Keep Up

Posted by Bryan Gutierrez on July 1, 2013 under Commentary, News | Read the First Comment

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As free agency has officially begun, it’s time to keep track of what is going on. In terms of general updates, there were a few things that went down while you were sleeping.

Here we go.

Budinger was 5th on my small forward rankings for free agents. He is a shooter, but there was only a small window of time to evaluate him as he came back from knee surgery. The Mavs are also deep at the position. That could easily change as they have to create space to try to make a run at Dwight Howard and potentially other suitors via trade.

Based on the fact the Clippers don’t have much in terms of cap space, it’s interesting to imagine how the Clippers plan on signing Mayo. That said, Mayo would be a great fit for the Clippers. Mayo’s problem in Dallas was that he had to do too much with the ball in his hands. His ideal role is just to be a spot-up shooter. With the best point guard in the league running the show, opportunities would be there for Mayo.

This was mentioned as free agency got going. Kaman had his best game of the year in Portland against the Trail Blazers on Apr. 7. He scored a season-high 26 points and pulled down 11 rebounds in the win. Portland is in need of a big man and flirting with trying to obtain a center via trade on draft night. For whatever reason, it sounds like they would prefer to go with a value move in Kaman over going after guys like Tiago Splitter and Nikola Pekovic.

Well, Collison said he wanted to be a starter. The initial market suggests that might not be a possibility. Cleveland wouldn’t be a bad spot for him, if he looks at it with an open mind. He’ll go to a team that is on the verge of being a playoff contender. He’ll be playing a dynamic, young point guard. That doesn’t sound good, but Kyrie Irving has had injury issues since he came into the league. That would be a spot where Collison could step up in need. His market, like Mayo’s will be very interesting. I would be pretty surprised if either of them came back to the Mavs. I’ll be downright shocked if both of them do.

It was also reported the the Lakers were able to sneak in a quick meeting with Howard before the Rockets were able to speak to the coveted free agent. That means the Lakers got the first and last word in. Again, the Lakers seem really, really desperate. What happened to the cocky and pompous purple and gold outfit? Sheesh.

Dreamers can dream, can’t they? The Knicks know that they can only offer their $3.2 million taxpayer mid-level exception to Ellis and they expect one of the top shooting guards on the market to take it. The interesting note out of Berger’s report is that the Mavs were not one of the first people to speak to the Ellis camp. The Bulls, Spurs, Nuggets and Suns were the teams inquiring as free agency began.

This shouldn’t come as a shock. The Mavs had their chance to get Calderon at the deadline for Vince Carter. The Mavs balked because they knew they would have a chance to sign him outright during this time. I ranked him as the top point guard not named Chris Paul. When it comes to shooting and protecting the ball, Calderon is one of the best point guards. That’s just what the doctor ordered.

They have also sent out feelers for Mo Williams, Andre Iguodala and Kevin Martin.

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This was an expected move, as we noted here. The move likely spells the end of the Nick Calathes era in Dallas. It also likely puts things into doubt when it comes to Darren Collison and Roddy Beaubois returning to Dallas. It was later confirmed by ShamSports.com that Mekel signed a three-year deal at the league minimum.

- Tim MacMahon of ESPNDallas.com has reported that Eastern Conference squads like Atlanta, Orlando, Detroit, Toronto and New York have shown interest in Brandan Wright. The Mavs would like to bring him back, but they also have bigger fish to fry. If Wright can wait out the situation and his market doesn’t go out of control, he can return to Dallas. Time will tell what the end game is with Wright.

9:40 –

It appears that Mo Williams and Greivis Vasquez will be two targets that the Mavs will look into once they’re done with Dwight Howard. I would still imagine they’re looking at Jose Calderon as their primary point guard option, but those next two playmakers would be next on the list. Williams is a free agent and Vasquez would have to be acquired via trade. The Hornets are looking at Tyreke Evans as a free agent signing. He is a restricted free agent. It is expected that they make a lucrative offer to Evans. That would then put the ball in Sacramento’s court in regards to whether or not they want to keep him or not. If they don’t, there is a major influx of guards in New Orleans, making Vasquez very expendable. Keep an eye on what happens in New Orleans.

11:30 –

Of course, no one knows who Iguodala is talking about. There is some intrigue though based on who he recently just followed.

https://twitter.com/andre/following

The billionaire owner was a recent addition to the people he is following (he also is following the new owner of the Sacramento Kings). For those who don’t remember, Chris Kaman followed this path last summer. He followed Cuban on Twitter just before he signed with the Mavs. It’s obvious that the Mavs will continue to keep their chase on with Dwight Howard, but they have already sent out feelers for Iguodala. If the market can hold on the versatile swingman and Dwight Howard doesn’t pan out, it’s very possible the Mavs will pursue him.

As we discussed as free agency began, the Clippers are strapped in terms of cap space. They would have to convince Mayo to take a lower number or work out a sign-and-trade. Amick notes that a sign-and-trade is in player with Eric Bledsoe being a potential return piece for Dallas. Bledsoe has been a name that has been linked to Dallas over the last few months. Speaking to sources, the Mavs like but don’t necessarily love the dynamic guard. There are concerns on whether or not he can be a true point guard. That said, he’s one of the hottest assets on the market in terms of his age and potential.

2:53 –

Anything relating to the Knicks is basically a pipe dream. The other teams make sense due to their ability to have space to sign the defensive, gritty guard. He is limited on offense and having him on board would certainly be a move made after the Dwight Howard decision comes. It would also mean that Shawn Marion is likely on the way out, which appears to be the case in one way or another.

Tony Allen has nothing to do with Afflalo and Mayo, so that is somewhat odd. It’s up to the person to decide whether they like Afflalo or Mayo more. Mayo isn’t a bad option as a player, despite how things ended in Dallas in 2012-2013. He was just asked to do too much and didn’t have support in terms of a point guard. If the Mavs can work a sign-and-trade with the Clippers, that would work out well for them.

Leverage slips a little bit for the Clippers now as Paul is locked up. Eric Bledsoe’s value was higher as the Clippers could sell him as their big piece in Paul leaves. Now that Paul is staying, he’s just seen as a nice young asset. If that changes the value to where they only can fetch a starting level two guard in return, that’s the price you pay when you don’t trade while the value is at its highest. It isn’t necessarily a bad thing if Mayo leaves Dallas. This scenario or possible scenario in Los Angeles is another example of that.

3:55 –

The Nuggets are in pretty good shape at the point guard position after securing Ty Lawson last season. That pretty much leaves the Warriors and the Mavs as they both have the ability to offer Jack a starting position. At 29, Jack will be looking for one more decent pay day and an opportunity to still play as a starter. Jack ranked as the third best available point guard in my point guard rankings leading up to free agency. There’s pros and cons with Jack, without question.

Again, this situation will have to wait out from the Mavs’ perspective until Howard makes his decision.

5:50 –

I find it hard to believe that this would not be a part of the rumored Bledsoe/Mayo sign-and-trade pursuit. Sure, he’s hated by many due to his time with the Golden State Warriors and the Los Angeles Lakers, but he would likely fill an expected need. Marion is likely on the way out via trade, so the Mavs would need a guy in the mold of DeShawn Stevenson. No, they don’t need someone who falls like a sack of potatoes when he’s fouled, but they do need someone who will play tough defense and hit 3-point shots.

Barnes averaged 10.3 points and 4.6 boards off the bench for the Clippers. If the Mavs do let Marion go, Barnes, while not ideal, is a strong option as a replacement.

People will wonder if this is part of the Mavs’ thinking in their potential pursuit of Rajon Rondo. Anyone who is assuming that this acquisition would directly lead to a pursuit of Rondo is simply just guessing. The Mavs aren’t in love with Bledsoe but they do like him, so it’s possible that they could acquire him to keep him and hope that it works. Cheap assets are cheap assets.

This will likely be in a holding pattern, but mainly that will be due to the Clippers trying to figure out what shooting guard they want. It does seem like Dallas (Mayo) would be considered in the “lead” as the Clippers spoke to Mayo shortly after talking to Chris Paul.

6:10 –

The writing is starting to appear on the wall for Collison. It appears he’s going to have to do at least one year of convincing to show teams he can be a player capable of being a starting point guard by backing up a talented starting guard. It’s smart on Washington and Cleveland’s part to try to get a guy like Collison. As a starting point guard, he’s still questionable, but he could be a very solid backup point guard as a change of pace guy.

Keep checking back in with The Two Man Game for the latest updates around the league. We’ll keep you posted and provide instant reaction to the news.

  • Matt Hulme

    I want those pompous you-know-what-hole Lakers to lose Dwight Howard almost as much as I want the Mavs to sign him. Almost. Losing out to the Rockets would be way worse, in some ways.