Heard It Through the Free Agency Grapevine

Posted by Rob Mahoney on June 30, 2009 under xOther | Be the First to Comment

  • In a few weeks, I’d hope that this photo is nothing but a Mavericks fan wearing a jersey of a Mavericks player.  ‘Quis doesn’t quite solve all of our problems (though he’s certainly better than Antoine Wright), but if the Mavs could ink him to a reasonable deal, I wouldn’t mind using up a chunk of the MLE after some of our other options are exhausted.  Then again, I’m a sucker for ‘Quis.
  • Sean Deveney breaks down the context of this year’s free agent crop.
  • Some absolutely horrible news came out of Houston yesterday: Yao Ming’s problematic foot may cost him the season, and possibly even more than that.  The Rox were already looking at a year largely without Tracy McGrady, and Ron Artest is an unrestricted free agent.  I won’t even try to dig around in Artest’s head for his intentions, but keeping Ron-Ron in Houston just got a bit tricky.
  • On a slightly brighter note (and one that has nothing to do with free agency), the Rockets took over operations for the D-League’s Rio Grande Valley Vipers.  Not only will there be three D-League squads in Texas (Austin, Frisco, RGV), but all three will be controlled by their respective big league counterparts.  We’ve never been the most progressive state in the world, but in the realm of basketball development, Texas is right there on the forefront.
  • The Mavs and second round pick Nick Calathes apparently both agree that it’s in Calathes’ best interest to play in Europe this season.  Hopefully we’ll see Calathes, who was in the 1st round ballpark, talent-wise, with the Mavs in 2010 or 2011.
  • The NY Daily News is reporting that the Knicks plan to meet up with Jason Kidd to discuss his free agency tomorrow morning.  In the back of your mind, note that this is the Daily News.  That’s all that really needs to be said on that subject.  Still, I don’t doubt the Knicks having some very real interest in Kidd.  Ideally (for New York, at least), Kidd could help lure some bigger names to the Big Apple, while running D’Antoni’s offense better than Chris Duhon ever could.  The question remains if Kidd wants to put a chance for a championship on hold, despite what could be similar offers coming from contending teams.  Kidd could make sense on either the Lakers or the Cavs, and if either team offered him the full midlevel (though L.A.’s tax situation makes the extra salary quite a burden), would Kidd really turn them down to suit up in New York?  Of course, let’s not forget the Mavs in all of this; Mark Cuban has made it crystal clear that the Mavs don’t just want Kidd back, they need him back.  It’s tough to get a read on exactly how Kidd viewed his most recent stop in Dallas.  But supposing there weren’t any ill wills, the Mavs should have the inside track to re-signing Kidd by holding up a bigger check.
  • So far, the trade market has dictated a bit of a rich-getting-richer, poor-getting-poorer atmosphere.  The Spurs get Richard Jefferson while the Bucks save money.  The Magic get Vince Carter while the Nets save money and get younger.  While I wouldn’t say the Mavs are as rich as Orlando or San Antonio, they can certainly benefit from a similar mindset.  Mark Cuban and Donnie Nelson have spoken frequently about taking advantage of the opportunities that arise, and the climate seems ripe for the capitalizing.
  • Retaining Brandon Bass should be, and likely will be, high on the Mavs’ list of priorities.  As the Morning News points out, the Mavs can offer Bass a long-term, competitive contract without actually using up their midlevel exception.  That would allow Nelson to secure frontcourt depth while also taking aim for a player like Rasheed Wallace or Marcin Gortat.  Considering the generally poor cap situation going into 2010, I’d hate to see Bass walk out the door for no compensation whatsoever.