Rumor Mongering: Is This Really What We Want?

Posted by Rob Mahoney on June 15, 2009 under Rumors | 9 Comments to Read

Chris Broussard, ESPN:

Phoenix has also fielded calls from other teams that have inquired about [Shaquille] O’Neal, including the Dallas Mavericks, New Orleans Hornets, Portland Trail Blazers and New York Knicks. While getting talent in return is a priority, the Suns’ desire for financial relief is real, which means they will likely trade O’Neal and his $20 million contract this offseason.

…Dallas could send the Suns Jerry Stackhouse and Erick Dampier, but the Suns have little interest in the Mavericks’ plodding center, especially since he has two years and more than $23 million left on his contract. [emphasis mine]

First things first: the reason why Dampier is a valuable trade chip is because that second year on his contract that Broussard cites is actually unguaranteed money.  Damp is very nearly a free agent, and that’s likely the only reason why he’d turn a head in the trade market.

But I wouldn’t read too much into the O’Neal rumors regardless.  Broussard makes it crystal clear that the Suns aren’t willing to send away Shaq for savings alone, as doing so would be Steve Kerr leveraging the franchise straight into the ground.  He broke up the core, brought on the departure of a beloved coach, and changed the style; getting rid of Shaq isn’t just admitting defeat, but admitting that no small move can make things right.  It’d send a bad message to Steve Nash, to Amare Stoudemire, and to the fanbase (including those ever valuable season ticket holders).

Damp and Jerry Stackhouse are the trade chips most often linked to O’Neal and his mammoth contract, and it’s unlikely that saving a few bucks will be enough to inspire Kerr to send his career into a tailspin.  Robert Sarver may pull a lot of puppet strings with dollar signs in his eyes, but I just don’t see this one happening in the name of a few million.  If the Mavs somehow included a signed-and-traded Bass, that’s a possibility.  If they include Josh Howard, that’s a possibility.  If they even included J.J. Barea, the Suns might pay attention for a few seconds.  But Dampier and Stackhouse alone?  I wouldn’t count on it.

  • Me

    Funny. If Portland really is interested in Shaq, he’ll have to come off the bench behind Oden and Pryz (LOL). Shaq as Portland’s 3rd string center. The only thing funnier would be watching him itching to get in the game as Portland faced Kobe and the Lakers in the 2010 WCF. Hillarious.

  • Crawford

    Any way the Mavs can swing Josh Howard for Josh Smith…then package Terry and Expiring Contracts to Wiz for Brandon Jennings?

    Now THAT’S Re-making on the fly!

    1. J-Kidd
    2. Wright
    3/4. Josh Smith
    3/4. Dirk
    5. Damp / Hollins / Bass

    -Point Guard of the Future waiting in the wings learning from the great master

  • Chaz

    While it might bring in some money to the AAC to do the trade, I’d really like to see what other options the Mavs could pursue from cash-strapped teams or teams needing to make plays. I’d even much rather see them make a move for someone like Chris Kaman, who Dirk is obviously comfortable playing with during their time on the German team, (or even Emeka Okafor) and take the longer salary over going after the Big Splash that could create much more discord for the team if things don’t work out.

  • Andytobo

    Honestly, the only way I’d want Shaq is if we could get him for even less than those two big contracts. He had a fine year last year, but he’s an old man–and the Mavs are only marginally less of a fast-breaking team than the Suns, at this point. Major makeover pending, perhaps. Who knows?

    The way I see it, the Mavs have several saleable commodities. Howard and Terry, both coming off years that either made them seem valuable (again, perhaps), two huge contracts (Damp, Stack), and the 22. They need to employ these judiciously or they’ll end up with NOTHING to use to get better and then it’ll really be over. Is Shaq really the answer? Doubtful. Although if we could get him for not much—neat.

  • Crawford

    What do you guys think about this crazy option:

    Mavs Trade:
    Sign and Trade Kidd (7 million / 3 years)
    Trade Matt Carroll (5.5 million / 4 years!)

    Lakers Trade:
    Sign and Trade Ariza (8 million / 4 years)
    Trade Derek Fisher (4 million / 1 year expiring contract)

    That truly allows us to pursue homeruns with Josh Howard and Jason Terry, because we have our athletic deepshooting wingman. I am a JKidd fan, and will not be disappointed if we re-sign him, his experience makes us contenders now.

    Is there anyone else out there that is ready to run the point for this team. Could Fisher do it for a year, getting the ball to Dirk on the block / Josh Smith in transition / Ariza in the corner …while hitting the big 3′s we need?


  • Brian D

    Don’t let the two big threes he hit in game 4 of the Finals fool you, Derek Fisher is more washed up than an obsessive-compulsive’s hands. I like Ariza, but if we had to take such a gigantic step backwards at the point, I’d say hell no.

  • Crawford

    Good point. I guess I was thinking along the lines of getting up to the 5 spot and drafting our new Devin Harris point guard of the future.

    Maybe Fish could hold down the point with Mike James (would almost inevitably be included if we did deal with the Wizards) for one year while the Rookie in waiting gains som experience.

    After that we’d have Ariza and a Jennings/Rubio/Holiday type point going forward.

    Just trying to brainstorm, really.

  • Rob Mahoney

    Yeah, I don’t really see that one working out. Ariza is a great player for the triangle, but ask him to create his own offense and you’ve got trouble. He’s an excellent perimeter defender and showed a much improved shooting stroke, but you’d have to think Jason Kidd could get better returns than just Ariza.

    And Brian is definitely right on Fisher. I want no part of Fish at this point. If you think Tony Parker had his way with the Mavs’ D before, imagine Fish trying to keep pace.

  • Crawford

    All good thoughts. Excited to see what we decide to do. With Josh Smith’s very reasonable contract I hope we make a play for him regardless of our scheme. I equate it to “drafting the best player on the board.” He will never be a hard player to ship off if we can’t make it work, once his trade kicker is eaten up by us.