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.
Barring an unforseen snag, Mavs on course to land Jameer Nelson to fortify their backcourt on a deal via Dallas’ $2.7 million room exception
— Marc Stein (@ESPNSteinLine) July 23, 2014
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.