Down the Trail

Posted by Bryan Gutierrez on July 5, 2013 under Commentary, News | 2 Comments to Read

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Marc Stein of ESPN.com tweeted that the Mavs were informed that they were informed they were out of the running for Dwight Howard.

Mark Cuban informed ESPNDallas.com and other media that they were officially out of the mix. “Got word we are out of the DH sweepstakes. We gave it a shot and it didn’t work out . It was truly an experience. At some point I will post our video and presentation we made.”

“I have no idea what team he is going to,” Cuban wrote in the e-mail. “They wouldn’t tell me.”

“We gave it a shot and it didn’t work out. It was truly an experience. … So it’s on to Plan B.”

USA Today was informed that the Houston Rockets would be the team that Dwight Howard picked as his next team to play for. Yahoo! Sports learned that Dwight Howard hasn’t informed anyone that he has made a final decision and that it is between Houston and Los Angeles. The chaos still continues.

While the Mavs were in the mix, everyone needs to remember that they were just one team in a race with multiple teams to get Howard. It wasn’t a foregone conclusion that Howard was going to pick them.

All the logic and planning in the world can still lead to negative results. That’s just a part of life, and that’s what has happened to the Mavs. They realized that 2012 had the potential to have Chris Paul, Dwight Howard and Deron Williams hit free agency. There were even reports that suggested that Paul and Howard were ready to team up in Dallas, but Howard’s waffling (shocking) got in the way. Ultimately, trades occurred that sent Howard and Paul to different teams and that left the Mavs with their pursuit of Deron Williams.

The Mavs ultimately didn’t get Williams. Whether that was fine by them or not remains to be seen. They were content trying to pursue the options of Paul and Howard this summer. As we now know, they came up empty handed again.

To say that the Mavs have the inability to sign a big name free agent is true but still very flawed. They have only had cap space for this summer and last summer, so this is the only true window that the Mavs have had to sign a big name free agent. On top of that, history shows that most big name free agents don’t leave their current teams. With that, the Mavs still believed that three of them would originally be available, so that would increase their odds. With the way the situations were taking shape, the odds were suggesting Dallas would be able to nab at least one of them.

They did plan, but they could have done things a little better. The idea of letting the championship core of 2011 is completely logical. The results of the playoffs over the last year or so show that it shows that there was a strong case that 2011 was lightning in a bottle. There is logic in letting that cast of characters go. You can say, but what about Tyson Chandler? It’s possible that they could have flipped him or that Deron Williams might have seen that as a lucrative situation, but we don’t know that for sure.

Dallas isn’t infallible in this situation. There is that planning and self-realization they made with 2011, but there is a struggle to see players like Dominique Jones, Roddy Beaubois and Jared Cunningham come into the mix and see none of them pan out. History somewhat suggests that the Mavs are somewhat skeptical of the draft based on the fact of their recent results and the fact that they end up trading for past lottery picks after they’ve established their true value in the draft.

Now, they are in a situation where they truly can move forward and figure out what they are going to do next. The challenge will be figuring out what Plan B truly is. There is a million different ways they can go, but it’s not a given that any of them will truly lead to immediate success.

Do they try to move in on Houston and take the pieces they are trying to unload? Is it Monta Ellis? Is it Andrew Bynum? Is it Paul Millsap? Is it overpaying Nikola Pekovic? Do the Mavs ultimately decide to blow it up and trade Dirk Nowitzki? How do they really tackle their two-year plan now? All of these questions will come up, and they will have to come up with very difficult answers to them.

They got their first answer on Friday afternoon. Now it is time to move on.

Bryan Gutierrez writes about sportsmen. He also attended Ball So Hard University. Bryan channels his inner-Clark Kent on a day-to-day basis. You can follow him on Twitter @BallinWithBryan.

  • Matt Hulme

    I hate it for Dirk, because he’s been so undeniably and consistently good and selfless for so many years and now Cuban wrought this hell upon his twilight years.

    For years Dirk singlehandedly carried the subpar teams build around him to the playoffs, occasionally making deep runs, and even miraculously going 67-15 one year (before Avery blindly led them into the Don Nelson minefield), and yet he was always under-appreciated and dismissed by most NBA fans and execs with absurd accusations such as “soft” or “un-clutch.”

    And when finally, after all those valiant-yet-doomed efforts, Cuban actually came through and delivered a center to bolster Dirk’s talents and shore up his (overblown) defensive shortcomings, Dirk still had to carry a savvy yet average team to the championship, defeating seven all-NBA players along the way.

    I mean, for goodness sake, the man’s best teammate FOR YEARS was Jason Terry, who I love, but, come on, never an All-Star, once Sixth Man, and frequently cold when it mattered most.

    Kobe had Shaq, then barely made or missed the playoffs for years, then got Gasol and Bynum, and then had Howard for a year. Dirk had Chandler. One year. That’s it. One wonders how greater in the context of history Dirk could have been with a center. Cuban sold it all away for one ‘Ship. I hope it was worth it. This isn’t hyperbole. This is three years of Dirk’s career lost, and all those that came before it.

  • Excelsior Missile

    Your analysis of the Mavericks’ strategy is contradictory. If free agents rarely leave their former teams, then preparing cap space for that eventuality is a poor strategy
    , regardless to how many of these free agents are available. If free agents were poachable, then the Mavericks failed to make their organization attractive enough to lure them here. Either way, it looks like we wasted three years of Dirk by blowing up our title team (the last two, and likely this one as well). There is no more appropriate grade to give this idea than an F. Who’s the best player not named Dirk on this roster right now? Where are the young players this team will need to prepare for tomorrow?