- Kurt Helin, my fellow ProBasketballTalk-er, had a chance to interview Caron Butler. Here are Butler’s thoughts regarding what the Mavs’ areas for improvement in the coming year: “Controlling the glass, focusing on defense. Because we can score with the best of them. We have a great player, we have a Hall of Fame point guard and whole bunch of other guys that want to get it done and are willing to sacrifice whatever to win. We’ve just got to put it all together and we will.” Butler also noted that he’s been working with the needs-no-introduction Tim Grover.
- Kevin Arnovitz has a great interview with Texas Legends’ coach Nancy Lieberman, who is getting serious mileage out of her catchphrase (which you may remember from my interview with Lieberman earlier this summer): “Making the irregular regular.” Here’s Lieberman on her voice as a coach, and what the voice will mean to men who haven’t had all that many female basketball mentors: “I think the end message will be similar, but the methods and how they get the information could be different. I’m excited about it because I’m not going to be in practice f-bombing people. That won’t be me. I’ll be firm and I’ll be fair. We won’t tell people what to do. We’ll explain what we’d like them to do. We’ll show them what we want to do. Then, they’ll do it. I will work their tails off. Trust me. I’m not as nice as I’m faking it on this conversation. I will work them really hard, but I’ll love them on the other side. And they need to know they’re loved and cared for. But that doesn’t mean you can walk over me, through me. That won’t happen. But look, I’m going to kill my guys so I might as well be nice to them. I have high expectations. I haven’t made it in a man’s world for 35 years by being soft, scared or insecure.”
- Mike Krzyzewski on Tyson Chandler’s play for Team USA, via Chris Tomasson of FanHouse: “Tyson has been outstanding. We have a relationship from the 2007 qualifying team (and in 2008 when Chandler came close to making the Olympic team) … He doesn’t need the ball. He’s stronger. I bet he’s at least probably 15 pounds heavier and stronger than he was in 2007. He feels healthy.”
- Have $25 burning a hole in your wallet? Then do I have the deal for you. (H/T: Scott Schroeder)
- Josh Howard, infused with Devean George’s trade veto power.
- Caron Butler thinks the Heat could make it to 73 wins. The Bulls’ sacred 72-win mark is seemingly unbeatable, but next year’s Miami Heat have definite advantages those Bulls were never afforded. The ’95-’96 Bulls are certainly one of the best teams to ever lace them up, but is Caron wrong? Isn’t the combination of LeBron James and Dwyane Wade — with Chris Bosh and a hell of a supporting cast — enough to at least bring the Heat into the discussion?
- Andre Miller and Chauncey Billups are two big, strong point guards that have made the most of their size by posting up smaller opposing guards. The Mavs have dabbled with using Jason Kidd in a similar capacity, but he just doesn’t have the scoring chops for it. Regardless, Sebastian Pruiti of NBA Playbook breaks down what it is that makes Miller and Billups so effective in the post.
- Kelly Dwyer is ranking the top 30 players in each of the five conventional positions, beginning with point guards. You can see the first installment (30-21) here, and the second (20-11) here. Jason Kidd comes in at #12, which may seem a bit harsh, but consider the 11 PGs likely to top Kidd in Dwyer’s rankings (in no particular order): Deron Williams, Chris Paul, Steve Nash, Jameer Nelson (already confirmed as #11), Rajon Rondo, Chauncey Billups, Derrick Rose, Russell Westbrook, Devin Harris, Tony Parker, and Tyreke Evans. Of those 11, which would you pick Kidd to best in the coming season?
- Jeff Fox of Hoops Manifesto takes a stab at listing the top 10 Mavericks of all-time.
- Rodrigue Beaubois’ surgery was successful.
- From Caron Butler’s blog on HoopsHype: “Aside from the Tyson Chandler trade, my team has had a pretty quiet offseason. I’m not surprised. We had a great roster already. The management looked at the team and thought change wasn’t needed.” Well…that’s certainly one interpretation of the summer’s events.
- Rodrigue Beaubois’ injury is as bad as initially feared, and he will undergo surgery on Friday to have a pin placed in his broken left foot. We’re looking at two to three months off the court, and while Mark Cuban has made it clear that such an event is not the end of the world, it’s unfortunate and inconvenient at the very least. Also, check out my post from Friday for how Beaubois’ injury may impact the Mavs’ rotation during the initial stages of the regular season.
- I’m not one for schedule-gazing, so the allure of schedule release day is somewhat lost on me. Still, if you’re into that sort of thing, Mark Followill broke down the Mavs’ sched at DallasBasketball.com for your convenience.
- Tim Thomas and the Mavs are inching closer and closer to an agreement on a one-year deal, and word has it that the signing could be official later today. I’ve already touched on the possibility here.
- A kind reminder from Donnie Nelson that Rodrigue Beaubois is not a horse. Good to know.
- Kyle Weidie from Truth About It dug up a pretty bizarre account courtesy of Lola Natisa, a friend/acquaintance of Brendan Haywood. This anecdote is very much of the unconfirmed variety, but worth noting regardless (excuse the lengthy quote and the non-basketball subject matter). Natisa wrote on her blog: “Brendan Haywood is an uncomfortably tall basket ball player who has recently signed with the Dallas Mavericks. When he was traded from the Washington Wizards to the Dallas Mavericks earlier this year, my friend Daylon (who knew Brendan from Charlotte) thought it would be cool to show him what Dallas had to offer. It was a Sunday night right after my gig at the House of Blues and the only place that was really jumping in Dallas was a night club called Wish. Brendan is a guy who enjoys muliti-cultural environments because they tend to be much safer, and the women seem to be much much nicer. After going out with him a few times, I can’t disagree with his preference. I’m not sure why…… but black women plus a night club, can add up to rude/bitter/unattractive results at times (lol) FYI: the black woman reading this and is offended, is the black woman that produces these unattractive results. Anyway, we warned him that this night for this club sometimes can become a little hood. Brendan listened to what we had to say and he asked, “Now, is this club just a little hood or is it Josh Howard hood”? I had never been to a Josh Howard party nor had I met him personally, so I wasn’t sure exactly what he meant. That was until I recently sang the National Anthem at Josh Howard’s Celebrity Softball Charity Game. All I can say is Josh Howard is sooo much more hood then just hood. His staff of hometown homeboys who sometimes need to ‘smoke one’ when under pressure were an interesting trio. The after party at the House of Blues looked like a Big T’s Bazaar fashion show. There were over sized gold chains, discount baby phat outfits and ass…just a whole lot of ass (tragic just tragic). Needless to say the night at Wish with Brendon and Daylon wasn’t Josh Howard hood. Hood is just that hood…Josh Howard Hood is hood on steroids, everything hood times ten.”
- Say what you will about Jason Terry the player, but Jason Terry the person is about as endearing as they come. It’s from a bit of a fluff piece, but here’s Terry, via Gary Herron of the Rio Rancho Observer (H/T DOH at Mavs Moneyball): “I’ve been blessed and fortunate just to be in the business as long as I have. The ‘life expectancy’ of an NBA player is four years; I’ve been in the league now 11 years. I’ve been primarily healthy throughout my career, haven’t had any major injuries. Blessed with some big contracts; I have a beautiful family.”
- Mike Prada of Bullets Forever applied the Cannon positional model to the Wizards with a spotlight on the John Wall-Gilbert Arenas tandem.
- From Jeff Caplan of ESPN Dallas: “Cuban said Mavs head athletic trainier Casey Smith, a member of the Team USA medical staff, has reported that Chandler appears to have regained the explosion he had prior to ankle injuries that ruined the past two seasons.”
- Tom Ziller of NBA FanHouse on Beaubois’ injury: “Of course, it’s unfortunate for the French team, who really looks talented enough to play for a medal but can’t suffer many more losses. As for the Mavs, let’s hope Beaubois is ready by mid-October. Early injuries have a way of ruining seasons, even if the player is healed by Opening Night. The Mavericks — nay, the league can not afford to miss out on Beaubois.”
- Unconfirmed, but it’s possible that Jeremy Lin’s deal is with NikeTaiwan, and not the mothership. That makes a ton of sense considering Lin is an American product born in California, where he played the entirety of his high school career, before moving on to Harvard and now back to the Bay area. Not saying there isn’t a place for product marketed by American ballplayers in Taiwan, but somebody seems to be missing the boat here.
- Mavs Summer Leaguer DeShawn Sims may not be attending Celtics training camp after all. Per Mark Deeks (a.k.a. Sham Sports), Sims has signed with PAOK Thessaloniki in Greece.
- Mark Cuban on what the sports media can do better (via Dan LeBatard of the Miami Herald): “Preparation. Having some journalistic and quality standards. I can’t remember the last time I had a sports interview where I was pleasantly surprised by the depth of questioning and knowledge of the interviewer. When something has to be written/taped quickly about the day’s/week’s events, media has no choice but to talk out of their [rear ends] because having an uninformed opinion and winging it is always better than choosing not to participate. Being left out means you probably lose your job. Worse still, media lives off the brands they built for themselves in the pre-blog/Twitter/Facebook era. If you were a good reporter in 2002, fans probably think you still are, and treat your opinions as facts.”
- If you’re one that buys into subjective rankings of any type (much less the preseason variety), it may interest you that Steve Aschburner of NBA.com has Dirk at 4 on his list of likely MVP candidates.
- If you haven’t noticed, I’ve installed the Disqus comment system, which is a much better format for conversation/interaction/response. Sign up for an account if you’d like and if you haven’t already, and play around with the functions and settings.
- Tom Haberstroh calculated the league’s top bargains by using WARP2 (Kevin Pelton’s updated version of WARP, or wins above replacement player) and contract values. One Mav came up pretty high on the list. It wasn’t Dirk Nowitzki, who is undoubtedly Dallas’ top producer independent of salary. It wasn’t Rodrigue Beaubois, who generated a ton of points on a measly contract. It was frequent scapegoat Jason Kidd, who is a veritable WARP-generating machine.
- A few follow-ups on yesterday’s post regarding new positional designations: The Thunder (courtesy of Royce Young), the Knicks (courtesy of Seth Rosenthal), and the Rockets (courtesy of Tom Martin). Great player classifications and questions all around.
- Mark Cuban, on his blog: “What I have learned in 11 years in the sports business is that the dumbest guys in the room are always the media guys. Some do a decent job of reporting, most just spew opinions. And those opinions change more often than they brush their teeth. So what the media was saying was of zero impact or influence on what i was going to do. Listening to the media only increases your odds of failing at whatever you are doing. So I ignore them.”
- Aykis Yerocostas of Pick and Scroll has been profiling the unsung heroes of each NBA team, and his pick for the Mavs is Shawn Marion: “Age and injuries have slowed down the Matrix from his stellar Phoenix days, but he’s still a player that can have a big impact on the court. He’s a stellar rebounder for his position (career 21.2 DRB%, although only 15.2% last year), and a good defender too. Last year when he was on the court, Dallas performed 3.3 pp100 better on offense, and 3.5 pp100 better on defense. His very good FG% comes from his great shot selection, as he tends to take the majority of his shots around the rim or from less than 10 feet. He’s very good at taking care of the ball (10.6 TOV%), and playing defense without fouling.”
- Raef LaFrentz, the recipient of one of the worst contracts in recent NBA history.
- Josh Howard (via Art Garcia): “No matter what was said about me, people never knew me.” Howard also says that he doesn’t think he was appreciated by the Mavs’ front office.
- Rolando Blackman has joined the coaching staff of the Turkish national team as an assistant.
- From @mavstats: Out of 173 fourth-quarter free throw attempts last season, Dirk missed only seven. That’s good for 96-percent.
- Basketball-Reference.com is now including photos on some of their player pages. Tim Thomas’ is a classic. (Hat tip: Tom Haberstroh)
- On ESPN.com’s Future Power Rankings (assessing which NBA teams have the brightest future overall, not merely looking to next season, Dallas was ranked 14th. About what you’d expect from a strong, but fairly old roster with just one young player of note: “The Mavericks continue to be more of a “now” team than a team looking to the future, which explains their low-ish ranking for a contender…The Mavs’ up-and-comers consist of one guy: 21-year-old point guard Rodrigue Beaubois, whose potential is still a question mark. On the financial front, the free-spending Mavs are projected to be over the salary cap until 2011 or, more likely, 2012. The good news for Dallas fans is that owner Mark Cuban is creative and has perpetually found ways to keep the Mavs competitive. After 10 consecutive seasons with 50 or more wins, this is a hard franchise to count out.”
- Shawn Marion with Kid Rock. Just because.
- The Mavs have a new official off-site blog called Mavs Fast Break. Looks to be more or less the same coverage from Earl K. Sneed and a few others, but with a new layout that should make everything easier to find.
- Andres Nocioni is on crutches because of his involvement with Argentina’s national team. This is every NBA owner’s/GM’s/coach’s nightmare: players injuring themselves while doing anything other than playing for their team. Fingers crossed that Beaubois, Mahinmi, and Ajinca can avoid Noc’s fate this summer.
- Coincidentally, the Wizards had to renounce the rights to James Singleton so that they could re-sign Josh Howard. However, even without his rights, the Wizards are still considering bringing back James Singleton for next season.
- Dan Shanoff (via J.E. Skeets): “The NBA has done a spectacular job of turning itself into a 11-month-a-year league. Beyond the regular season and playoffs, there was the John Wall Lottery in May, the Draft in June, July’s free-agent insanity…And even into August — which should be a dead zone — the league has three things it can stand on: The schedule release (yesterday, which was big enough), the World Basketball Festival (in two weeks) and, of course, Shaq about to sign with the Celtics.” This couldn’t be more true in the wake of the free agent bonanza. The FIBA World Championships are right around the corner, and from there we’ll practically roll into training camp and media day. All of this is to say something I’ve noted many times before in this space: there has never been a better time for information-hungry basketball fans. There is so much worthwhile analysis out there to consume on a daily basis (even in the off-season), and it’s all readily available with a few keystrokes. The fact that the NBA is now relevant for so long plays a big part in that.
- Make a note: Kevin Pelton and Bradford Doolittle are releasing another Basketball Prospectus annual. A must-buy for serious NBA fans, particularly those of you out there that are statistically inclined.
- Mark Cuban on allowing NBA players to participate in international competition (via Jonathan Feigen of the Houston Chronicle, hat tip to DOH at Mavs Moneyball): “I think there is zero upside as a league. We are allocating our best players to work for another corporation. I don’t see the logic. And as far as the argument that the World Championship builds demand, find me one fan who can name the players on the pre-Redeem Team squad. The only reason we allowed Tyson (Chandler) to play is because it’s a good rehab opportunity. So I guess if we only allowed players who were coming back from injuries and needed the rehab, I would be all for it.”
- Jason Kidd, experimenting with a new look.
- Dirk is the all-time leader in three-point shooters made by a player seven-feet or taller. Behind him? Andrea Bargnani. Bargs has a long way to go before catching up to Dirk, but he’s only 24 and has been shooting a lot more threes than Nowitzki. No question Dirk should go down as the seven-foot shooter to date, but if we look strictly at volume, Bargnani could definitely surpass Nowitzki in 3PM somewhere down the line (Link via ShareBro Skeets).
- Josh Howard has agreed to a one-year deal worth close to $4 million that will keep him in Washington for next season. For what it’s worth, John Wall seems pretty excited.
- Rodrigue Beaubois, through the wonder that is Google Translate: (via DOH at Mavs Moneyball) “The first part of the season I have not played badly but very quickly, without explanation, I stayed on the bench. I asked many questions, I began to cogitate before telling me that I had to take what they gave me without trying to understand too.”
- Also from DOH: Did you know Rodrigue Beaubois’ plane was apparently hit by lightning last week?
- Maverick cast-off Von Wafer appears headed to Boston on a one-year deal for the veteran’s minimum, and Mavs Summer Leaguer DeShawn Sims has be invited to Celtics training camp.
- Four current or former Mavericks have failed a physical.
- Rasual Butler, who had been linked to the Mavs as a free agent target, has agreed to terms and will sign with the Clippers.
- Guess who declared for the Korean Basketball League draft? If you guessed Samaki Walker, you’re a deeply disturbed individual. And totally right.
- David Thorpe ranked the top rookies that played in Summer League, and Dominique Jones came in at #10 (Insider): “Jones is super competitive on both sides of the ball and capable of putting up points in bunches. Possessing a great frame for a combo guard, he has every chance to be this year’s Marcus Thornton — ready to play from day one and having the confidence to play in the fourth quarter.”
- Kevin Arnovitz got SUMMER LEAGUE LEGEND Jeremy Lin on the phone for a few to get his reactions to the post-Vegas whirlwind. Among other things, Lin reminisced about his game against John Wall and the Wizards Summer League team: “Roddy [Beaubois] was hurt so I got a chance to get a little more playing time in the first half, which helped a lot because I got a chance to get comfortable. Going into the fourth quarter, we were down. I wanted something to happen. I was just, like, playing. It just felt like it was college again. I was just, like, out there. It felt very, very comfortable and very relaxed. It was such a natural feeling. It wasn’t like that with most of the other games. In those other games, it was more like, “Wow, this is a job interview. I have to perform well.” I had that kind of pressure. But in the Washington game, going against John Wall in the fourth quarter, trying to come back, I was just playing off instincts. It was the best quarter I had in summer league at the best possible time. If the Dallas Mavericks weren’t scheduled to play the Washington Wizards, I might not be in the NBA.”
- Ancient news by this point, but Caron Butler is the “sole proprietor if six Burger King restaurants around the country.”
- Antoine Wright will be playing in Sacramento next season. He’s not a great offensive fit next to Tyreke Evans, but I still like Wright as a defender, as does Tom Ziller.
- Mike Prada ranked the league’s 30 GMs, and put Donnie Nelson in the 10th slot: “Ultimately, Nelson hits a lot of singles and doubles, and that’s not a bad thing for a team that is willing to spend and will therefore never have or need cap flexibility.”
- “He doesn’t owe you anything. He is not a representative for every Asian-American kid. He is just Jeremy Lin.”
- John Schuhmann of NBA.com, from Team USA training camp in Las Vegas: “Tyson Chandler is wearing the Zoom LeBron III, personalized to protect his toe.” Chandler seems more and more likely to make Team USA’s final cut, even after early reports indicated that he came into camp out of shape.
- Reminiscing on Summer League, and more specifically, the match-up between Omar Samhan and JaVale McGee.
- Could Jeremy Lin already have a shoe endorsement deal?
There are few things sports fans cling to as tightly as a good underdog story, and Jeremy Lin’s tour with the Mavs through Summer League as an undrafted free agent has endeared him to NBA fans and writers all across the internets. Here is just a sample of the responses to Lin’s decision to sign with the Golden State Warriors:
Jeremy Lin’s agent, Roger Montgomery, via the Dallas Morning News: “All the components fell in place, especially when you look at their roster. They’ve basically got three guys who are ahead of us. We can be nothing but appreciative because we wouldn’t be in this position if Donnie Nelson and the Mavericks didn’t give Jeremy Lin a chance…He may put on a Golden State jersey, but he definitely is very, very appreciative of the shot that Donnie and the Mavs gave him.”
Matt Moore, NBA FanHouse: “Lin makes sense for the Warriors, who traded C.J. Watson to the Bulls this weekend. Stephen Curry is obviously the star,and Monta Ellis will play the backup role, but Lin provides a good skill set for a third point guard and could flourish in Don Nelson’s system, unless, you know, Don Nelson Don-Nelson’s him. The fact that he’s Asian-American (Taiwanese American, to be specific), will likely make him a hit with the Bay’s fervent community. But beyond the cliche racial implications is the fact that he’s a local boy who made the most of himself, worked his tail off, and now has a big league contract. This is a better ending to the tale than playing toy soldier for the Lakers or working in the Mavericks‘ new D-League team, the Texas Legends.”
Scott Schroeder, Ridiculous Upside: “I don’t wish to offend anyone, but I have a feeling that Lin’s Asian-American background played a rather substantial role in what seems to have amounted to a bidding war between two teams with substantial Asian communities – the and Golden State – as well as the (who previously showed to have interest in signing and assigning Lin to their new NBA Development League team). I don’t mean to infer that Lin isn’t worth an NBA training camp invite (he most certainly is), but I do feel that his race had a prominent role in his getting a better contract than probably any other player without prior NBA experience this offseason.
I went back and watched every one of Lin’s offensive possessions – right around 85 by my count – and he’s a pretty solid player (might be better on defense with his size and instincts, honestly), but not one that I wouldn’t make earn his job in training camp by all but guaranteeing he’ll be on an NBA roster at least until all contracts become fully-guaranteed on January 5, 2011.
Regardless, if the public relations boom goes as expected (and it seems like the Golden State fans are in high spirits already), this might pay off in a Sun-Yue-with-the-Lakers sort of way. The problem in that, though, is that Lin is getting opportunities that could be afforded to other players without the amazing background story – and I’m not sure how I feel about that.”
Brian McCormick, Director of Coaching at the Playmakers Basketball Developmental League: “While basketball fans concentrate on the athleticism of John Wall or the psychology of DeMarcus Cousins, from a developmental perspective, Jeremy Lin is the most important rookie in the 2010 class…I am not interested in the economic impact of a successful Asian-American player. My focus is developmental. We spend too much time looking at race, and not enough time controlling things within our control – our effort, skill development, practice habits and more. Once one player breaks through the perceived barrier, it becomes easier for others to set higher standards for themselves.
From a developmental perspective, I am interested in eliminating excuses. I want players to create their own positive self-fulfilling prophecies rather than allow prevailing myths to create a perpetually negative self-fulfilling prophecy to limit one’s dreams, goals and effort. Jeremy Lin may never be an NBA all-star. However, his impact as a player may not be felt immediately; instead, his greatest impact may be felt a generation from now when young Asian-Americans no longer view college or professional basketball as an unattainable dream, but a worthwhile goal to pursue diligently.”
Kurt Helin, ProBasketballTalk: “Lin might well make the Warriors, however. Stephen Curry is going to get the lion’s share of minutes at the point, and Monta Ellis will get some, but the Warriors just traded away last season’s backup C.J. Watson. They need a backup point now, and Lin is going to get the chance to get the job.
Lin won over Summer League fans in Vegas because he plays a fearless game. Nobody attacked the rim as hard as him, as relentlessly. His game is not fully NBA ready — got to improve his jumper, he’s got to finish at a higher rate near the rim. But he has a great feel for the game, makes smart passes and is the kind of guy that will change the mood of a practice because he will not coast. Coaches love players who maximize their talents, and Lin is one of those guys.”
Eric Freeman, The Baseline: “This is a phenomenal story. Lin would be the first Asian-American athlete to play in the NBA and the first Harvard product in more than 50 years. In case you forget, Harvard doesn’t hand out scholarships, so Lin entered college with no publicity. He’s a real success story, someone who worked his way to the NBA when few believed he could do it.
Yet his story goes even deeper than that. At Palo Alto High School, Lin led his team to the 2006 state championship and defeated SoCal powerhouse Mater Dei (a team with no fewer than four high-level college prospects) virtually by himself. It was one of the biggest upsets in California basketball history and made Lin a Bay Area legend. Still, his exploits weren’t enough to get him a scholarship. Lin wanted to go to Stanford and was accepted to the school as part of the normal admissions process, but the coaching staff only offered him the opportunity to walk on. (Two guards awardedscholarships during the same recruiting cycle accomplished very little for the Cardinal.) So he went to Harvard, where he had the chance to play early and often. He proved that he belonged quite quickly.”
- Dirk officially signed his new contract with the Mavs yesterday, and here are the yearly values, according to Eddie Sefko: $17,278,618/$19,092,873/$20,907,128/$22,721,381.
- Congrats to Dominique Jones, who made the All-Summer League Team in Vegas. At the beginning of Summer League, we all figured Rodrigue Beaubois would be in thie position, but Jones’ offensive efficiency and defensive excellence weren’t necessarily surprising, but they’re definitely welcome.
- Something about this picture is just…weird.
- Omar Samhan on his decision to play professionally in Lithuania next season (via Jeff Caplan): “I didn’t have any offers for guaranteed money [in the NBA]. A lot of people wanted me to come to training camp, but they couldn’t guarantee anything. And, if I did make a team, I wouldn’t get playing time, I wouldn’t get a chance to develop a ton…So, it’s going to give me a chance to go over there for a year or two and really develop as a player. I plan on coming back and being an NBA player for the next 10 years.”
- Jason Kidd will help out Team USA this summer. He just won’t, y’know, play.
- Jeff McDonald of the San Antonio Express-News has a featureish piece on Ian Mahinmi for those that aren’t acquainted with his career in Austin and San Antonio.
- The Chicago Bulls are considering picking up Josh Howard for next season.
- Shocker: Brandon Bass doesn’t seem all that happy with his role on the Magic. In such situations, I recommend actually learning the playbook and rotations.
UPDATE (10:29 AM CST):
- Marc Stein of ESPN Dallas: “The Mavericks had no centers under contract when free agency started. Now they have four. Don’t be surprised, though, if the one of the new arrivals is traded again before the season starts…provided that the Mavericks can find a taker for Alexis Ajinca…ESPNDallas.com has learned that the Mavericks have been asked [by Ajinca's agent, Bouna Ndiaye] to shop Ajinca in the hope they can find a team that might be able to offer him more hope for minutes.” As DOH noted at Mavs Moneyball, this does offer some hope for Omar Samhan to make the final roster. Not too much, though. Three centers isn’t necessarily crowded, but it’s certainly cozy.
- Dirk is still unsure if he’ll play in the World Championships this summer, but has decided to play for Germany in next year’s Olympic qualifier provided he’s healthy.
- Brendan Haywood will start next year. Tyson Chandler will not. Tyson Chandler does not seem to mind this. Crisis averted!
- By Jermaine O’Neal’s estimation, the Celtics have a better chance to win it all next year than the Mavs do. Hard to argue with that given Dallas’ early exit and Boston’s incredible (and seemingly improbable) run to the Finals.
- Rick Carlisle will head down to Senegal this summer to take part in the Basketball Without Borders program.
- Most comparable statistical projection for Brendan Haywood? Erick Dampier. Eerie. Kevin Pelton of Basketball Prospectus thinks the Mavs overbid for Haywood, but he is fairly high on Ian Mahinmi. Count me among those interested to see what Ian can do with some regular playing time.
- Kelly Dwyer on the Dampier-Chandler trade: “It’s a great deal for the Mavericks. They had no use for a plodder up front in Dampier with Brendan Haywood re-signed, so adding the athletic Chandler as a counterpoint helps this team moving forward, even if he misses the de rigueur 25 games a year. Chandler’s contract expires next summer, so he’d be off the books after a one-year trial.” Though Chandler may only be a slight upgrade over Dampier if one at all, there is something to be said about variety. Dampier and Haywood are similar players, whereas Chandler can give the Mavs a different defensive look.
- John Hollinger (Insider), also on the trade and where the Mavs stand: “What Dallas really needs to vault itself to elite status is a first-rate perimeter player; at the moment, the Mavs man those positions with several 30-something former stars but no current ones. With none available to be had with the Dampier contract, they did the next best thing. By adding Chandler, the Mavs retain the rights to a top defensive center. Additionally, he has a $12 million expiring contract, which gives the Mavs maximum flexibility to pursue other trades during the course of the season. No, it isn’t quite as alluring as being able to waive Dampier and clean the books entirely, but it’s a useful asset.”
- Team USA looks incredibly thin at center this year, so Tyson Chandler has been added to the tryout roster.
- It seems like Gerald Green’s basketball experiences have helped him grow as a person, but have they helped him grow as a player?