Ripple Effect

Posted by Bryan Gutierrez on July 31, 2013 under Commentary, Interviews | Be the First to Comment

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Many expected the time during the Las Vegas Summer League to mainly just be centered on the prospects as they were looking to show the Mavs made the right decision in making a commitment to them. It would also be geared towards the ones that were trying to prove they deserve an opportunity to go to training camp.

Instead, the time saw those games being played with major shifts in the main roster being made. Probably the biggest shakeup saw the Mavs bring a new person into their front office mix. The team agreed in principle with Houston Rockets vice president of basketball operations Gersson Rosas to become the franchise’s new general manager.

Rosas, 35, began his nine-year tenure with the Rockets as a video coordinator and scout, and rising to executive vice president of basketball operations. With Rosas as general manager of Houston’s D-League affiliate, the Rio Grande Valley Vipers, the team won two championships and reached a third league finals.

One thing is certain: if you want to make it through the ranks as a front office type in the NBA, you probably need to start as a video coordinator. Miami Heat coach Erik Spoelstra’s claim to fame was the fact he started as the video coordinator for the Heat and emerged as now one of the best coach’s in the league.

The move really raised some eyebrows. What did this mean for president Donnie Nelson? He was essentially the de factor general manager since 2005, when his father, Don, left the franchise. Was there going to be a shift in the collective balance of power within the organization? Owner Mark Cuban joined Galloway and Company on ESPN Dallas 103.3 FM last week and communicated about the move in more details.

It’s time to decode what he was actually saying.

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A New Waiting Game

Posted by Bryan Gutierrez on July 10, 2013 under News | 2 Comments to Read

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The Mavs had their introductory press conference for rookies Shane Larkin, Ricky Ledo and Gal Mekel, but everyone was wondering where things were in regards to their reported meeting with free agent center Andrew Bynum. He met with Cleveland on Monday and traveled to meet with the Hawks in Atlanta on Tuesday. President of basketball operations Donnie Nelson spoke to the media in regards to the free agent big man.

It was reported that Bynum would be in Dallas today for a meeting and Nelson confirmed that they met with Bynum and his agent. “They had a nice visit with our doctors, we had a lunch,” Nelson said. “Beyond that, the negotiations are ongoing.” It was reported that Bynum would not work out for teams prior to signing a deal and Nelson confirmed that the center did not work out for the Mavs on Wednesday.

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Instant Remarks, Part Two

Posted by Bryan Gutierrez on June 28, 2013 under Interviews, News | Be the First to Comment

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A tired Donnie Nelson spoke to reporters after the draft. He went into detail on Shane Larkin. He couldn’t go into much detail on Ricky Ledo, the team’s second-round selection as the trade hadn’t been formally completed. He also discussed the reasoning for letting Jared Cunningham go and how the Mavs are prepared for this summer.

Here is Donnie Nelson’s post draft Quoteboard.

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Deep Thoughts

Posted by Bryan Gutierrez on May 17, 2013 under Commentary | Be the First to Comment

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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.

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Breaking It Down Like a Fraction

Posted by Bryan Gutierrez on April 30, 2013 under Commentary | Be the First to Comment

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Dollars and sense. When it comes down to it, that’s what it is all about.

There is a lot of work ahead for the Mavs as they look to make the 2012-13 season an aberration and not the new norm in the new CBA world. It is a new world for the Mavs, and everyone else in the league, as everyone continues to adapt to what the implications are with the new CBA. I think Donnie Nelson hit the nail on the head when he discussed it during his exit interview. “It’s not like the good old days where there’s all kind of financial freedom where you can sign checks into the wind,” Nelson said.

It is a big summer, and the Mavs will have to trust their instincts based on all they work they do and they are currently doing.

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Closing Remarks, Part Seven

Posted by Bryan Gutierrez on April 19, 2013 under Interviews | Read the First Comment

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There’s not a great way to classify Dirk’s 2012-13 campaign. It started with the incredible personal highlight of being able to play in Germany in an exhibition game. Concern then started to circulate as he had issues with his knee, which ultimately led to surgery. He missed more than a quarter of the season due to the surgery. When he came back, he had doubts about whether or not he could actually return to the form everyone is used to seeing from him. The doubts eventually went away as he swagger returned. Unfortunately, there just wasn’t enough time for Dirk to help get the Mavs into the playoffs.

A pivotal summer is on the horizon for the Mavs. Dirk will be ready to do whatever he can to help the franchise get back to the playoffs and make this year more of an aberration than the new expected norm.

Here is the final exit interview of the season. Here is Dirk Nowitzki’s exit interview.

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Closing Remarks, Part Five

Posted by Bryan Gutierrez on under Interviews | Be the First to Comment

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As the General Manager and president of basketball operations, Donnie Nelson provides a different perspective of how the season went for the Mavs. He also gives a different vantage point of how the offseason will have to be observed.

Here is the exit interview with Donnie Nelson.

Opening remark: “We weren’t expecting this. This time of year, we’re gearing up for the playoffs, so this is an out of body experience for all of us. We’ve got some work cut out for us. We’ve got a big summer, moving forward. We don’t expect to be here in the same situation next year at the same time.”

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A Matter of Trust, part 2

Posted by David Hopkins on March 19, 2013 under Commentary | 8 Comments to Read

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“Who tests God and does not wager their life? A price will be paid.” – Galactus, Devourer of Worlds

Click here for part 1 of my look at management, coaching, and ownership.

If a team has a winning season, give credit to the players and the coach. If a team has twelve winning seasons, give credit to the general manager. Since 1998, when Donnie Nelson first joined the organization, the Mavericks have been one of the most consistently successful franchises in the NBA—eight 50-win seasons, three 60-win seasons (included the franchise record 67 wins in 2007), 12 consecutive playoff appearances, three trips to the conference finals, two trips to the finals, and of course an NBA Finals victory in 2011.

And yet, Donnie Nelson’s contribution is sometimes overlooked. Other names stand out.

Mark Cuban, who purchased the team in 2000, is acknowledged for changing the culture of the franchise. And even though Mark Cuban is a very involved owner, he’s wasn’t the one who brought Steve Nash and Dirk Nowitzki to Dallas. It was Donnie Nelson who played an instrumental role in rebuilding the team.

Dirk Nowitzki tirelessly carried his Mavs through each season and every playoff. But one all-star, even a truly great one like Nowitzki, can’t play every position on the court. There have been many great players whose talents were wasted on mediocre franchises—Kevin Garnett with the Timberwolves, Ray Allen with the Bucks, and even arguably LeBron James with the Cavaliers. We point to Nowitzki, because we see him on the court, or to Cuban, because he spends so much time in front of the cameras. But Donnie Nelson put together the teams that made the Mavericks an elite franchise. Credit where credit is due.

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The Four Ingredients

Posted by David Hopkins on March 5, 2013 under Commentary | 9 Comments to Read

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“Victory must now be mine or Galactus shall not fight again.” — Galactus, Devourer of Worlds

Last week I wrote about Dirk Nowitzki, his legacy and his future. Do the past two years represent the sudden decline of Nowitzki? Should fans recalibrate their expectations? Or are these two years statistical outliers with a bum knee to blame? Like most things, the answer is probably somewhere in the middle. Regardless, there is no denying that the future inevitable departure of Nowitzki has been a concern as fans watch the season unfold. And as much as we’d like to put everything on Nowitkzi’s shoulders, he isn’t the only factor in making the Mavs a great franchise. When looking at the long-term health of this franchise, I would suggest that there are four ingredients.

1. Young talent
2. Reliable veterans
3. An All-Star “Go To” Player
4. Trustworthy management, ownership, and coaching

In the young talent category, the jury is still out. For players born in the late ‘80s and ‘90s, the Mavs have: Rodrigue Beaubois, Darren Collison, Jae Crowder, Jared Cunningham, Bernard James, Dominique Jones, O.J. Mayo, Anthony Morrow, and Brandan Wright. Young players aren’t just the replacements for the old team. They are valuable trade assets. They offer the greatest potential for improvement and growth. I believe in O.J. Mayo, and I’d be happy if he signed a long-term contract with the Mavs. The question is money, but I can’t imagine shooting guards are in such high demand that another franchise would overpay for him. Darren Collison? I just don’t know. When you look at his advanced stats, he’s actually slightly better than O.J. Mayo. However, I don’t trust him to run an offense. The rookie class isn’t too bad. Crowder and James are encouraging. This isn’t Cunningham’s year, but who knows how he’ll do once given a chance? Rodrigue Beaubois and Dominique Jones are a disappointment. I believe Brandan Wright is a better player than his minutes and stats suggest.

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Keep Digging

Posted by Jonathan Tjarks on February 27, 2013 under Commentary | Read the First Comment

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Jonathan Tjarks writes about basketball and all that it implies at RealGM and SB Nation, and is a guest columnist here at The Two Man Game. Follow Jonathan on Twitter at @JonathanTjarks.

With All-Star Weekend and the trade deadline behind us, the stretch run of the NBA season has officially begun. Now that Rick Carlisle has finally gotten (somewhat) comfortable with a set rotation, the Mavs are unlikely to make any more moves to tweak their roster this season. Nevertheless, there are several D-League players that Dallas could sign tomorrow for short and long term gain. That the Mavs seem reluctant to go that path is a shame, and perhaps a metaphor of sorts for a franchise that has lost its way.

There aren’t any future stars in the D-League, but the level of play is higher than the casual fan recognizes. The D-League All-Star Game, held in Houston during All-Star Weekend, was a veritable “Who’s Who” of former second-round picks and collegiate standouts, many with the ability to be rotation players in the NBA. And in the league’s new economic climate, identifying the minimum-salary talent available to all 30 teams is more important than ever before. In that respect, signing and playing Mike James over someone like Shelvin Mack is a notable misuse of resources.

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