As somewhat of a footnote on the Mavs’ release regarding the addition of James Singleton, the Mavs have put Greg Buckner on waivers. Thus ends the mini saga/purgatory/daydream of turning Buckner’s contract into something constructive. It was fun while it lasted, but it seems that Greg Buckner’s “instantly expiring” contract (for those not in the know, Buckner’s deal was worth over $4 million in a trade, but only $1 million of that salary was guaranteed if Buckner were to be waived — hence the motive to waive Buck) will bear no value that can’t be measured in dollars.
There’s no Stephen Jackson to be had, but waiving Buckner does at least make an attempt at solving the roster problem. What was 17 players trying to fit into 15 spots is now 16, and a trade involving Buck would possibly have only compounded the logjam and piled up salary. Instead, the Mavs have but one decision to make while saving Mark Cuban a pretty penny. Waiving Buckner was always an option, and you can’t blame the Mavs for cashing in on the savings.
The Mavs and Raptors finally agreed to terms on a deal that landed Shawn Marion in Dallas, but not before roping in a third team…and a fourth. In a bit of creative trade engineering, Toronto and Dallas pulled off a once-in-a-blue-moon four team deal that involves a signed-and-traded Hedo Turkoglu and the Grizzlies’ available cap space.
The deal is awaiting finalization from the league, but the principles of the deal include the following acquisitions:
- Shawn Marion (five years, ~$39 million)
- Kris Humphries (two years, $6.40 million, player option for the second season)
- Greg Buckner ($2,126,914 guaranteed money, expected to be released)
- Hedo Turkoglu (five years, ~$53 million)
- Antoine Wright (one year, $1.99 million)
- Devean George (one year, $1.60 million)
- Jerry Stackhouse ($2 million guaranteed, expected to be released)
- Quincy Douby (one year, $855,189)
- Trade exception worth ~$7 million
From a Mavs-centric perspective, they flipped Jerry Stackhouse, Devean George, Antoine Wright, and cash for Shawn Marion and Kris Humphries. It’s a trade that undoubtedly makes the Mavs a better team. How much of a better team is something we’ll have to wait until the season starts to find out…or you can wait a little while to get a thorough analysis of what to expect on this very blog.
The Raptors were actually big winners here, and showed what good can come by doing right by your own free agents (even departing ones). Marion’s impending departure meant the Raps would be left with no compensation for the loss of a very good player. Rather than simply wish Shawn the best and tear up as he walked out the door, Bryan Colangelo helped to engineer a hell of a trade with the Mavs that not only helped to fill a need at shooting guard with the acquisition of Antoine Wright, but also gave Toronto an even more valuable asset: their full mid-level exception.
If Toronto had signed Hedo Turkoglu as a free agent as per their initial plans, they would forfeit the right to the mid-level exception by using up their available cap space. But by having Orlando sign-and-trade Turkoglu instead, the Raptors still have use of their MLE. A nice maneuver, to say the least.
Things were equally clever from the Mavs’ end, as Mark Cuban and Donnie Nelson have turned a creative out in Stackhouse’s contract into a four-time All-Star. With all of the pieces changing hands, this deal was way more complicated than it should have been, and it’s a credit to Mark and Donnie for sticking to it and getting Marion to Dallas.
Kris Humphries could be an interesting role player for the Mavs, and his presence has to make you question whether Brandon Bass and/or James Singleton really have a place with Dallas next season. I’m personally big on both players over Humphries, but the Mavs are obligated to cut the check to Kris. That gives him the edge to not only stay on the roster, but to fulfill a role as a reserve forward. With Shawn Marion also a shoe-in for minutes at power forward, this could be the nail in the coffin for hopes of Brandon Bass being a Maverick in 2009-2010. Bass wants the money and the minutes, and though the Mavs may be able to give him a competitive offer, he’ll likely be scrapping for minutes with Dirk, Marcin Gortat (supposing the Magic don’t match the Mavs’ offer), Erick Dampier, Kris Humphries, Shawn Marion, and possibly Ryan Hollins. That’s a bit of a log-jam, and likely too much of one to generate any kind of intrigue in Bass’ camp. James Singleton remains a more likely candidate, for no other reason than the commitment (in almost all senses) to him would likely be minimal.