Time to Unload the Clown Car

Posted by Rob Mahoney on September 17, 2009 under Commentary | 13 Comments to Read

The Mavs are in a funny place. They’ve got a boat full of third wheels and mouths to feed, but the stone bird in the hand place isn’t worth two roster spots in the bush. Don’t argue, just nod.

Sixteen players, fifteen roster spots. Waiving Greg Buckner moved the Mavs one step closer to roster equilibrium, but that was the easy part. Parting ways with Buck was a no-brainer considering the savings involved, but unless the Mavs can find a trade partner willing to do a 2-for-1 swap, they’ll be paying a player’s full player salary for naught. No prospect, no practice squad filler, no D-League assignment, and no donut runner.

Most of the players are safe. The Dirks, JETs, and Kidds of the world hardly have to worry about being cut before training camp, and even the Tim Thomases and Matt Carrolls can sleep easy knowing their roster spots are likely safe. But if the league-imposed guillotine comes down to enforce the roster limit, there are three guys in particular that may want to consider alternative arrangements:

  • Shawne Williams – one year, $2.4 million: Williams has long been out of the Mavs’ plans. Brought in as a gamble and a project for Rick Carlisle, Williams never cracked the playing rotation and only turned in a few solid efforts. Shawne has been held at arm’s length for some time with no clear indication of exactly when things went sour between him and the Mavs. But “personal reasons” is the new “back spasms” is the new “plantar fascitis” (I kid), and the team’s apparent lack of interest in Williams could never be more pertinent. If Carlisle, Nelson, and Cuban are convinced that they’ve seen all they need to from Williams (and that outcome seems likely), Shawne could be on his way out.
  • Kris Humphries – two years, $6.1 million: Kris Humphries is one of the new kids, but his role on the team is certainly ambiguous. The Mavs have already filled their high-energy undersized big slot with a familiar face in James Singleton, and Drew Gooden and Shawn Marion would seemingly make all of Humphries’ skills redundant. Can Humphries defend centers? 82games.com seems to answer that question with a conclusive “Meh.” Humphries’ substantial price tag may be enough to keep him a Maverick (though only from some bizarre logic that keeping him forces validation, regardless of the fact the price is paid regardless)
  • Nathan Jawai – one year, $736,420: Nathan Jawai is still a man of mystery, and Mark Cuban himself admitted in his chat with the Dallas Morning News that even he hasn’t had a chance to see Jawai and evaluate him properly. I can’t claim to be any more knowledgeable, as I admit that most of my insight into the Jawaibberwocky is based off of second-hand judgments and footage of limited game action. But his contract is slim and there’s no built-in obligation, making him easy to sever ties with.
  • Crawford

    Good to have you back blogging again. (Yes I know you blogged some…but man those pics of Dirk with the pick axes were so frustrating everytime loading this page 3x a day and not seeing a new post).

    We fans will never have our thirsts slaked. We can only read so much db.com. Summer’s over. Thank you for your work. Hopefully you won’t burn out, because if you quit blogging I will die.

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

      @Crawford: No worries, just starting to get into a pre-season rhythm. I’m not going anywhere.

  • BK

    I really hope that Shawne is the one to go. There is not a lot of certainty at center, whereas at the wing positions we have Howard, Marion, and Jet, so I think you have to get rid of the guy that is less needed in this case. Unless a trade happens, Cuban is going to be paying all these guys this season, so cutting Jawai just cause he’s cheapest wouldn’t make sense if that’s the reason. I think that you have to hold onto both those bigger guys, as they may be able to help some at one of our biggest positions of need.

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  • Joe

    I wonder if the following is worth considering:

    1. Mavs trade Shawne Williams and Kris Humphries to Charlotte for Desagana Diop
    2. Mavs trade Erick Dampier, JJ Barea, and Matt Carroll to Golden State for Monta Ellis and Ronny Turiaf (assuming Golden State really is looking to dump Ellis’ salary).

    The Mavs roster then looks like:

    PG – Kidd (32m)
    SG – Howard (34m)
    SF – Marion (34m)
    PF – Nowitzki (35m)
    C – Diop (25m)
    6th – Terry (30m)
    7th – Ellis (30m)
    8th – Turiaf (9m)
    9th – Gooden (8m)
    10th – Ross (1m)
    11th – Singleton (1m)
    12th – Beaubois (1m)
    13th – Jawai (NA)

    That’s a small but flexible roster. I’d be excited about the season with that. Reminds me of the early ’00s Mavs. Just enough interior D between Diop, Gooden, and Turiaf to battle underneath if needed, lots of excellent outside and midrange shooting, and tons of athleticism on the wing. Exciting, dangerous team.

  • Kevin

    Joe, I hope we don’t get Diop, he’s decent but that’s a ton of money for a guy whose ceiling is Erick Dampier. Hopefully the Mavs cut Williams, we have no room at the 3 and Humphries has put up pretty good numbers when given PT. It’s not out of the question in my mind to see him take some center minutes since Dirk and Gooden struggle to defend that position as well. If we could get Turiaf though that’d be sweet.

  • Joe

    I don’t think it’s really that much. He’s got about 3 years left at, what, 6 million/year? For what Diop is, I’d say that’s about the going rate. Honestly, if Diop would just settle down and not play so out of control, he could be good for a solid 9 and 9 in 30 minutes a night (those 9 points coming almost exclusively off of put-backs and dump-off dunks). But I would be willing to settle for 4 and 7 in 25 minutes. If you have Diop with 4 and 7 and a Turiaf putting up 4 and 4 in 10 minutes, that is really solid production from your center position. Not stellar, but solid. I’ll take 8 points and 11 boards from 1 starting center so getting that combined production from two players is just fine by me.

  • Cynthia

    No way the MAVS will get Diop back. Been there done that. What would be the point? The experiment failed meriserably the 2nd time. Why would you want to even think about trying that again? As far as Turiaf..he’s ok, but certainly NOT a scoring machine, PLUS Nellie LOVES the guy for some reason (a reason OTHER than his offensive abilities) so he’s not going anywhere. And there’s no way Shawn Williams will be here this year. Hell, he wasn’t even here last year! Well, technically he was for a couple of games and he did take up a roster spot, but the MAVS sent him packing to home (where ever that is) and for all intensive purposes he WASN’T here. The thing is, who would want him? Unless he can be packaged as an expiring with another player or 2, I see the MAVS just letting him go. Yeah, I guess they’ll have to pay the guy, but the Shawn Williams experiment was even worse than the Diop #2. I’ve always been curious about what he did that the MAVS just shipped him off almost as soon as he got here. I guess we’ll never know….

  • Cynthia

    Although I’d like to see the MAVS get another player for these guys…(Humphries, Jawai, Williams), I really think the MAVS are going to stay with the main guys they have and just cut the dead weight. If they couldn’t or didn’t see anything they wanted for Buck’s expiring contract I really don’t see them getting anyone of quality for these guys. And oh yeah, Carroll…another guy I wish we could let go but AGAIN I don’t see that happening. BUT I would be quite happy to be proven wrong on all accounts!

  • Kevin

    Rather than trade for Diop why didn’t we just keep Hollins? If he bulked up a little he’d be about as good defensively, he’s vastly better offensively, on a shorter and better contract, and is younger.
    Random question, does anyone here have league pass broadband? Do you need directv to get it? How nice of computer do you need for decent quality? Do you actually get every game?

  • Joe

    Hollins is the same offensively as Diop, he just looks better because he’s more athletic and can catch alley-oops from Kidd. I would have liked to have him back, but not for the money he’s making in Minnesota.

    I do wish the Mavs had a player LIKE Hollins on the roster, just a big athletic forward/center that would thrive with Jason Kidd. Kidd made Kenyon Martin an all-star, there’s no reason to believe he couldn’t do the same with another mediocre-but-athletic big now. I think Marion will see a lot of those dividends, but a Tyson Chandler-type would really benefit from a full season of pick-and-rolls with Kidd.

  • Serbian

    Sorry, my English is bad. I’m from Europe, Serbia, Belgrade. I heard rummurs that my club Red Star Belgrade is bringing Nathan Jawai. Source is very reliable, close to management of our club. Your thoughts?

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

      @Serbian: I wouldn’t say it’s impossible, but as far as I now the Mavs haven’t decided if they want to keep Jawai or not.