behind guards Iman Shumpert and J.R. Smith.

Robinson III knows making the leap to the NBA requires elevating every aspect of your game. I absolutely love how he answered a question about an area he needs improvement on and he responded by saying he prefers to focus on improving all areas of his game not just one.

Robinson III possess the tools to excel in the NBA. Pair that with basketball smarts and potential to become a very solid defender, it’s hard to envision him not carving out a great career at the next level.

There iss surefire first round talent here, but the draft’s depth might push the former Wolverine into the Dallas Mavericks’ lap who he met with during the combine back in May.

GRIII would be a steal at 34, but it’s happened before and it could happen again. It wouldn’t surprise me if Dallas actually moved up some in the draft even if it meant the guaranteed first round pick money to snag Robinson III.

He’s that good. He’ll be worth it.

__________________________

Sources – DraftExpress.com, ESPN.com, BasketballInsiders, CBSSports, Youtube.

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