I think. I probably think way too much. That’s just what happens when you have time on your hands. Again, I just sat and thought about random things revolving around the Mavs. Answers popped up, and this is the end result. Another batch of 10 questions and answers in regards to the summer and the future for Dallas.
1. Who is the most likely free agent to be used in a sign-and-trade?
I think it’s a toss-up between Chris Kaman and O.J Mayo, but I’m leaning towards Mayo. For Kaman, if you have size and can play at some level, you’re going to find a job. Dallas has always been creative and might find a way to use him to their advantage with a sign-and-trade.
We’ve already started to see rumblings out of Utah and Minnesota that there’s an interest in Mayo. One seems more likely than the other in terms of a sign-and-trade partner.
2. Have the Mavs really had terrible drafts?
Honestly, when you’re drafting outside of the top 5, you’re rolling the dice. Even in the top five, you see moments where you’re wondering what teams were thinking. This is actually a specific subject that’s going to be covered as we get closer to the draft. Have some of the decisions they’ve made been bad. Yes, but you know what, they’re not really alone in that battle.
Comparing Dallas to San Antonio in terms of draft success is taking the easy road if you want to say the Mavs have had a terrible draft. The thing is, if you compare most teams against the Spurs in this aspect, most or all of them are going to look inferior. They’re more of an outlier rather than the standard result for teams around the league.
3. Is Brandan Wright a starting center?
Not for one that has aspirations of winning a championship. Yes, the league has shifted to faster, more mobile big men, but Wright still has his faults. He did improve as a rebounder during the second half of the season, but the bar was so low for him in that area that he could only go up.
His best role is being the first or second big off your bench. If he’s a starting center, you’re asking him to go up against the likes of Marc Gasol, Dwight Howard, Omer Asik, Nikola Pekovic, Marcin Gortat, DeMarcus Cousins. I don’t think you’re taking Wright over ANY of them, even on a bad day for them.
4. Can you trust Donnie Nelson and Mark Cuban?
The only time I would say you can’t trust them is the week leading up to the draft or the trade deadline. Paraphrasing the old saying, you know an executive is lying when they open their mouth.
I think the gripe might be that it doesn’t appear that Cuban is entirely committed to the Mavs as he has other engagements or projects he’s involved in, the most notable one being Shark Tank. It’s been covered over and over how he wasn’t present during their meeting with Deron Williams last summer as he was filming episodes of the show. I think Cuban said it best near the end of the season. “If they don’t know by now that I’m doing everything I can, they’re never going to know,” Cuban said.
Sure, he has outside commitments, but don’t you or do you think about your job all hours of the day?
5. If one thought about leaving out of Dwight Howard or Chris Paul, who would leave?
I would have to think the answer is Dwight. Let’s be honest, no one associates the words leadership or maturity with Dwight Howard. If he leaves Los Angeles, he’s going to be going to his third team in as many years. The lights and pressure that come with playing in LA make it seem like it might not be a situation that he’s necessarily cut out to handle.
Plus, he needs to look at what happened when Kobe Bryant had to miss the remainder of the season. They had an aging and hurt point guard, their power forward is constantly the scapegoat and can float in and out of games and they don’t have a bench. It doesn’t sound like a promising situation.
6. Is Dallas in the best position to land either Dwight Howard or Chris Paul?
Honestly, no. Their current teams have a full extra year and buckets of additional money they can throw at them. If they look to bolt, Houston seems like the more lucrative place for Dwight Howard. Potentially, you could make a case that somewhere like Atlanta could be a spot for Chris Paul, if not Houston.
My wheels are also trying spin how Dwight Howard and Chris Paul could still unite and be in LA, just for the Clippers. That’s theoretically possible, with the Clippers needing to dispose of DeAndre Jordan and some other minor details. Dallas is an option, but it’s still not a likely one.
7. What happens if things go south this offseason?
The first thought is, how will Dirk react? I’m sure he’ll be frustrated, but he’ll be a professional and give it all during the season. I have a hard time believing that he would ask out of Dallas during the middle of the season. That begins the question of what he’ll do going into free agency.
If everyone gets to the bridge and it’s time to cross it, I honestly think he’d either sign another deal with Dallas or just retire. I honestly can’t see him suiting up for another team. The situation would be somewhat different if 2011 didn’t happen. He eats, sleeps and breathes basketball. As a true competitor, all he wants to do is win. Luckily for the Mavs, they took care of business and continue to try to get back to the top of the mountain.
If things go south, the fan base will also likely be very furious. That could lead to some tough realities at the ticket gate for the Mavs.
8. Thoughts on the 13th pick?
History shows that there’s not a lot of promise of finding the next superstar at pick 13. This will get covered as we get closer to the draft, but there is one thing I’ll mention now. Whatever decision Dallas or any team makes, it’s not a given they’re going to be right.
You’re only getting a brief look at player in the time you’re evaluating them. I say brief as a relative comparison to the rest of their life. You’re taking a chance on a young man who hasn’t really developed into what they’re likely going to be as a player. With players not staying in school longer, you’re basically grabbing lottery tickets and hoping for the best.
This is a draft full of potential rotational guys, not superstars. Dallas just needs to find someone who could potentially fit in as a top 8-9 player on their roster.
9. Would Miami winning another title likely be a good thing for Dallas?
I’m not sure how it actually hurts. It just brings more shine to what Dallas did in 2011. It also makes stars wonder if they actually do need to partner up. There are only so many places left as options, especially taking into account the salary cap implications. Dallas would then become a spot team’s would want to flock to.
The problem, Dallas is still probably one more year away from truly capitalizing on it as Miami didn’t have roughly $22 million committed to Dwyane Wade before LeBron James and Chris Bosh came to town. Dirk will clearly take less money on his next deal, but that doesn’t do anything to change the fact that a big chunk of their cap still is owed to him this year. And to be clear, he deserves that money.
10. Can Dirk be a recruiter?
Since the end of the season, many have asked if Dirk if he’ll take on a different role this summer when it comes on to free agency. Each time he’s been asked, he’s said he will do whatever the front office wants him to do. If they want him to get on the plane and help on the sales pitch, he’ll go. Dirk has already said he’ll be in a ‘war room’ on draft night. How much of a voice he’ll have in that room remains to be seen, but it does appear he is taking on a little more responsibility.
Can he actually work as a recruiter? I think it’s possible. He’s still under the radar as a superstar, but he clearly gets the job done when he’s out on the floor. Dirk definitely isn’t under the radar amongst his peers. Everyone knows how hard he works and that he’ll do whatever it takes to win. He’s a man of few words so the message he sends to prospective free agents could carry some significant weight. His role will be extremely interesting this summer.