The questions are the answers! Okay, maybe they’re not, but we have more questions that need to be answered. Based off the last set of questions, you have to look at the negative (likely more realistic) outlook of chasing the big fish. I also look back at the playoffs and determine who caught my eye in terms of potential targets for the Mavs.
1. Which soon-to-be free agent (who isn’t a big fish) in the playoffs has impressed me the most?
The answers shift more to the defensive end of the floor. I was a big fan of Tony Allen’s postseason. He’s extremely limited on offense, but he’s tough as nails on defense. There’s no doubt in my mind that Carlisle would love having Allen on his team.
I think it comes down to whether or not Allen is extremely loyal to Memphis and will stay there at a discounted rate. Look, we’re not talking about breaking the bank for Allen. If there’s availability at around $4.5 million for Allen, I don’t think it’s a bad idea.
That kind of move does require another look at your roster though because having Allen and Shawn Marion on the floor together doesn’t make a lot of sense. Memphis is finding that out now when they pair Allen with Tayshaun Prince.
Another name that intrigues me is Tiago Splitter from San Antonio. The pipedream of Dwight Howard leaves you needing to have backup plans for the center position. Splitter might not be at the top of that list, but he’s certainly on the list.
When looking at Splitter, you have to wonder how much of his success comes due to being the Spurs’ system. Though being limited on offense, he’s a very capable defender. He also operates well as a skilled and deceptive screener on offense. As a restricted free agent, you have to overpay for Splitter. If the Spurs decided not to match an offer, that might leave you a little suspicious about your new investment.
2. Which soon-to-be free agent (who isn’t a big fish) in the playoffs could be fool’s gold?
I think it has to be Nate Robinson. If someone, even the Mavs, offers Robinson a contract that makes him a starting point guard, that’s a recipe for disaster. Yes, he looked dynamic in the matchups against Brooklyn and Miami, but he’s still a guy that isn’t ideal as your starting point guard.
Robinson received the opportunities he did because there simply wasn’t a better option ahead of him in Chicago. Derrick Rose clearly wasn’t coming back and CJ Watson was the alternative. They had to milk everything they could of Robinson, mistakes and all. Value as a backup point guard makes sense, but I think he’s played himself into a spot where he’ll get paid to be a starter. That’s a bad mix.
3. What is the part of the pitch that won’t sound good to Chris Paul?
The part where he has to believe in multiple years before results can come. Not that it makes sense from a philosophical standpoint but if he went to Houston, he would be going to a spot to really build on something. Building and fixing are two very different things.
Paul is also somewhat playing on borrowed time as he’s missing the lateral meniscus in his right knee. He’ll be 32 in the fourth year of whatever deal he signs this summer. Time will be catching up to him and he can’t really afford to wait and see. Whatever gives him the best chance to make a run now will sound the most appealing to him (money helps, too).
4. What is the part of the pitch that won’t sound good to Dwight Howard?
It’s the same for Paul. Why would he leave a situation that is a mess that is just a different kind of mess in Dallas? Unlike Paul, Howard has time on his side as big men continue to mature over time. He’s still likely to get one more max deal after this deal, health permitting.
Carlisle also has a history of being hard or critical on his players. He also has a history of being extremely loyal and compassionate towards them, jumping on grenades when he clearly doesn’t need to. If things go south, would Howard being able to handle the tough love from the disciplinary that Carlisle can be?
5. Do I think Shawn Marion or Vince Carter get traded?
I think they likely value those two more than any other team would that would try to acquire them. To me, it only seems like Indiana might be interested in Marion if he holds his one-year deal. I doubt they have assets that they would necessarily be willing to give up just on a short term investment. It’s possible, but I think that turns into a bigger deal. We’ll discuss that later.
As for Vince Carter, the Mavs could have gotten Jose Calderon at the deadline for Vince Carter and another piece, if you believe sources. That really doesn’t do anything major for Dallas now as they can flat out sign someone if they want to with cap space during free agency.
The only way I see them getting traded is if bring something substantial back. It’s possible that these options could come across the Mavs’ table. Some of these options might be outside of the box.
What are some of those outside the box ideas? We’ll discuss that next week.
Bryan Gutierrez writes about sportsmen. He also attended Ball So Hard University, studying ideologies of Clark Kent. You can follow him on Twitter @BallinWithBryan.