As the Mavs search for another forward to back up Dirk Nowitzki and Tim Thomas looks for a home to resume his NBA career, it’s only natural that their paths should meet. Bringing Thomas back to the Mavs next season actually makes a lot of sense, and considering the limited alternatives at power forward left in free agency, Thomas may prove to be the smart, safe selection. Imagine that.
It seems like a lifetime ago, but Thomas was actually a productive member of the Mavs’ rotation before taking a leave of absence to stay with his ailing wife. Thomas started the year in terrific fashion, but fell back to Earth a bit over the course of the season. Still, he was a solid three-point shooter for the Mavs in 18 games, shooting .372 from deep on 43 attempts. He showed patience and discretion, and was a slightly more efficient offensive player than his overall career marks show. He scored well, defended adequately, and filled in minutes for the Mavs at both the 3 and the 4. He hit a game-tying three to force overtime (though that shot was easily overshadowed by the Mavs’ loss in OT and the teeth in Dirk Nowitzki’s elbow), played to his strengths, and did what was asked of him. That’s not the kind of portfolio that’s going to secure Thomas a huge paycheck for the coming season, but it looks like it could be enough for him to reprise his role in Dallas.
The Mavs have a chance to bring Thomas back to do it all over again, and provided he’s available for the veteran’s minimum, it seems like the right move. There are no superstars, All-Stars, quasi-stars, former stars, or even distant stars left to acquire. There are only role players, and while Dallas could certainly use more help than just Thomas, they’ll have to make do.