Sold Out

Posted by Rob Mahoney on July 21, 2010 under Commentary, News | 3 Comments to Read

The Mavs haven’t had a ton of success in free agency this summer, but they had previously done a terrific job of taking care of their own. Dirk Nowitzki was signed to a great value deal, keeping Dallas’ window forced open for a bit longer. They re-signed Brendan Haywood, who was the Mavs’ best option for a legitimate center next season. Yet when it came time to secure a free agent on the other end of the pecking order — undrafted point guard Jeremy Lin — Dallas was beaten out; Lin and the Golden State Warriors are close to an agreement on a multi-year, partially guaranteed deal that will allow Jeremy to reprise his role as a local hero in the Bay Area.

It’s unfortunate, particularly because Donnie Nelson was so pivotal in Lin’s emergence. Though Jeremy wasn’t committed to any one team, the point guard seemed like the Mavs’ to lose. Well, they lost him. It’s not earth-shaking, but it does set the Texas Legends back a bit. The Warriors were ultimately able to offer Lin the contract, role, and potential for playing time he was looking for, and regardless of the franchise’s intentions in signing him, it’s a good fit. The organization may be a mess, but running the point for the Dubs will give Lin a chance to really show off for other NBA suitors, and I’d be surprised if he didn’t parlay this one opportunity into a few more.

The Mavs still have J.J. Barea, who is the better player today, and for the future until Lin proves otherwise. Let’s not forget that J.J. was once where Jeremy is right now, but he carved out a rotation spot on one of the top teams in the Western Conference by force of will alone. He was once the plucky underdog, but has elevated himself into an NBA player worthy of being judged by his limitations, which is something that at this moment, Lin can only aspire to. It would be terrific if the Mavs could have signed Lin to be the face of the Legends next season. Although, let’s not forget that while Lin is an interesting prospect, he’s still just a prospect. Barea, faulted though he may be, is already a legitimate player.

The Mavs missed out on an opportunity to pick up a good, young player for very little, but considering what the Mavs have already done to bolster their depth at almost every position this off-season (let’s not forget that while the Mavs let Lin slip through their fingers, Mark Cuban shelled out the cash to draft Dominique Jones, who was even more impressive in Vegas), it’s nothing more than a pity.

  • Kirk Henderson

    You’re right of course. It’s just a bit challenging not to take the long view. While we did just sign Dirk to a 4 year extension, at some point the team needs to start over. The Mavs, as they stand were built through drafting what lucked out to be a centerpiece in Dirk followed by shrewd moves (mostly) and great play from the team.

    When the last of the well of Dirk runs dry, I hope we are in a position to truly start over. Nothing is more painful that being a constant late lottery team like Indiana (though they swung for the fences this year in the draft. Kudos) who never seems to get any better. Mavs fans have tasted success for a long time, and we’re spoiled beyond belief.

    Someone like Lin was a glimmer of hope for a Mavs team after Dirk which might have never existed anyway. I wish him great luck.

  • wacc_attack

    @Kirk: can’t agree that Lin was a glimmer of hope. yes, he looked very solid in summer league play, and by many accounts ran the point better than Roddy. but let’s not overreact and turn him into the savior that could have been. he clearly has got talent, can finish after contact, knows what being a PG is about. the basics are there. but the summer league is the summer’s not the big leagues. it was a different level of competition, different intensity. everyone is shell shocked by roddy’s performance–or lack thereof–, but few really consider that maybe the guy just doesn’t feel the same intensity as he did in the 3rd quarter of game 6 in San Antonio – the measuring stick we all use now for what we expect from him each time he steps on the floor. i’m not saying it’s right or that i like the fact he can’t gear up for the little games, but maybe it’s a fact. maybe he needs actual pressure to perform.
    he is still a far better player than Lin, and has a far greater ceiling. I honestly don’t worry about our franchise imploding in 2015 when Dirk is suddenly a 37 year old ex-great, still capable of putting up 15 points per game but little else beyond that. Cubes has proved that he is aggressive enough to not let that happen. 2 years ago everyone was saying the same thing, how we’re getting older and have no fresh blood. now we all of a sudden have what many call the PG of the future, or–worst case–a DAMN good SG. and now, 1 year after that, we have DoJo. the Mavs aren’t going anywhere as long as Mark Cuban is involved, and that has nothing to do with Lin. it would have been nice to get him, let him do it up in the D and then have a polished(ish) backup for next year. but we’ll be fine without him.

  • Kirk Henderson

    I know. It’s just painful because we have one young player with long term viability and that’s it. Just makes one fearful for the future. I’d rather be really good or really bad, none of the middle of the road crap that is the Eastern Conference (well most of it).