Nearing the End of the Free Agent Bazaar

Posted by Rob Mahoney on July 23, 2009 under Commentary | 28 Comments to Read

It’s nearing that time, kids.  The time when regrettable mid-level deals are forged and signed with blood, when fits-like-a-glove veterans are snatched up for pennies on the dollar, and when the yearly projects (Oh, hi Gerald.) find their new temporary home in which to fail to make the jump.  Late summer is truly a magical time for basketball fans.

The Gortat Incident seems years in the past, and while that episode may have trampled some hope for the upcoming season, there are still some serviceable free agents out there.  Most of them can be had on the relative cheap and still provide meaningful production.  Some of them can even do so in ways that would maximize a Mavs’ investment.

The biggest questions should be centered around how these potential Mavericks could change the team’s outlook towards the free agent Mavs in limbo: Ryan Hollins, Gerald Green, and James Singleton.  It’s no secret that the Mavs have some, shall we say, “issues” in the middle.  There’s Erick Dampier and a whole lot of nothing.  Will Dirk shift over?  Are any of the relative unknowns on the roster ready to body up in the paint?  Hard to say.  But the lack of “real” centers (whatever that means anymore) on the roster is a definite point of concern.  Ryan Hollins isn’t quite the remedy we had in mind when the off-season started, but locking him up for next season should be viewed as a necessity.  Brandon Bass won’t be around to log minutes at the five and muscle up on the inside, so a combination of Hollins and makeshift 5s will likely have to do the job.

That is, unless the Mavs are particularly enamored with one of the centers still swimming around in the free agent pool.

It seems like the Mavs have seen just about all they need to see from Gerald Green.  If circumstances were different, like if the Mavs were desperately trying to fill their roster rather than trim it, I could see everyone’s favorite/least favorite slammajamma prospect stick around for another year.  But there’s really no incentive to make an obligation to G-Money.  He wasn’t dynamic or even singularly effective enough last season to warrant special consideration, and given what the Mavs already have to work with, committing additional dollars and a roster spot to the Green dream seems pretty foolish.

Singleton’s place with the team is even more ambiguous.  James hustled his way into Maverick hearts last season and proved to be a rebounding machine.  It’s questionable how much floor time would be available to Singleton with Shawn Marion being worked into the mix, but James is an ideal guy to fill out a roster and bring energy off the bench.  But again, with the roster crunch the Mavs are in at the moment, it could be tough to bring Singleton back.  Doing so would likely require a trade or a waiver, which may be more trouble than a 10th man is worth, especially if another free agent option is deemed superior.

With that in mind, let’s take to the list of the remaining free agents that should interest the Mavs:

1. Lamar Odom, F (unrestricted) – Lamar is the big fish.  He’s plump from chomping on that Championship gold, and is a long shot (at best) to land with the Mavs; Even if Odom isn’t feeling the love from the Lakers, the Heat would likely one-up the Mavs in terms of both fit and personal preference.  Oh, bother.

You also may notice that Odom is about as bad of a fit as you can get given the current core.  LO can is a forward, and both of his natural positions are waist-deep in talent.  Dirk Nowitzki, Shawn Marion, and Josh Howard form one mean forward rotation, and finding room for Lamar Odom in that mix would definitely be tricky.  But Odom is unique and talented enough that those concerns come later.  If you can grab Lamar Odom as a free agent, you do it.  Period.  He’s as versatile as players get in this league and now championship-validated, which is a rather powerful thing to add to a resume.

2. Rasho Nesterovic, C (unrestricted) – I know what you’re thinking.  Yes, Rasho is big, he’s white, and he’s lumbering, but this guy is definitely better than you think he is.  I can’t think of a single facet of Rasho’s game that would warrant calling him a beast, but supposing the Mavs are truly looking to fill minutes at the 5 with free agent imports, I see them doing no better than Nesterovic.  Offensively, he won’t provide much.  Strictly a garbage buckets, open dunks and layups kinda guy.  But on the defensive end, that’s where Rasho is valuable.  Having two serviceable centers who can play D is a luxury few teams have in today’s NBA, and though Erick Dampier and Rasho Nesterovic are neither big names nor offensive juggernauts, together they could go a long way towards slowing down the league’s back-to-the-basket types.

3. Carlos Delfino, SG (restricted) -Delfino is a baller.  His game is smooth and he’s a fine shooter (.490 eFG on jumpers), but unfortunately one who is decidedly average from behind the arc (.356 for his career from three).  Delfino offers a prototypical look that would allow the Mavs to run slightly more conventional lineups from the bench.  He slashes, he hits his midrange looks, and he’s a solid defender; Carlos Delfino is a player just waiting for the right opportunity, and I feel like the Mavs could be a great fit.  Delfino would blossom with some offensive talent around him, and with all the loaded guns the Mavs are packing, he should have no problem getting open looks.  The two-way shooting guard that the Mavs have craved may be a vagabond Argentine…or at worst, he slides in as a rotation wing with a diverse game.

4. Von Wafer, SG (unrestricted) – Von Wafer is a ruthless scorer.  He’d cut the throat of a kitten for a bucket, but that same drive makes him a bit of a black hole.  For what it’s worth, he also had trouble getting along with Rockets’ coach Rick Adelman, perhaps the most players’ coachy of players’ coaches.

Wafer may never tighten the screws that keep his head on his shoulders, and that’s likely the red flag that has kept the Mavs away.  If Wafer can’t learn to play nice with his coach and his teammates, he’ll never be able to thrive in the shot-in-the-arm role that best suits his game.  I don’t think Wafer has the talent or potential to pan out as a top-level scorer, but he would rock it as a punch off the bench.  The Mavs already have that covered with a cat named Jason Terry.  You may have heard of him.  But if Von has trouble finding a home and re-enters the market for bargain value, the Mavs would be stupid to pass up the depth…unless Wafer’s even more troublesome to a locker room than I give him credit for.

5. Ike Diogu, PF (unrestricted) – Diogu may not seem like a fit at first glance, but he could be incredibly useful as a post threat on the second unit.  Ike would slide into Brandon Bass’ role as an undersized PF/C, though his game is more drop steps and less money jumpers.

Diogu’s counting stats won’t wow you, but he’s never really had an ample opportunity to strut his stuff.  His career high in minutes is just a shade under 15, and as such his career averages are decidedly pedestrian.  But when you scope out Diogu’s efficiency numbers and per-minute numbers, they’re truly stellar.  Behold, Ike’s stats per 36 (via Basketball-Reference.com.  Click here to see a larger version.):

That’s typically not the level of production you pick up late in free agency.  And more often than not, you don’t find these players pining away on the wrong end of a rotation for the first four years of their career.

6. Leon Powe, PF (unrestricted) – Leon Powe could turn out to be a great investment, but the returns will be delayed.  He’s currently rehabbing from a torn ACL, which is injury-speak for no bueno.  Logic and precedent tell you not to offer a guaranteed contract to a man with jelly knees, but logic and precedent aren’t staring down a short frontcourt rotation that could use a quality big.  Sheesh, the nerve of those two.

Hinging the frontcourt rotation on Powe’s knee could be a gamble, but if the Mavs aren’t satisfied with what they’ve got (Ahmad Nivins included.  He looked like a player in summer league, but you never know what to expect from a team with a full roster.), then they could opt for a low-salary, option-based deal with Powe.

7. Rashad McCants, SG (unrestricted) – He’s young, he’s available, and he’s a scorer.  Unfortunately, he’s not much else.  McCants is a mouth with a jumpshot, but enough of both that he could inject some swagger and balance the court with his range.  As long as the deal is within reason, McCants could be the extra gun arm needed to shoot the lights out.  He also just so happened to work out with the team a few weeks back, so he’s got that on his side.

8. Keith Bogans, SG (unrestricted) – Bogans is one of those defensive-stopper types who grabbed the label through lack of alternatives.  Bogans doesn’t have much going for him offensively, but he’s a good option as a spot-up shooter on the perimeter.  Luckily for the Mavs, that’s pretty much what they’re looking for in a shooting guard.  With the offensive talent the Mavs have, sometimes optimizing the offensive flow is as simple as spacing the floor and going to work.  When the double teams come, shooters are in position, and if they don’t, you’re looking at a high-quality shot for one of the Mavs’ offensive weapons.  It’s hard to say exactly where such a player would fit in minutes-wise, but if the Mavs are looking for back-up plans in case playing Howard at the 2 goes South, they could do worse than Bogans.  Itty bitty problems: Bogans is no spring chicken, so what you see is pretty much what you get, and there are definite redundancies in the games of Keith Bogans and the newly-signed Quinton Ross.

  • benway37

    Don’t we already have a guy with a jumpshot and not much else in Matt Carroll? If we’re talking about spot up shooters to log a few minutes a night, isn’t he at least as good as the options still out there? Considering Q.Ross is also on the bench as an athletic long 2, not to mention Terry and now Roddy and Barea, I think there is actually quite a bit of wealth on the perimeter coming off the bench. Paired with the versatility that Marion and J.Ho possess (not to mention J.Kidd’s ability to guard 2′s on defense) I think you can get really creative with different combinations. I am much more concerned with getting more help down low. They need to be able to turn some of their remaining assets into reinforcements in the paint.

    Rasho sort of scares me. He is pretty much a less talented white Dampier. I would rather see a PF/C like Diogu. Curious to see Nivins, though,

    • http://www.thetwomangame.com Rob Mahoney

      Carroll’s shooting has fallen off the map. I’ve seen the guy playing during his more productive stretches and he could still pan out as a decent acquisition, but something is ailing him and throwing off his jump shot. His confidence is clearly shaken, and until he gets that back, he’s pretty useless as a shooter.

      I only advocate adding another shooting guard for the following reasons:
      1. There are few options at center left on the market.
      2. I am a huge Nivins fan from what I saw in Summer League play, and adding another big means Ahmad is that much closer to being left out in the cold.
      3. If the Mavs are content on adding something via free agency, I’d rather it be a quality wing than an ill-fitting forward.
      4. It would be prudent for the Mavs to have a long-term option at shooting guard with some room to grow.

  • Brian D

    Do any of these guys have much room to grow though? I feel like McCants, Delfino, and Wafer are what they are at this point.

  • http://vittoriodezen.wordpress.com Vittorio De Zen

    Great list.

    The Mavs would be lucky to get anyone in the top 6. As a Raptors fan, I’m hoping you guys don’t get #2 or #3. As a Diogu fan, I hope that if he ends up in Dallas, he actually gets some minutes. Carlisle is generally good at recognizing who should be on the floor, which is great, but I think Dirk and Marion are both most effective at the 4, which isn’t the best news for Ike.

    • http://www.thetwomangame.com Rob Mahoney

      @ Brian: Delfino and Wafer seem set, but I still feel like McCants could become a better defender. He’s never had a coach as good as Carlisle, and I’m hoping that with the right man at the helm and hopefully the right attitude, he could be a player.

      @Vittorio: Yeah, I’d love to see Ike a Mav, but he’d definitely have to play some center. The sample size of his minutes there is pretty small (and skewed by things like playing in the middle for the Warriors as a rookie), so there’s not a lot to go on. But if the Mavs’ brass think him up to the task, I’d be all for it.

  • Kevin

    I know it sounds crazy but why don’t we just get AI? For one if we want to keep Jet on the bench he’s a more natural starter at the 2 than Howard. Him and Kidd in the backcourt would probably work better than what we’re planning right now defensively seeing as how Kidd was pretty good at guarding 2s and AI can probably defend the point as well as anyone on the team. This would also give us the flexibility to trade Howard (since Terry and Kidd are probably untradeable) for a big man. Or as long as we didn’t mess up and overpay we could trade Iverson midseason if an injury causes a need for a guard on a semi contender. And for all the talk about AI’s problems Kidd has caused his teams some headaches, Marion talked his way off the Suns and we all know about Howard so it’s not exactly like he’s coming to the chemistry oriented Spurs. I realize it could blow up like Detroit (though that was more losing Billups than anything) the Mavs don’t have another option (other than Odom but that won’t happen) that really has any chance of taking this team to the next level. Either roll the dice on something like this or settle for another 5-8 seed and probable 1st round exit.

  • Jordan

    @benway37

    Rasho shouldn’t scare you. He might not have a world of talent, but he’s very cerebral and every team he plays on, his teammates love him. He knows basketball. He’s also got a pretty solid 15-foot jumper, something Dampier can’t even dream of at this point. Let’s not forget he’s played with the Spurs. Anyone who has played with the Spurs in the Tim Duncan, Greg Pop era should not be considered risky in terms of what they bring to the table. Even Stephen Jackson has been solid after leaving the Spurs.

    @Kevin

    Yes! I love this idea. I wanted them to get AI instead of Kidd a couple years back. If they sign AI, then they can go ahead and trade Howard…anyone interested in Chris Kaman? I think a Howard for Kaman trade works out beautifully for both teams. AI is the type of dynamic scorer that could keep the constant doubles off of Dirk. Plus, with Marion on board, AI’s defensive deficiencies can be hidden, a la Steve Nash. And unlike Nash, AI can at least can get some of those points back with his gambling addiction.

  • Andrew

    The one problem with Nesterovic is that I’d convulsively throw up every time I saw the name Nesterovic stitched onto the back of a Mavericks jersey. I’m not saying I’m the rest of you guys’ responsibility, I’m just saying I’m already pretty skinny. I don’t REMEMBER him playing defense, but I’ll take your word for it.

    As for Ike, he had the strangest season last year I can ever remember someone having. Ike played in 29 games last season, averaging 4.5 minutes a game from November through March, then in the last two games of the season he plays 40 minutes each and goes for 32-11 and 28-13. I’m pretty sure that’s never happened before. How did it happen even once?

  • Chaz

    Rasho would be a good gain. I don’t think we need to log-jam the backcourt any more until the team starts playing together and seeing who thrives in the rotation.

  • BK

    I have a question regarding Leon Powe. I know that since we are over the cap we could only sign him for the minimum for 2 seasons, but what is the minimum portion of the MLE that we can sign Leon Powe with and for how long. Powe was a great young energy guy off the bench for the Celtics, and he’s only 25, so if we could get him for 3-4 years for pretty cheap, I would love that. Hopefully, he will be back in shape sometime during the season, maybe he doesn’t ever really get it back. IF we can get him really cheap, it could be low risk high reward move, nothing that will put us over the top, but very nice if it works.

    Now Diogu or Warrik would be nice backup options too, but we might be able to get Powe super cheap because of his injury.

    • http://www.thetwomangame.com Rob Mahoney

      Thanks for the praise all, you guys are rock stars.

      @BK: As far as I know, you can divide the MLE into as many smaller amounts as possible. I’d bet that he and his agent would be pulling for a short-term deal with a player option, which would guarantee Powe some cash while also giving him a chance to recover and work into another deal.

      The roster spot is another issue, as the Mavs would need to clear some room, foot the bill on some waivers, and/or say goodbye to the unsigned free agents and Ahmad Nivins.

      @Kevin, Jordan, and Brayden: Iverson isn’t worth the investment, and there are a million and one reasons why. But rather than go off here in the comments, look for a post either later tonight or tomorrow.

      @benway: The center position is obviously evolving. That much has been true for years. But the key is to have a center rotation with both offensive skill (even if it’s just converting easy buckets), depth, and defensive versatility. The latter is exactly for the reason you described: LA, Orlando, and Cleveland are among the best teams in the league, but the true center depth needed to counter their bigs isn’t necessarily effective against other teams and lineups. I think the Mavs need to essentially shore up all three of those facets for the center position, and the easiest way to do that in one fell swoop is to acquire a capable center with varied skills that could push Damp into a reserve role. That’s the logic. It’s not perfect, and trading Josh Howard for Chris Kaman straight up would hurt the team, but at this point people are just throwing things against the wall.

      The reason why Mavs fans are still searching for the answer at the 2 guard in spite of the presence of Jason Terry and Josh Howard there is because neither was particularly good at defending that position last season. JETs always been one of those guys who tries pretty hard but just isn’t a solid defender, and Josh clearly is not the defender he once was. He built his name in the league off of his hustle and defense, but that player is no more. He’s evolved as a player and a person, and a few too many surgeries have significantly limited his lateral movement. Maybe Josh makes a more than full recovery and looks awesome against 2s, and maybe having Marion around to share the load will do wonders for Josh’s health and resolve. Definite possibilities. But until I see it, I’m not convinced. That’s why the plan should be to remain flexible and see what’s out there.

      And boy, the claim that Howard rarely takes bad shots may be a bit much. That man loves the cross-over, cross-over, step-back, fadeaway jumper more than I love Marquis Daniels. He also has a bit of a revenge complex, where if a defender challenges him with a poke at the ball or a slight bump, he rarely gives up the rock. The numbers on Howard’s black hole nature are pretty conclusive, and though he showed some definite improvement (and reversion back to old school Josh) late in the season and in the playoffs, we need to see more and more of it.

      I think you’re a bit off on Rasho. Dude can defend. It’s not always pretty and (as you mentioned) not perfect, but he would have been a quick shore up on a slim rotation. I’m pumped to see Nivins at work on the pro level, and I’m keeping my fingers crossed that the Mavs will find a way to squeeze him into the roster and the rotation.

      @Pike: Just posted about it a little while ago.

      @David: David Lee’s a restricted free agent and as such, any offer the Mavs throw his way would only benefit the Knicks. The Mavs can only offer the full mid-level exception without working the sign-and-trade route, and considering the lack of low-salary, movable pieces, I don’t see what’s in it for the Knicks. Otherwise, Lee’s market value is well above the MLE, and thus offering that would only let the Knicks match it and re-sign Lee on the cheap.

      @JT: Hak is definitely in the “Well…why the hell not?” category. Though I’d prefer Diogu or Nivins to him, mostly because they can fill minutes at center. Warrick’s more of a combo forward.

  • Brayden

    AI on the Mavs? I had completely written that off in my mind, until now. I was intrigued for a minute and then remembered why I had written it off.

    AI is definitely a chemistry risk, and I think Carlisle has got the locker room in a good state right now. AI has never been a good defender. AI likes to have the ball in his hands, and I just cant see him spotting up and throwing it down to Dirk on a lot of plays before deciding to do something on his own. In other words, he’s a ball hog that is more about himself than the team, no matter what he says. Otherwise he would never have said he wanted to play for the Grizz.

    The Iverson at the 2 idea but guarding 1′s wouldn’t be that much different than starting Barea at the 2, except Barea plays team ball. Defensively AI gets more steals but that is about it.

    Or there is always Kryptonate, who I think could play the AI role you described. He is quick, can penetrate, is decent on defense, and can score as well. He could allow for Terry to move to the starting lineup, or start at the two himself and still give us the same scheme with Kidd guarding the 2 on defense.

    Here’s the thing though. Kidd guarding 2′s only works on some teams. We definitely need a serviceable backup to that, and I agree with Rob that a good spot up shooter, and long defender would be the best fit if we need to add someone. Maybe Ross will shine there, and maybe not. That said, I could be intrigued with Nate, or just good old Barea in that configuration in certain circumstances.

  • http://www.hoopangle.com/mavericks Bryan

    If we can get Nesterovic, we don’t absolutely NEED a center anymore and we can wait on the Clippers to fold and trade Kaman to the Mavs and his buddy Dirk for Damp’s expiring contract. There’s a pretty good article about the Mav’s state of mind right now and where they’re headed with their roster moves. It’s called ‘Contender or Pretender?’ on the front page of http://www.hoopangle.com/mavericks

  • benway37

    The reasoning here is all flawed.
    1) The depth of quality bigs on the FA market is slim.
    2) If we sign a 2 guard (never mind for now that the depth of quality 2s on the market is also decidedly slim), we can then trade our quality perimeter player for someone else’s big man, such as Chris Kaman.

    Am I the only one that fails to see the logic in this? First of all, when you say that there is a lack of available big men on the market, what you are really saying is that there is a lack of big men in the league.
    I look at it like this: The Mavs were essentially built to beat the Spurs. It’s something we do pretty well, and fairly often. The problem is that the Spurs are built like an old school team. Damp does as well as anyone defending Duncan because Duncan can’t jump over a piece of toast. But he can’t be isolated on Gasol. He can’t move up and down the lane with Nene or follow NO/PHX’s pick and roll 18 ft out.
    Look at the scouting report from summer league: No big men with a back to the basket game. The square up big and the hybrid/center is more of a trend than ever, and increasingly last year, I saw more and more games in which Dampier was not effective simply because “his” man was not a true back to basket 5. Since Damp is not a true offensive threat, there was never any recourse to keep our opponent from such a tactic.
    Does anyone else think Marion would not have been a better defender against any of Denver’s bigs? Or Gasol? Or Amare? Or Chandler?
    There are very few teams with true talented depth at center: Orlando (sorry guys), Cleveland, and LA.
    Cleveland and Orlando are in the east (and it is arguable that Big Z can be considered talent anymore), and I would argue that b/c Gasol is such a finesse player, you are better off guarding him with a more active and strong 4 (Like Marion, for example.)
    (You’d say Boston has depth at 5 but they are made up mostly of bigs who are precisely the kind of player Damp is ineffective against.)
    The Marion/Howard perimeter combo is not something that would be easily replaced.
    I would counter that the overall effectiveness (offense/defense/versatility) would be vastly compromised by losing Howard at the 2. I really do think he is that versatile and special of a player. I just looked at a list of 2s and there weren’t many I’d rather have if I had a starting 5.
    I actually think trading him for a 5 like Kaman would make us a worse defensive team, because you would either A) sacrifice his on-ball perimeter defense (pretty good from what I’ve seen) and his rebounding, or you would B) sacrifice his offense wearing the other player down, and the effectiveness that tends to have on the other player.
    Trust me, I like the idea of Kobe having to check J.Ho’s slash and drive midrange game for 30 minutes much more than I like him freelancing around on D. and harassing Chris Kaman into dumping the ball back out b/c Antoine Wright or Quentin Ross or any of our supposed defensive (non)Kobe stoppers are just chilling out on the perimeter waiting to take the shot LA wanted us to take in the first place.

    I look at this team (with Howard) and see a starting 5 with above avg rebounding at every position. Dirk, while not a center, clears the defensive board as efficiently as any center in the league. A team that moves Marion to the 3 and Howard to the 2 only strengthens our propensity to out-rebound opponents.
    Because of that apparent strength, it is possible to find a big with some offensive game, even if he is not a true center, so as to keep any defensive scheme honest. To have Kidd as the facilitator only works if we maximize the players around Dirk as “Kidd friendly”. I would argue that Dirk “works” for most of his buckets, thus minimizing Kidd’s “work”. Having Marion is Kidd-friendly, and having Howard at the 2 is Kidd-friendly (and if you think Howard needs the ball in his hands to be effective, go back and check reels from his first 2 seasons in the league). Damp is not so Kidd-friendly given that he doesn’t run, doesn’t post, not the best hands… well you know.
    It would be more advantageous to find any big body (center or not) who can combine the following traits:
    Run the floor a little (or)
    Shoot a 10 to 15 foot jumper (or)
    have some ups and some hands (and)
    Be over 6’9″
    From what I’ve seen, Nivins can do all these things, plus he’s even got a couple post moves. He played the 5 on an undersized team in college, so his defensive mindset should already be that of an underdog grinder coming in.
    I’m not saying he’s the answer, but a player like that who can bring even a little offense keeps his man honest and allows dirk more room to operate.
    The defensive “sacrifice” of “going small for offense” is less urgent, given that you would technically only be small at one position, flanked by a 7 footer who rebounds well and a long, athletic 3 that rebounds, blocks shots, and plays help d really well.

    I think Cuban measures himself against the best, and truly believes he is assembling a team to compete with the best. That means the Lakers, Magic, Celts, Spurs, Cavs… Dallas is in that mix right behind those teams… a break here or there, another pick-up here or there… who knows
    But adding Kaman and losing Howard will not move you up.
    Adding Kaman without losing Howard? Yes. All for it.
    Even better? Adding Camby without losing Howard.
    That would be the kind of move that could hoist trophies in June.

    My main impression of Rasho is of him being one second too slow so that he rotates over just in time for a poster dunk to officially include him. Not saying it’s an analysis, just an overall impression.
    But someone please tell me why everyone is so hell bent on moving J.Ho? And for Kaman? Really? Camby and his expiring deal maybe (but why would the Clips come off it?). Please don’t bring up Howard’s off court antics as a reason to trade in the same thread where an AI acquisition is garnering support. That literally is apples to apples and I’ll take Howard’s prime playing years plus baggage over AI’s swan song. Not to mention that I truly think Howard is an ideal fit at the 2. I have actually thought him a bit frail to run the 3 these last couple of years. I think the concern for his ankles is lessened on the perimeter, and now his contributions from the 2 (rebounding, versatile defense) should be more on display.
    He is the same size as VCarter, but unquestionably quicker laterally, and probably a better on the ball defender. The numbers are pretty even, with Carter avg more assists.
    I’ve heard that Howard is a bit of a black hole, but I would counter that it’s because plays are specifically run for him to shoot, and honestly, he doesn’t really ever put up a bad shot. I rarely have beef with the look he gets, which is a lot more than I could say about JET.
    But I admittedly have a man-crush on Howard’s game. If he continues to work his midrange game from the 2 spot (as opposed to just settling for outside jumpers), then there really won’t be many 2′s you’d rather have.

  • benway37

    sorry had to add more.
    compulsive. madness.
    first of all, Rob, great site. Between you and DB.com i get almost enough mavs news and tidbits to suffice. If you could somehow syndicate Simmons’ pieces I could ignore espn altogether.
    It’s funny that yr such a big fan of ‘quis. when he came in with howard i would always get mad cause i thought they were essentially serving the same need with howards game being much smoother. My brother, fellow Mavs fan, totally agreed. Not that I thought we should have gotten rid of him. Two JHo’s or 2 ‘Quis and we are versatile enough to adapt to GS in 07. Alas.

    At all MAVS fans:
    Our starting 5 will be Damp, Dirk, Marion, Kidd & Howard, but as much as it is possible, our finishing 5 will be Kidd, Terry, Howard, Marion and Dirk.
    This intent is crucially important, and it should guide the philosophy behind future acquisitions.
    The Mavs have some potential (and unforeseen) depth at PG created by the promise Beaubois has shown (at worst, a nice 3rd string PG, at best a spark off the bench and potential ParkerPG-type equalizer)
    Because of this, more and more of Terry’s minutes will truly come from the 2. He will not necessarily have to “borrow” minutes at the 1. Because we shift Howard to the 2, where we have Terry’s depth, Howard now creates depth at his former position, the 3. And Marion creates depth at the 4.
    What this means is that even though Howard starts at the 2, he is essentially the “extra man” created by the eventual elimination of the “center” by the end of the game. That’s why he is more valuable to us than other “similar” 2s (much less smaller ones, such as AI).
    He will log minutes with the second unit. Or he will allow Marion to log minutes with the second unit.
    Factor this in when you consider the depth of the second unit. Right now the bench looks like Terry and a whole lot of question marks, but it could just as easily look like Howard and a whole lot of ???s, or Marion and a whole lot of ???s.
    And yr like “yeah, that’s a lot of ???s” but you have to admit that those are all very different scenarios when you assess yr 2nd unit needs.
    And it might be that you come to the same conclusions- that we need one more perimeter player (2 or 3) and some back-up beef down low- but this is at least a more realistic assessment of where our depth is, and what sized holes (read: minutes) we are trying to fill.

  • inspiritu

    fantastic stuff, rob.

    and benway37–fantastic reply (and yes i still come to the same conclusions).

    please forward all to mavs organization.

    i do like nesterovic–good defender and possesses both a solid jump shot and an ability/willingness to pass and spread the ball around. but he is damn slow. still–a workable option.

    i LOVE the idea of a healthy leon powe on this team. he is truly tough. but can’t blame anyone for not wanting to get involved with that knee.

    as far as SGs–delfino is the most attractive option, i think. versatile and defense-minded, and seems like he knows what’s going on on the court. please do not get mccants or wafer. please. or iverson for that matter.

    anyway, i’m loving the excitement (here i am checking a mavs blog every day in the summer months). have not seen any of nivins but beaubois has a ton of promise.

  • Pike

    Rob,

    Your thoughts on the DMN article and the Nellie/Cuban transcripts? Donnie wanted Podkolzin at the number 5 pick? Does this worry you?

    - Pike

  • Kev

    Rasho:

    This guy is definitely more offensive heavy than he is defensive. He’s got a mid range shot, good touch around the rim, he’s an intelligent player, and a very solid passer. Defensively… Benway provides a nice snapshot

    “My main impression of Rasho is of him being one second too slow so that he rotates over just in time for a poster dunk to officially include him.”

    He’s also a very productive fouler. Which is not a bad thing. The Mavs could use a guy who’s not afraid to throw a hard foul to prevent an easy bucket. But as far as Rasho as a defensive presence, I see him more as the center who takes a charge than the center who rejects a shot. Albeit, he can post a few blocks every now and then and possibly slow down an aging Tim Duncan.

    Von Wafer:

    From what I’ve seen, this guy is a selfish player! He definitely has a scorer’s mentality (and he can score), but chemistry wise, do the Mavs really need a guy like this?

    If I had to pick any guy from that list excluding Odom, I’d take IKE for his potential followed by Rasho for his cute face and muscular body.

  • David

    Hey rob,
    I love the site. I was wondering if you had heard anything about the possibility of David Lee, and if not why? It seems like he would definitely fill the void of losing Bass, and I think he’s tough enough to play center with Dirk and him on the floor at the same time. Any thoughts?

  • JT

    Rob, really enjoy the site. Some great Mavs breakdowns and analysis.

    As for our offseason plans, I am really encouraged by the deal the Mavs were able to get with Marion. Like the others said above, he gives us that versatility to run big (Marion at the 3) or small (Marion at the 4).

    I have nothing but great expectations for Beaubois after watching the summer league. The only thing I’d seen of him was the Thriller highlight video on Youtube, but Roddy Buckets has some game.

    As for the offseason, I like toying with the idea of Delfino. He can score and defend decently. We do need another backup wing, for the eventual Howard 10-game injury.

    As for the bigs, I hope the Mavs re-sign Hollins. He gives all his energy when he’s out on the floor. Granted, he might not be using as well as he could, but at least he hustles and defends.

    The Mavs should also sign Nivins. He rebounded, played with energy, and had some pretty good offensive moves. A nice replacement for Bass, eventually.

    If the Mavs really want another big, I think the Mavs should go hard after Hakim Warrick. He’s young, super-athletic, and a good rebounder. He might cost a majority of the MLE, but he is still pretty young (27). Personally, I don’t know if this gets us to the WCF or the Finals, but watching JKidd throwing alley-oops to Warrick and Marion would be fun as hell to watch.

    What do ya’ll think about Warrick?

  • Pike

    @David-

    I think David Lee will get an offer better than the MLE.

  • BK

    Well it seems like Rasho is gone according to Bosh’s twitter so that is one option (good or not) that is out of the picture. In other news, Memphis took back the offer on Hakim Warrick so now he is a UFA. I like Warrick or Diogu if they come cheap, and I think Powe could be worth the risk if it is the right price, but I really think Warrick/Diogu would be great pickups that could make the rotation.

  • http://www.bign.com/cagabel Cynthia

    JT…Of all the posts on all the suggestions on who the MAVS should get you are the only person I’ve seen mention Warrick. My son has been advocating signing him all summer and now the Griz have stated they are NOT going to sign him. My son (and I) totally agree with you. Warrick would be a fantastic pick-up for the MAVS. Dude can ball with the best of them. Plays great D and can shoot the rock. Personally, I’d be thrilled if the MAVS could get a player like Warrick.
    I do hope the MAVS can (and do) sign Nivins also. Taken at 56st in the draft he just might be the steal of the summer. I certainly think the kid has got chops and is capable of taking over for Bass if given time.
    Center position is a problem. But of course, when has it not been? With the Wizards siging Oberto, maybe they’ll have a fire sale at the center position. If not and the MAVS get no one else I do hope they re-sign Hollins. The energy and hustle (and HEART) this guy brings to the game CANNOT be duplicated. I LOVE watching this guy play! Plus IF we give up Hollins then (again imop) we gave up Diop purely for NOTHING except to get his $$ off the books which, to me, isn’t good enough.
    If what (so far) all the MAVS have done this off season IS all the MAVS do, I’ll still be pretty happy. Having one draft pick and getting 3 pretty damn good players instead was great, re-signing Kidd was a good deal and getting Marion definitely improved this team by leaps and bounds. Oh by the way….db.com mentioned this…anyone notice that the press conference (for announcing) Marion’s signing has been postponed? Just wondering (as is db.com) WHY? Here’s to keeping my fingers crossed that just MAYBE there will be MORE to announce that just the Marion signing. One can only hope….
    GO MAVS!! (can’t wait for the season to start!)

  • Andrew

    Good old Josh Howard. So ambiguous. You need him, and he can play fantastically. It’s absolutely ridiculous to have a player as talented as he is who can’t integrate into the offense to the point where everyone on both teams knows all other Mavs are going to be taking a backseat in the beginning of the first and fourth. It’s been the way things are for long enough that people round here just accept it–but there’s nothing normal about that. I’ll take the points, rebounding, and occasional good defense, I just don’t understand it.

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  • Brayden

    Uh, Rob… I was totally with you on that Iverson is a bad idea thing. Take another look.

    • http://www.thetwomangame.com Rob Mahoney

      @Brayden: My fault, accidentally lumped you in with those who would give the reins of the offense to a guy that no team in the league will touch.

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