Rumor Mongering: Center Yourself

Posted by Rob Mahoney on May 4, 2010 under Rumors | 5 Comments to Read

Jeff Caplan of ESPN Dallas:

Haywood said he would like to remain with the Mavs. He said he has spoken to his agent Andy Miller and will begin examining his options in the next couple of weeks. Dampier, with one non-guaranteed year left on his contract, might or might not be back. “Yeah, I love everything about it,” Haywood said. “I love the organization, the coaching staff, everything here is done first class. You can’t argue with anything that they have here.”

Earlier in the regular season when Dampier got a start over Haywood, after the game Haywood was asked how he felt about it and said, now famously: “I just work here.” That sent up red flags. Haywood’s play has also wavered, in terms of his physical presence and attention to detail defensively. On Friday, Haywood said he would not expect to be named the starter wherever he signs. “I don’t believe in that. That comes from working hard and preparing in the summertime,” Haywood said. “I feel when you come into camp, your play should speak for who should be the starter.”

As I already mentioned, Brendan Haywood could more or less by the key to the Mavs’ success next season. It’s not easy to find a center as serviceable as Haywood at all, and things are a tad trickier for a capped out team with few movable assets. Dallas will need to make a few moves to take the next step as it were, but such steps are fruitless without a solid big manning the middle. Erick Dampier is as good as gone, so the news that Haywood may want to stick around is rather cheery. The Mavs can offer Brendan the longest deal and the most money, and while that’s not necessarily in the team’s best interest in terms of financial flexibility, it does give Dallas the best chance to be competitive during Dirk’s remaining years as an elite player.

Dallas will need a center for next year and beyond, and Haywood could give them that. It all depends on whether or not the Mavs can keep Brendan and if they want to. Haywood was considered by players and management to be the centerpiece of the Josh Howard trade, though it’s unclear how, if at all, his postseason performance and behavior since the trade have impacted his place with the team.

This is just the initial step in what’s sure to be a long off-season, but it’s a place to start. Brendan wants to stay, or says he wants to stay at least, and in the coming months we’ll see exactly what that means.

  • finzent

    Caplan also calls Haywood a “softer than expected 7-footer”. It’s not at all important, but I get pretty mad when people are that wrong in their professional area of expertise.

  • Jared

    I don’t know that I would say “Damp is as good as gone”. It’s very certain that he will leave, but it remains pretty likely that he will also return, imo.

  • Danny

    I think Haywood does need to be a big part of it and Butler and Dirk. Dampier has his moments and sometimes he can be really good and sometimes not so good. Kidd did well most of the year but he is older and there has to be someone to spell him. And the coach has to be able to trust him when he is in so he has to know what he is doing and do it well. Barea is a good spark of the bench and I think Marion just needs more time to fit into the puzzle and be comfortable. Terry is hot and cold as well and maybe that is a liability. Najera brings some meanness to the game. Dirk has improved his game every single year and should always be a part of this puzzle. But he has to have help and it has to be dependable help. And of course the coach has to be able to come up with the right substitutions at the right times. Now personally I think Carslyle has done that for the most part with a few exceptions, better than previous coaches. We are really not that far off but we need that one guy that fires everyone up and gets them believing that they can do it. That kind of stuff is contagious. Butler and Haywood showed some of it at times and I think part of that was them coming in together and trying to fit in and be part of the team. It seemed like they fed off each other and fired everyone else up. We need more of that.

  • Johnathan Johnson

    Haywood and dampier plays a big part in the mavericks success. I would love for everyone to return for the next season. Everybody knows that Dirk is the corner stone of our team. Toward the end of the season we got him some help. Haywood, butler, and stevenson. So i think one more season will do the trick. If dirk leaves I will understand. He is getting old. BUT HEY LETS SEE WHAT HAPPENS!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Gideon

    Dirk needs ll the hep he can get…So you so you cant win a championship with Dirk, well you dont know basketball. Name another player that has won a championship without 2 or 3 elite/allstar/ or superstar players. Kobe has Lamar, Gasol, Artest, Bynum,.Duncan has Parker,and Manu. Garnett, has Peirce, Ray Allen. Garnet made it the 1st round only once in his career until he joined the Celtics, and he is suppose to be such better than Dirk. Dirk even swept him in the playoffs. Now you name any superstar or star that Dirk has had. Steve Nash was probably the best, but he was always sick/injured with the Mavs, and Nash wasnt close to playing at a MVP level. The year after Nash left da mavs won 67 games, so how diid nash win the mvp. a team loose a mvp and still wins 67 games? Dirk isnt the problem, the problem is he has never had a consistent team-mate. The last semi star Dirk has had that filled the stat sheet was Finley and no one has ever said he was a superstar. He has never had A true stud that can get 20 plus points and carry the team every single night. Most teams that win Championships has 3 of those players, the Mavs only have one an thats Dirk. Dirk has won 50+ plus games for 10 years w/out help. name one other player that has done that. Even Jordan had a lot of help in winning, Pippen, Kukoc, Rodman. Please name a consistent player that Dirk has had?.______________, _________________, ______________. Any names yet.