Maverick Makeover: 2014 Edition

Summertime is halfway over, and with that (and another title-less season) comes my illustrious Maverick Makeover: 2014 edition! In their resilient state, the Mavs fought hard but were so swiftly bounced from the playoffs this year by (eventual champion) San Antonio Spurs. In doing so comes my (lack of) prestigious column, offering my two cents on how the Mavs should conduct themselves this summer. So before (almost) everyone exits out of the article, let’s begin!

Dear Mr. Cuban,

Since you seemed to have have lost my past two memos, I think you need to update your spam blocker. Seriously, I’ve sent it like five times and no reply. So for your sake, let’s take a look at what was right/wrong about my thoughts last season:

In case you missed last season’s edition, here are the main points:

*denotes green highlights for (my) success, red for miss

 1. Re-signing O.J. Mayo is a MUST!

Yikes. Talk about a dodged bullet there. Although I am aware of Mayo’s horrible season in 2013-14, I think it was more an issue of location/environment, rather his own personal fault. Do I stand by what I say? Yes, but to a point. If it were Monta Ellis or O.J. Mayo, my obvious pick is Monta. But if Monta was not made available to Dallas last summer (like the reality was), then signing a scorer like Mayo was going to be an obligation. Obviously I was outgunned on that one. Touché, Donnie Nelson.


 2. Dirk Restructures

Dirk has agreed to restructure, but it is undetermined at how much. My guess is Dirk will settle for about twelve million, which seems amicable given the situation and point in his career. I hit this nail on the head, only a year too late. Instead of dropping the 22 million last year (like I hoped he would’ve), he will choose to let his contract run out and re-sign this year. Thank god. Dirk anywhere but Dallas just seems as weird as Tim Duncun in Los Angeles.


1. Dropping Beaubois and Keeping Collison

Letting Beaubois go was an obvious axe that had to drop. He wasn’t of any value to the team and wasn’t any kind of trade bait. As far as keeping Collison, I think it would’ve probably worked out, but Collison going was ok, too. He wasn’t really utilized to his fullest in L.A., and I get the strange feeling he wasn’t really missed in Dallas in 2013-14. Something just wasn’t…right with Collison in Big D.


2. Keeping Vince Carter

Vince Carter STILL is a vital asset for Dallas. His work off the bench and in the locker room is still contagious and, frankly, is vital to this team. Plus he comes with a good price!

3. Re-Signing Chris Kaman, Elton Brand, and Brandan Wright

Last edition I drew up the idea of re-signing these three to perform a sign-and-trade for Roy Hibbert and company. While I still like the trade for Hibbert (even after this playoff bout), dropping two and re-signing Wright actually worked out the same as it would if they would’ve traded him.

Although Dallas did not sign any of my personal targets in free agency (Jarrett Jack, Josh Smith,Charlie Villanueva), it doesn’t mean Dallas didn’t sign some key building blocks. Signing DeJuan Blair, Monta Ellis, and Jose Calderon provide Dallas with some solid options heading into the future. I can’t be mad about these signings because they were smart in terms of team needs, and allowed Dallas to seek better options going into the future. Also, getting rid of Calderon’s horrid contract allowed Dallas to approach what is coming up…so thanks for that!

The Draft:

Dallas also didn’t draft any of the people I would’ve (Mason Plumlee, Steven Adams, Alex Len), but picking Shane Larkin and Ricky Ledo was fine by me. Larkin was able to contribute quickly, and he looked to be a viable asset heading into future years. I saw Larkin performing a similar role that J.J. Barea was in Dallas, but we’ll talk about the trade that sent him to New York in a bit.

Last summer’s acquisitions were actually MUCH better than the previous two, despite the predictions that followed. This team in place reminded me a lot of the 2011 title team, and has come together quite nicely. The only problem: the defense was horrid. Tyson Chandler and Jose Barea are/were dearly missed, and have been since the summer of ’11. Even if the point of not re-signing Chandler was to save cap space, he was worth the hit. Deron Williams, Dwight Howard, or Josh Smith would’ve all fit nicely with Chandler and Nowitzki.


Now that we’ve cleared up the rights and wrongs of last season’s MM, next we’re going to dive into the current roster and what to do with some expiring contracts, free agent “wish list”, and more! So keep on…clickin’ on.


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  1. About the only problem I see with your plan is Deng.

    I don’t see Deng signing for that low, I wouldn’t be surprised if he signed for twice that. If Deng had the personal reputation of say Bynum, then I could see it. If he was coming off the cripple train, then maybe.

    But a healthy Deng? 8.5? I don’t see it. I think he would get more from a half-dozen teams.

    My second question is, Do you have the cap room for LaM next year? He’s going to need 20M at the very least to come home.

  2. David – Here’s how:
    Games played: PPG: APG: MPG: RPG:
    12-13 75 19.0 3.7 37.4 6.9
    13-14 63 14.3 2.5 33.8 5.1

    Plus the fact that he’s always had trouble with his knees (only played 54 games in 2011-12), isn’t worth the max contract, and is a glorified role player.

  3. Deng isn’t a head case, for sure. He probably could get more from a lottery or mid-level team, like the Pelicans. However, he isn’t going to get the top-tier contract from a contender (where he wants to be). To give you an idea of where I think his mindset is… I’m still unsure if he will re-sign with Cleveland…and that’s probably who has the best chance of re-signing him that will probably win between 40 and 50 games next year (enough for the 6-8th seed in the east). I could see it…but then again I think he just wants to see what’s out there. I think he will take a cut to go to a contender. I just don’t think he wanted to stay in Chicago. I think he wanted to test free-agency.

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