There have been a lot of positive remarks about the questions and answers series that has started during the offseason. I think people are just thirsty for Mavs information or debate, but we’ll continue running with the series. If you ever have questions you want tossed into future a batch, you can always send them through Twitter or through the comments section.
This batch provides a good mixture of looking back, looking ahead and evaluating who the true gambles are this offseason with free agency. If Dirk and Carlisle were your kids and you had to pick one as your favorite, who would you pick? Wait, parents don’t have to pick a favorite child? Oh, that’s good to know for the future. Anyways, a variation of that topic is brought up.
For now, here are 10 more questions and answers about the Mavs.
1. How will the 2010-11 championship stand up over time?
This is something I will be very interested in seeing develop. Time usually makes people forget, but it also can also lead to people having revisionist history.
One thing is certain, we’ve seen Kevin Durant struggle without Russell Westrbrook, thus making Dirk Nowitzki’s run as the lone star in 2011 that much more incredible. You can even date back to LeBron James’ time with the Cavaliers and that puts more of a shine on Dirk.
It depends on how this run ends for the Miami Heat, but the 2010-11 Mavs should hold up very well over time. I’ll continue to state that Dirk Nowitzki’s run during those playoffs was one of the most prolific runs by a single player in playoff history. He earned every bit of that Finals MVP award. Go back and watch the series against the Lakers and the Thunder and you’ll see a Dirk that refused to accept defeat. Just as fun, watch those series and listen to the fans as Dirk lines up shots when they’re on the road. They know.
2. Is there a definite path the Mavs should take with free agency?
There’s no correct path. You can make a logical explanation for them going for a big man just as much as making a push for a guard. I prefer that they go for a point guard, but that route makes the facilitating moves different. If they were to go for a big man, it certainly changes the approach for their follow up moves.
That’s what makes this summer so intriguing. Each and every move the Mavs make will have an immediate ripple effect.
3. Which Dallas free agent would I be surprised to see come back?
I’d honestly be surprised if Darren Collison was back. Chris Kaman comes second in this question, but I’d be very surprised if the young point guard comes back to Dallas. He clearly feels that he should be a starting point guard in this league. Dallas certainly made it clear during the year that they didn’t feel he was capable of being a starting point guard for them.
The market will be interesting for Collison. I could easily see him taking a one-year chance with a team that isn’t great so he can have the opportunity to just show he CAN be a starting point guard. If that’s the case, why doesn’t he take the qualifying offer from the Mavs and go into unrestricted free agency next summer? Because he played that game this past season. If he does it, he’ll want to go to another team.
4. Which current Dallas free agent would you be hopeful to see come back?
I’ve already said that I would like to see Brandan Wright come back. If he’s off the board, I’d actually make a case for Anthony Morrow.
He surprised me a bit with his willingness to shoot the ball off the dribble. Morrow is clearly a gifted shooter and teams simply need that asset. He seems like a very realistic option as a guy that can be a part of a rotation. On top of that, Morrow should come at a relatively cheap price, making the situation that much better for the Mavs.
5. Who are the guys the Mavs could gamble on this offseason in free agency?
I think there are six guys that fit in my qualification as gamble guys (in no particular order): Brandon Jennings, Monta Ellis, Jeff Teauge, Tyreke Evans, Nikola Pekovic and Andrew Bynum.
Both of the Milwaukee guards provide a potential initiator on offense to pair with Dirk Nowitzki. They clearly (CLEARLY) have their faults and the questions will linger as to whether or not they will they ultimately be worth their market value. Jeff Teague represents a restricted free agent who has a little more consistency to his game. He has nice versatility to his game on both ends of the floor. Could he be a point guard of the future? Atlanta has the right to match any offer for him.
Then there are the big men. Pekovic is still young and would bring some instant toughness and size to the Mavs. Can he stay healthy and is he worth overpaying? Bynum, when healthy, is a top-3 center in this league. That’s the rub, though, because he simply cannot stay healthy. He’s the ultimate kind of risk. Is the one worth taking?
6. Does the closure to the Sacramento/Seattle situation have any influence on Dallas?
It really only pertains to Tyreke Evans and DeMarcus Cousins. As I mentioned in the gamble guys, Evans would clearly be a gamble guy. Did he come into the league and turn it sideways to only have the expectations be ridiculously high for him? Did a terrible situation in Sacramento derail his potential?
The interest in Cousins has been clear for quite some time. He has the potential to be a dominant big man, but he can’t keep his head on straight to tap into that potential. Do either Evans or Cousins actually want to stay in Sacramento? Maybe the idea of moving to a new spot in Seattle might have interested the two players. We’ll find out soon enough on whether or not the idea of staying in Sacramento interests them. Cousins would have to force his way out of Sacramento (and demand he wants to play in Dallas), while Evans could easily bolt this summer through free agency (though it’s restricted free agency).
With new ownership and a stable situation, will the Kings want to have a clean slate to work with or try to fix what they have? It’s possible that this has an influence on Dallas, but it’s probably too soon to determine the route Sacramento takes.
7. Should the Mavs have kept Tyson Chandler?
(For the price that he ended up signing for) Absolutely not. Look, everyone loves Tyson Chandler. He’s a talented player and he’s extremely charismatic. His personality works great as an emotional and spiritual leader for a team. We saw what that led to in 2011. That being said, he’s still owed over $14 million for each of the next two seasons.
Saying Tyson is limited on offense is putting it nicely. You’re never going to throw the ball down in the post to him with the purpose of letting him break someone down. He showed some promise with an elbow jumper in Dallas but that quickly disappeared. The pick and roll game and offensive putbacks are the only avenues where he can score. At that price tag, in a new CBA world, it just didn’t make sense.
8. Did the Mavs get lucky by the Knicks making their offer to Jason Kidd?
To an extent, the Mavs did get lucky that the Knicks swooped in and took Kidd away. It’s been well-documented that Kidd went scoreless in the final 10 games of the playoffs for the Knicks. He looks completely like a complete shell of his former self.
Kidd was terrible for the Knicks, but the situation was so bad for the Mavs that Kidd might actually have been an upgrade for the point guard position. For all of his faults, Kidd still knows how to run the show on offense. He knew how to get the ball to Dirk in the post and put guys in a position to succeed. It sounds like a reach, but it’s entirely possible that the Mavs could have made the playoffs if Kidd was on board.
It’s a real possibility that retirement is an option for Kidd. Leaving money on the table probably isn’t the most ideal option for Kidd, but the game is passing him by (possibly lapping him).
9. What playoff outcome would I prefer to see?
With four teams left, everyone starts formulating what they’d like to see happen. I’m fairly certain the league would want to avoid having Indiana face either Memphis or San Antonio in the Finals as that would likely hurt in a big way in terms of ratings.
Personally, I don’t really have a preference as to who wins the title this year. I’ve just wanted to see good basketball throughout the playoffs. At this stage, I’ve been pleased with what I’ve seen. It feels like Miami is going to push through and make it to the Finals. I would actually look forward to seeing Memphis or San Antonio face Miami.
Memphis’ rugged front line would give a challenge to Miami. A healthy matchup between San Antonio and Miami has rarely happened over the last couple of years because of players sitting out due to injuries or other issues. A precision-based offense against a tough defense would be fun to see.
Either way, I just want to see good basketball.
10. Who is the more valuable asset: Rick Carlisle or Dirk Nowitzki?
These two are attached to the hip, in my opinion. I think Zach Lowe said it best when I talked to him near the end of the season. He said that the Mavs will have a very good foundation on offense as long as Dirk and Carlisle are together.
Dirk is still an underrated beast as a scorer. Yes, he has to prove he can stay healthy, but he showed that he can be the horse. Carlisle might be underrated to an extent as a coach. He’s extremely talented at creating systems and adapting to the talent that he has around him.Dallas needs to maximize the time where Dirk is still a monster as an offensive threat. They need to make the most of the combination now because Dirk’s skills will deteriorate and it’s less likely that Carlisle’s skills will deteriorate as quickly as Dirk’s will. As time moves on, the scales tip more towards Carlisle being the more valuable asset. Great coaches are hard to find and the Mavs certainly have one in Carlisle. They’re solid as individuals, but they are definitely stronger as a combination.
You could easily make a case that either is the right answer.
Bryan Gutierrez writes about sportsmen. He also attended Ball So Hard University, studying ideologies of Clark Kent. You can follow him on Twitter @BallinWithBryan.