- John Schuhmann of NBA.com, on which teams could challenge the Lakers this season: “In the East, you have the same three contenders as you had going in: Boston, Miami and Orlando. In the West, I really like what I’ve seen from Dallas. Defensively, I think they’ve taken a step forward with Tyson Chandler replacing Erick Dampier. If their offense can come around, they’ll be a stronger foe than we thought the Lakers would have in their conference.”
- Mavs’ Summer Leaguer DeShawn Sims started the season in Greece, but now he may be headed to the D-League.
- Chris Mannix of SI.com: “Bottom line, to get out of this Groundhog Day-like loop, Dallas needs to make a change beyond what it’s already done. Since February 2008, the Mavs have acquired Kidd, Marion, Butler, Haywood, DeShawn Stevenson and Chandler to revamp their roster. Mark Cuban committed $80 million to Nowitzki last summer and signed Kidd to a three-year, $25 million extension in 2009 because Kidd, even at 37, is still better than most point guards in the league. Cuban didn’t sit on the sideline when LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh were being courted. He just didn’t have enough to get them. But to avoid history repeating itself again, the Mavericks may need to take even more risks. They have movable assets like Butler ($10.5 million expiring contract) and Stevenson ($4.2 million expiring contract). James, Wade and Bosh are no longer available, but there could be a few potential difference-makers who are.” Mannix goes on to suggest Gilbert Arenas and Andre Iguodala as possible trade returns for Caron Butler. One of those suggestions is tremendous and would be quite helpful, and the other could end up crippling the franchise for a decade. I’m not sure we’re at the stage where Butler has to go or the Mavs have to make a move just yet, but if that day comes, here’s to hoping the Mavs stay away from the guillotine.
- Skeets and Tas debate the merits of the Mavs’ success on the latest episode of The Basketball Jones.
- It was rumored at one point that Greg Ostertag may be trying to make a comeback (or start his coaching career) with the Texas Legends, but no longer. According to Marc Stein, Ostertag will stay retired for now, citing “family reasons.” Bummer.
- Why doesn’t Erick Dampier have a job?
- Jeff Caplan of ESPN Dallas: “His 84 field-goal attempts rank third on the team, just 12 shots behind Jason Terry — in one less game – who has made 20 more shots. Marion has made three fewer baskets on 25 fewer attempts. Jason Kidd is the only rotation player shooting a lower percentage (34.7), but Kidd has put half as many attempts and isn’t needed to score in bulk as is Butler. But, that doesn’t mean Marion is the more logical choice to start. Marion has handled the move to the bench with grace and a team-first attitude when at least some outsiders viewed it with trepidation. There’s no reason to stir things up by asking Butler to now come off the bench, a move he probably wouldn’t welcome. During an ESPNDallas.com chat prior to the start of training camp, Butler was asked if the team had plans to bring him off the bench. Butler stated that he’s not at a point in his career where that move makes sense. Plus, the Mavs want Butler on the floor and performing well, not only to accomplish team goals, but to elevate Butler’s value in the case his $10.8-million expiring contract can be flipped in a beneficial trade.”
- A list of the best NBA players making less than $3 million this year, featuring Al Thornton, Matt Barnes, Taj Gibson…and not Rodrigue Beaubois. I try not to harp on list exclusions, but this one speaks to just how far out of the NBA consciousness a foot injury puts you.
Some fantastic news out of Frisco: the Texas Legends may soon add Greg Ostertag in some official capacity, and it could be as a player.
Let me say that again. Greg Ostertag may play for the Texas Legends next season. Buy your season tickets today!
According to Eddie Sefko of the Dallas Morning News, Donnie Nelson has indicated that there’s no chance of Ostertag becoming a Maverick, and that’s fortunate. Big O has made a few comeback attempts in the past, and to hear that the Mavs aren’t buying what he’s selling is a relief. Plus, another center (never mind one who hasn’t played in the NBA since 2006, and was, well, Greg Ostertag) on a roster with Brendan Haywood, Tyson Chandler, Ian Mahinmi and Alexis Ajinca would be a tad redundant.
Sefko indicates that there’s a chance Ostertag won’t play for the Legends either, but could serve in some kind of coaching/developmental capacity. That’s all well and good, but hardly as entertaining.
For those not in the know, this isn’t all that unusual. Lower profile NBA vets sometimes function as a player-assistant coaches in the D-League, as both a way to offer coaching experience in a slightly less formal capacity to the vet (keep in mind that the D isn’t just for developing players), and to provide a former NBAer in-roster as an example. That would likely be Ostertag’s aim here, and though Sefko’s report doesn’t paint O landing in Frisco as a certainty, there does appear to be some legitimate interest from the Legends’ side.