- Dirk is a pro among pros. That’s why we shouldn’t be at all surprised to her from Marc Stein that any past history between him and Tim Thomas is just about the last thing on Dirk’s mind: “If you’re thinking Dirk Nowitzki will have a problem with Dallas’ recent signing of Tim Thomas because of the infamous kiss Thomas blew at Nowitzki during an on-court confrontation in the 2006 Western Conference finals, think again. Nowitzki said he was disappointed to read from Germany that the Bulls pulled out of the original construction of the deal that landed Shawn Marion in Dallas and would have sent Thomas from the Bulls to the Mavericks. Nowitzki then was pleased to learn the Mavs were able to get Thomas anyway this week as a tall shooter off the bench for the veteran minimum of $1.3 million. ‘That stuff is long gone,” Nowitzki said this week. ‘We were in the bottom [six] in 3-point shooting and we needed to address that. I’m happy he’s a Maverick.’ The clash with Thomas isn’t exactly a haunting memory. Nowitzki wound up scoring 50 points in that game, outscoring the Suns by himself in the fourth quarter (22-20) to put Dallas within one win of its eventual trip to the NBA Finals.”
- Almost 12% of Erick Dampier’s shot attempts are tip layups or tip dunks.
- Not that the Mavs were in a place to sign him (although Drew Gooden is not yet officially a Maverick), but Lamar Odom is reportedly a Laker, again. While it doesn’t directly affect the Mavs roster, it certainly changes the outlook of the West; if there was ever any doubt that the Lakers are the team to beat, kindly remove it.
- The Raptors nabbed summer league legend Marco Belinelli, a shooter who may or may not have true NBA chops, for the slim price of Devean George and some cash money. Pretty good considering Marco could have a legit NBA future, and Devean George is Devean George.
- Though this top ten list is for great passes, a Drew Gooden finish on the pick and roll does come in at number 9.
Like it or not, Tim Thomas is a Maverick. Luckily for those that are less than enthused about Thomas making Dallas his new home, there are a few reasons to not let the Thomas signing ruin your week.
For one, Tim MacMahon noted that the deal will be a one-year bargain for the veteran’s minimum. That turns the move from note to footnote, from grabbing a contributor to filling out the roster. A look at the depth chart with Thomas’ salary in mind would seem to indicate that Thomas’ role on the team isn’t to spell either forward position, but provide depth in a pinch. Tim Thomas can shoot threes, and he’ll be put on the court to do solely that. I’m not sure he’s capable of following that mandate, but at the very least Tim has a specific skill that happens to be very useful to the Mavs.
There shouldn’t be any worry that Rick Carlisle will overplay Tim Thomas. The roster basically has internal safeguards against that. At forward, the Mavs already have Dirk Nowitzki, Josh Howard, and Shawn Marion eating up a bulk of that minutes. Howard may end up starting at the 2, but a good amount of the minutes at shooting guard will be doled out to Jason Terry, Quinton Ross, and possibly J.J. Barea. He’s going to need minutes at small forward, and that need combined with the minutes due to Marion will end up consuming most of the playing time. With all of these players in place, not to mention the minutes that Drew Gooden could be playing behind Dirk, there just isn’t the time for Tim Thomas to play serious minutes. He may be considered on the back-end of the rotation, but it’s highly unlikely that Thomas’ on-court fallacies would really come back to bite the Mavs in such limited playing time.
There are, of course, combustible elements. Namely, Thomas’ reputation for being a bit of an ass. These are rarely the types of attributes whose impacts are ready for evaluation months in advance, so it’s almost impossible to say whether or not Thomas’ usual bile will sicken the Dallas locker room.
But I’m trying here. We’re trying here. Tim Thomas hasn’t done anything specific to deserve a reservation in judgment, but he also hasn’t done enough to really aggravate me as a Maverick sympathizer. If Tim Thomas turns Dallas into just another stop along his career-long journey of disinterest, it’s no big. The Mavs face only a minimal commitment, and any character or chemistry hiccups can be remedied with a quick waive. But if the Mavs do happen to catch a three-point shooter in a bottle, then that’s just swell.
Tim Thomas is officially a Mav, as per a press release from the team. It’s unknown whether or not Thomas will be around solely to poke and prod Dirk into dropping 50 on unsuspecting foes, but there is indication that Donnie Nelson and co. have an appreciation for Tim Thomas’ three point stroke.
I’m going to grit my teeth and pretend to be amicable about this. Tim Thomas could be in a Maverick uniform very, very soon…and it’s just swell, y’all!
Please tell me that this is some kind of sick joke.
About half an hour until the deadline, and not much out of Mavs-land. Considering the Mavs most expendable trade asset (Jerry Stackhouse’s contract) can actually be used over the summer (the Mavs have until August to turn down the non-guaranteed portion of his deal), I don’t think they’ll be panicking. Hell, the Blazers aren’t panicking, and that’s with Raef Lafrentz’s mammoth expiring contract. Here’s the latest chatter from around the interwebs:
- Mark Cuban, via Eddie Sefko’s piece this morning: “‘I don’t know that there’s a whole lot more that’s going to be done,’ owner Mark Cuban said. ‘Everybody’s looking to do the same thing, save money and to save cap room [for the future]. It’s hard to do both.’”
- Adrian Wojnarowski, Yahoo Sports: “‘It feels like Dallas has 100 different scenarios juggling in the air,’ one Western Conference executive said Thursday.”
- Eddie Sefko, DMN Mavs Blog: “You never know when a rebound will fall in your lap. And the Mavericks are still working the trade grapevine to see if anything crazy happens in the last hour. Doesn’t seem likely, but you never know with this bunch.”
- Mike Fisher, DallasBasketball.com: “‘How many trade offers have you had?’ Donnie [Nelson] was asked on Wednesday night. ‘Today? Seventy-five. Maybe 100. A lot,’ he responded. ‘I just got five in the 45 minutes I’ve been talking to you guys.’”
Here are the completed trades of the day:
- The Kings trade Bobby Brown and Shelden Williams to the Timberwolves for Rashad McCants and Calvin Booth. The motivations for this deal are largely financial, although Bobby Brown showed potential in the summer league and I’m confident Rashad McCants can be a solid rotation player. Shelden Williams may still have a few tricks up his sleeve, but Calvin Booth’s deal expires this summer.
- The Knicks trade Malik Rose and cash to the Thunder for Chris Wilcox. I don’t get this one at all. It’s a no-brainer from the Knicks perspective; both players have expiring deals, and their production levels aren’t even comparable. I doubt Wilcox will re-sign with NY, but they’ll get a free look at a much better player. If you can figure out what’s in it for OKC, please, by all means.
- The Bulls trade Larry Hughes to the Knicks for Tim Thomas, Anthony Roberson, and Jerome James. Jerome James is likely to retire after this season, meaning most if not all of his 2009-2010 salary will be covered by insurance. This could be the Knicks trying to consolidate their deals into one neat little package, or maybe D’Antoni seems some real value in Hughes. Either way, if for whatever reason the Knicks do decide to play the trade market next year, Hughes’ expiring deal will be worth more to teams than Thomas’. The Bulls can plug Thomas into Nocioni’s role, and on top of that they should save some coin if Jerome James retires as planned. Anthony Roberson’s a freebie.
- The Bulls trade Thabo Sefolosha to the Thunder for a nondescript future first rounder. More on this as it’s confirmed; I haven’t seen a release yet.
- The Kings waive Mikki Moore. The Cavs and the Celtics are the early favorites to bid for his services (each has at least part of their midlevel exception remaining).
- Three-team deal: the Magic acquire Rafer Alston, the Rockets acquire Kyle Lowry and Brian Cook, and the Grizzlies acquire Orlando’s first round pick. Rafer’s got the experience and did a surprisingly good job during that 22-game win streak last season, so why risk changing point guards with T-Mac already on the shelf? Even if Lowry is younger and a marginal upgrade, aren’t the Rockets hinging an awful lot on the shoulders of a young point guard that has shown little to no improvement in his first NBA seasons and has looked shaky as a starter. Magic fans are in for quite the headache, and the Grizz are saving up their lunch money.
- Another three-teamer: the Raptors get Patrick O’Bryant, the Kings get Will Solomon, and the Celtics get a virtually nonexistent second round pick that’s as conditional as fine print. No comment.
Fin. Done. It’s over. These are the Mavs you’ll see for the rest of the season, folks — for better or worse.