Welcome to our first debate post. I posed a question to Mike and Chris on messenger. They had it out. I pulled out the goodies. This one will be a two part blog. Comment away to join the debate.
Question: Where should the Mavs go from here?
The Mavs have settled into ultimate mediocrity. Dirk isn’t getting any younger. Going for a big star to put next to him didn’t work. Placing one year contracts around him didn’t work. On the flip side, the Mavs have some cash. So, where should the Mavs go from here?
Chris – The Mavs should stay put until the end of the season. They could finish with a top 10 pick that could be useful in a trade. I would try to go after Howard first and foremost. If we get him then I would build around him and Dirk. I would resign Mayo to an extension and trade Marion to a contender and see if we could get picks. If we don’t get Howard then I would try to put a package together of Marion, picks, Wright and try to get a young starter. We have plenty of cap room but I wouldn’t just spend money on big contracts unless I had to. Detroit did that years ago with Gordon and villanueva and that didn’t turn out so well.
Counter (You might want to get a coffee for this one)
Mike – A month ago, when Dirk finally came back from knee surgery, I was open to the Mavs seeking trades to make the team more competitive. The toughness, the defense, and (obviously) the coaching is there, but they needed something to get them over the hump. They’ve had nibe OT games this season already and have only won one. Just imagine if they had those eight wins. This team would be a game over .500, they would still in a position to make the playoffs, and maybe even a decent seeding. But I don’t think the Mavs are making the playoffs this year. This is where I disagree with Chris. It’s time to invest in the future of the team, and I don’t want to wait for the biggest NBA diva since Doug Christie’s wife. (Psst, I’m talking about Dwight Howard) This year’s draft pool is very shallow. There is not an impact player the Mavs could get short of a top 3 pick. Which is not going to happen short of a blockbuster trade. Which would yield the team to more 1 year contracts. I say to thee “no more!” The Mavs will get a #12 pick, at best.
Putting on my GM hat for a second, there is 1 major trade scenario I would propose since the “Bank of Cuban” is open. Vince Carter’s attractive contract ($3 million this year, $3 million next year) and his productive play this season make him an extremely attractive acquisition in a trade. Any team that’s guaranteed to be playoff bound would be crazy not to want his veteran leadership in the locker room. On the flipside, that’s exactly why the Mavs should, and probably will, hang on to him. This guy has proven over the last 3 seasons that his crybaby days are behind him. I would make a 3 team trade with Indiana and Detroit. Why? Indiana is playoff bound and the only veteran leadership they have is David West. Detroit because that team is a mess, they need to move some contracts and kind of start over.
So I present to you my epic (I hate using that word) trade scenario. The Mavs trade Shawn Marion and Vince Carter to Indiana for Danny Granger. Yes, I know, Granger is injured. The Mavs aren’t making the playoffs, remember. This is an investment with increasing returns. Granger plays both sides of the ball as well as anyone in the league. Watch the Pacers/Heat series from last season’s 1st round of the playoffs. He also brings the toughness that the Mavs seem to lack most nights. The Pacers need this trade for two reasons: 1.They overpaid Granger and they know it. 2: Paul George is a SF forced to play the 2 when Granger is active. It’s time to make the change. Granger is making $13 million this season and just over $14 next season. The team is “Mike, I thought you said this was a 3 team trade.” It is, relax. I’m getting to it, dang! I would also trade Kaman, Collison and Dominique Jones to Detroit for Greg Monroe (the real acquisition) and Corey Maggette. Why Maggette? Same reason as Granger, he is WAY overpaid, $10.9 million this season. But it expires after this year. Greg Monroe is productive, young and only makes $8 million over the next 2 seasons. Plus a qualifying offer on the 3rd season for $5.5 million. After that, the Mavs have Bird Rights since he would have been on the roster for 3 seasons. Which means the Mavs can offer him the most money. Kaman has lost all favor with me, he is dispensable. It’s obvious why Collison lost his starting job in Indiana. He can be a great 6th man. But until he figures out that he’s a PG and not a SG (he’s not in the same mold as JET) he’s only going to hamper teams. I don’t even want to get started on Dominique Jones. He’s a SG that can’t shoot. I’m going to leave it at that. Shawn Marion would be greatly missed. He leaves it on the floor every night and you never hear about him in the news for anything negative. This is the guy you want in your locker room. He’s like Derek Jeter, if Derek Jeter didn’t play for the Yankees. If Matrix played for the Knicks, he would have had a Nike or Jordan shoe deal 10 years ago. I’m sure some smartass is saying “How is this a 3 team trade? It’s just 2 separate trades.” Well douche canoe; I’m just using the “marquee” names. I’ll leave the add-ins, cash and trade exceptions to the professionals. C’mon man, don’t be that guy.
“So after all of this, then what?”
I’m getting to that, damn you’re pushy. The Mavs will still have enough cap space to go after an impact player. Chris Paul? Laughably doubtful. There’s no way he walks away from the position he’s in with the Clippers for anything short of a $130 million/5 year contract and a Pegasus. Guess which one of those things won’t happen. ANSWER: Both! Read a book! Dwight Howard? Yes, he’s the best center in the league. Yes, he’s only 27. But, he’s no glue guy. There are just too many factors regarding his decision making that are unknown. Hell, he should still be playing in Orlando. But we all know how that turned out. So if I am Donnie Nelson, and made the trades above, I’m going after Josh Smith. His numbers are down this season, but anyone that knows basketball knows that this year’s stats don’t reflect the type of player J-Smoove is. He lost 30 pounds last summer, just to play more SF. For the good of the team! So we know his work ethic is not in question. Carlisle preaches defense and this guy under Jim Carrey’s doppelganger could & should shine. The other summer target should be a point guard. There are a lot of options available this summer that the Mavs should look at. I want Chauncy Billups for the Mavs. I want Carlisle and Mr. Big Shot back together. Finish this all up by 1. re-signing OJ to a long term contract. I think everyone can agree on that. Also, Mayo has made it known that he would like to play PG. This scenario would help his case, mostly because my GM antics have handcuffed Carlisle into having no other choice. HAHAHAHAHAHA!!!! 2. Re-signing Dahntey Jones. Cheap defense, basically Deshawn Stevenson 2.0. 3. Re-sign Brendan Wright. Cheap big body, adds depth.
So my “Mike as GM” depth chart for 2013-1014 would be as follows:
PG: OJ Mayo, Chauncy Billups, Roddy B, Jared Cunningham
SG: Granger, Billups, Roddy B, Cunningham, Dahntey Jones
SF: Josh Smith, Jae Crowder, Dahntey Jones
PF: Dirk, Smith, Wright
C: Monroe, Bernard James, Wright
This is just my crazy Frankenstein dream of what I think the Mavs should do. It probably won’t work because I doubt the Pistons trade Greg Monroe. Reliable big men are hard to come by. The Mavs have had 1 the last 20 years and let him walk. But that’s a topic for another day.
Part 2 of “What should the Mavs do” will be released shortly, but here’s a sneak peak
Mike – “Don’t be a douche canoe cus I disagreed with you.”
Chris – “Get on my level.” and “I hate you.”
J.J. – “Please stop this.”