The Mavs free agent plans are now completely in focus: the team has no intent to overpay to keep Tyson Chandler, Caron Butler, and J.J. Barea, and all three are likely to sign elsewhere as a result. It’s an unfortunate development given all that the Mavs accomplished last year, but again, I find it hard to fault Mark Cuban for his reluctance to lock up the team’s finances for the next four to five years.
As such, the Mavs currently have just 10 players under contract. Lower-salary free agents like Brian Cardinal, DeShawn Stevenson, and Peja Stojakovic could end up returning to Dallas, but the Mavs would still need a few more pieces if they wished to completely round out their roster. There aren’t many means through which Dallas can pick up free agents at this point; any players courted would need to be candidates for either the taxpayer mid-level exception (a $3 million window that can be used to sign players to deals for up to three years) or the veteran’s minium. With that in mind, here are some of the names that have popped up in connection with the Mavs:
Behind the scenes, the Mavericks have a distinct pecking order of players they want to pursue at various positions. One of those is Jeff Foster, the 6-11 center/power forward who has spent his career with the Indiana Pacers , including a few years playing for head coach Rick Carlisle when he was leading the Pacers.
With Tyson Chandler’s impending departure, the Mavs will need to add at least one more quality big to the rotation, and preferably one capable of usurping Ian Mahinmi as Brendan Haywood’s rightful backup. Foster fits that bill perfectly, and would do quite well in a reserve role on a fairly minimal salary. He doesn’t have much of an offensive game to speak of, but Foster has carved out a career standard as a perfectly average player by way of strong rebounding, active defense, and the very occasional spot-up jumper. He could command the taxpayer midlevel exception, but considering the lack of reliability on Dallas’ back line, they shouldn’t hesitate. Mahinmi’s foul-happy ways make an addition of this caliber a virtual necessity.
There are some NBA officials who believe the Dallas Mavericks will make a strong last-minute run at Mike Redd. Nowitzki and Redd on per …
No surprise Mavs interested in Redd: they pursued him in free agency once before.
(Ed. note: I’m admittedly not positive what Woelfel meant by “Nowitzki and Redd on per…” Anybody want to take a guess?)
Redd has played just 41 games over the past three seasons, and the Bucks’ defense was all the better for it. Still, if the Mavs are looking for a shooter to replace Stojakovic, Redd could be a solid candidate. His age and post-injury limitations make him prime for a diminished role, and Dallas could give Redd an opportunity to fire away from outside without having to create for himself off the dribble. One could assume it would be a happy (one-year) marriage, so long as Redd’s three-point accuracy holds up.
Free agent guard Delonte West is considering the Suns, Lakers and Mavericks, league sources say. Re-signing with Boston is possible too.
Delonte West is a fine, fine basketball player, but admittedly one that comes with his share of baggage. In 2009, West announced that he suffers from severe bipolar disorder, and it has been suggested in reports since that time that West’s condition has taken some toll on his teammates. Between that unfortunate fact and a bizarre incident involving a motorcycle, two handguns, and Bowie knife, a shotgun, and enough shells to stimulate the clay pigeon sector of the economy, West will gives teams a lot to think about. His skills are a non-issue; West has range, can handle, defends well, and facilitates the flow of his team’s offense. He’s a terrific role player, and supposing Dallas could carve out some minutes for him in a crowded backcourt, they’d be lucky to have him. The only question is if the Mavs are willing to address the other considerations that come along with West, or if they’d prefer a simpler player with a simpler game.