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Dallas Wizards lose in first round

As much as Wizards fans probably hated to see Caron Butler, Brendan Haywood and DeShawn Stevenson and the Dallas Wiz, um, Mavericks get knocked out in the first round on Thursday in San Antonio, the organization might be able to take a sigh of relief this morning. And, Josh Howard may not have been able to "stick it to the Mavs" after he tore his ACL in February, but after spending the past few seasons as the scapegoat for Dallas' playoff failings, he probably celebrated his 30th birthday this week with a smile.


We weren't supposed to have another flop. (AP Photo/Eric Gray)

At the time when the Wizards dealt that trio to Dallas in a deal that brought back Howard, Drew Gooden, James Singleton and Quinton Ross, many pundits believed that the Mavericks had raided Washington's cupboards and provided Dirk Nowitzki with his best supporting cast in 12 seasons. The trade looked more lopsided when the Mavericks reeled off 13 consecutive wins, and some joked that President Ernie Grunfeld should get executive of year since he put two teams - including Cleveland, which acquired Antawn Jamison before the deadline - closer to an NBA championship.

But now that the Mavericks became the first No. 2 seed to lose a best-of-seven series - despite adding Butler and Stevenson's salary next season and taking on Haywood's $6 million salary this season - the Wizards could come out ahead in the long term, depending on how they use the available cap and trade exceptions that the deal yielded (Remember, the Wizards got a $6 million trade exception for the Haywood deal and Gooden brought back Al Thornton and a $4.5 million trade exception as well).

It would be easy to look at newcomers Butler and Haywood and say they couldn't come through for Nowitzki and the Mavericks. But Butler and Haywood also had huge performances in the Mavericks' two wins, and unfortunately, the Mavericks got the most dangerous No. 7 seed in NBA history; a group that sputtered through the regular season but still had a coach (Gregg Popovich) and a big man (Tim Duncan) who possess four championship rings apiece. Popovich knows how to get it done this time of the year, and he devised an excellent defensive scheme while getting George Hill and Richard Jefferson to step up after calling them "dogs."

Butler was the Mavericks' second-leading scorer in the series, averaging 19.7 points in six games despite getting benched for the entire second half of Game 3. He also had a monster performance in Game 5, when scored 35 points with 11 rebounds to help his team avoid elimination. He also had 25 in a losing effort on Thursday. Haywood averaged 6 points and 6.2 rebounds and 1.67 blocks in just 23.2 minutes per game, with Mavericks Coach Rick Carlisle showing an unfounded commitment to Erick Dampier, who provided little more than some fouls for Dallas. As folks in Washington are well aware, Haywood plays better when he doesn't have to look over his shoulder.

But no matter what Butler and Haywood did, it wasn't enough to help the Mavericks win in the playoffs, just as they were unable to help the Wizards win in the regular season. As Haywood told me last week, "If I have a good first round and we don't get out of the first round, everybody is going to talk about how he played well, but he didn't have an impact."

The Mavericks, though, got next to nothing from the Jasons (Kidd and Terry), who shot terribly all series. Kidd finally looked like a 37-year-old, as he failed to get the Mavericks running and shot just 30.8 percent. Terry shot 37.7 percent and went 1-for-7 on Thursday, when Carlisle finally decided to play rookie Rodrigue Beaubois.

Beaubois scored 16 points in 18 minutes, rallying the Mavericks back from a 22-point deficit, but Carlisle sat him in favor of Terry, which shouldn't come as a surprise. Carlisle is a good coach, but sometimes he can be a little tightly-wound and leans to heavily on his veterans, rather than going with what's working (see Dampier and Terry).

Does anybody else remember Carlisle's desperate decision to play a seldom-used, rail-thin rookie named Tayshaun Prince with the Detroit Pistons trailing 3-1 to Orlando in 2003? Turned around an entire series - and the franchise, considering Prince was a starter on a championship team a year later. Carlisle had a chance to get it right again last night by sticking with Beaubois

Butler, Haywood and Stevenson have been members of teams that lost in the first round in four of the past five seasons (the Wizards went to the lottery last season and Butler was out with a hand injury in 2007). But the former Wizards didn't necessarily bring a tradition of first-round flops down to Dallas - except the Mavericks have been making regular first-round exits ever since they lost to the Miami Heat in the 2006 NBA Finals.

Since that ignominious meltdown against the Heat, in series that they should've won, the Mavericks have lost three of the past four years in the first round. That embarrassing Finals loss was followed a year later when the Mavericks wasted a 67-win season by becoming the first No. 1 seed that failed to advance in a six-game loss to the Golden State Warriors. The next season, Chris Paul eviscerated Jason Kidd as New Orleans thumped them in five games. The Mavericks broke through with an upset of San Antonio last season only lose in the second round to the Denver Nuggets.

But this season was supposed to different. The Mavericks made a big trade, surrounding Nowitzki with some veterans eager to play for something significant. Yet their season is over before May.

And the Wizards don't have to look over their shoulders with regards to their rebuilding plans.

By Michael Lee  |  April 30, 2010; 1:50 PM ET
 
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Comments

It looks as if the CAPS are not alone in their misery this playoff season.

Posted by: adhardwick | April 30, 2010 2:29 PM | Report abuse

All eyes on Jamison now

Posted by: jefferu | April 30, 2010 2:31 PM | Report abuse

Michael that Mavs team wasn't the first no.1 seed to lose in the first round. The Sonics loss to Denver in '94. And Haywood isn't a Wizard anymore, so you don't have to keep making excuses for him.

Posted by: djnnnou | April 30, 2010 2:35 PM | Report abuse

All eyes on Jamison now

Posted by: jefferu | April 30, 2010 2:31 PM | Report abuse

just the way he likes it

Posted by: lilhollywood10 | April 30, 2010 2:56 PM | Report abuse

Carlisle is a good coach, but sometimes he can be a little tightly-wound and leans to heavily on his veterans, rather than going with what's working

Fairly safe to say you could sub the name "Saunders" for "Carlisle" in that sentence and not find too many Wiz fans to disagree.

Dallas is constructed pretty similarly to the "Big 3" Wiz were in that they are a perimeter-oriented team, it's just that their 3(?) are better than the Wiz's were. It still means that they struggle when the playoffs come because their best players shoot jumpers and the guys they have inside are offensively very limited.

If the Mavs are wise, they'll spend their offseason trying to acquire someone who can score near the basket. He doesn't have to be a top free agent type, just someone who can occasionally, but consistently score in the paint. They should also stop signing guys like Tim Thomas and try to find some young, athletic wings, who along with Beaubois can come in and change the tempo of the game. That's my 2 cents anyway.

How about Blatche for Beaubois and the Mavs #1 pick (just waiting to see if divi's head explodes :D )

Posted by: ts35 | April 30, 2010 2:59 PM | Report abuse

Dray Blatche all-star 2011!!!

Posted by: divi3 | April 30, 2010 3:05 PM | Report abuse

if JH is smiling about the team that traded him losing in the first round, as he sits puffing a doobie (nuthin wrong with that) with his surgically repaired knee elevated and hopes that a back to back 50 game loser offers him a contract; then he is derserving of all that has and will come to him.

Posted by: lilhollywood10 | April 30, 2010 3:06 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: ts35 | April 30, 2010 2:59 PM | Report abuse

funny that he was replaced for not being able to get a team over the hump; then he replaced a guy that allegedly couldn't get them over the hump (4-1 finals loss to Flash and the Diesel). And now gets bounced in the first round. I'll tell you whose smiling so hard his earlobes are wet, Avery Johnson. Is Cuban still paying him? While he hasn't landed on his feet in tems of employment, he took that team farther than any other coach has under Cuban. he can smile everyday and know it wasn't all him. Take a look at the soft as baby poo 7 footer you hitched your wagon to. He let CB and BoBo take over the last two games.Dirk looked frustrated and out of sync. Does Phoenix have the cap space? I could see Nash gettin his knees dirty in the owners box to make that happen.

Posted by: lilhollywood10 | April 30, 2010 3:12 PM | Report abuse

and in keeping with my love of harping on Haywood...the other similarity with the Mavs and the Wiz was a throwaway player at the 5 spot. But they have found out that at the end of the day you cant get 2pts in 48mins from your C position and expect to win. Not unless the guy is defensive MVP material which BTH and Damp certainly aint.

Posted by: divi3 | April 30, 2010 3:14 PM | Report abuse

Dray Blatche all-star 2011!!!

Posted by: divi3

Touche, my friend, touche ;-)

Posted by: ts35 | April 30, 2010 3:23 PM | Report abuse

"Take a look at the soft as baby poo 7 footer you hitched your wagon to. He let CB and BoBo take over the last two games.Dirk looked frustrated and out of sync."

Nobody with David Hasselhoff on their ipod is leading a team to the NBA Title and that's just how it is.

Posted by: divi3 | April 30, 2010 3:24 PM | Report abuse

u think the loss of Brandon Bass hurt Dal a lil bit?No BS it's a real question.

Posted by: lilhollywood10 | April 30, 2010 3:28 PM | Report abuse

Nowitzki is a great player, a first ballot HoFer, but he's never had the strong #2 star player that it seems to take to win a title (the Pistons being the exception that proves the rule). The best players he played with had either yet to hit their peak (Nash), were past it (Stackhouse, Kidd, Marion) or had a peak that just wasn't that high (Terry, Butler).

At this point it might be best for both sides to make it an amicable split: Nowitzki opts out of his contract and Cuban deals him in a S&T.

Posted by: kalo_rama | April 30, 2010 3:30 PM | Report abuse

and in keeping with my love of harping on Haywood...the other similarity with the Mavs and the Wiz was a throwaway player at the 5 spot. But they have found out that at the end of the day you cant get 2pts in 48mins from your C position and expect to win. Not unless the guy is defensive MVP material which BTH and Damp certainly aint.

Posted by: divi3

Well, and you definitely don't need *two* guys like that. It's good to have a defensive oriented C, but they need an offensive oriented one as well (who hopefully isn't a total gimp on D)

He's not a C, but I wonder if they'd take a chance (and have cap space) for someone like Boozer. Trying to think of inside guys they could go after. I could see them trying to get one of the under-sized C guys like Lee, Boozer, Scola (FA I think) who could give them at least something inside. But given the Mavs history, they'll probably go after or trade for Rasheed Wallace or Elton Brand or Brad Miller or something like that.

Posted by: ts35 | April 30, 2010 3:32 PM | Report abuse

"u think the loss of Brandon Bass hurt Dal a lil bit?No BS it's a real question."

I do. If he was still there, they probably wouldn't have had to go looking elsewhere for faux "toughness." It's unlikely that Dujuan Blair and Matt Bonner (?!) would have been bullying Bass out of the way for rebounds. But while he would have helped, I don't think it would have changed the outcome. The Mavs are a flawed team and always have been in one way or another.

Posted by: kalo_rama | April 30, 2010 3:35 PM | Report abuse

u think the loss of Brandon Bass hurt Dal a lil bit?No BS it's a real question.

Posted by: lilhollywood10

Yeah I do. I don't know if it would have made a difference, but he's the kind of guy they need. Not so much as an inside scorer, but as an active, physical big. I think it stung them that they got hornswaggled and lost Bass and didn't sign Gortat.

Posted by: ts35 | April 30, 2010 3:37 PM | Report abuse

"He's not a C, but I wonder if they'd take a chance (and have cap space) for someone like Boozer. Trying to think of inside guys they could go after. I could see them trying to get one of the under-sized C guys like Lee, Boozer, Scola (FA I think) who could give them at least something inside. But given the Mavs history, they'll probably go after or trade for Rasheed Wallace or Elton Brand or Brad Miller or something like that."

Don't see it, not unless they're willing to (A) shell out near max money for a guy who'll be coming off the bench or (B) start Dirk at C. And I don't see either as likely.

Posted by: kalo_rama | April 30, 2010 3:39 PM | Report abuse

"He's not a C, but I wonder if they'd take a chance (and have cap space) for someone like Boozer. Trying to think of inside guys they could go after. I could see them trying to get one of the under-sized C guys like Lee, Boozer, Scola (FA I think) who could give them at least something inside. But given the Mavs history, they'll probably go after or trade for Rasheed Wallace or Elton Brand or Brad Miller or something like that."

Don't see it, not unless they're willing to (A) shell out near max money for a guy who'll be coming off the bench or (B) start Dirk at C. And I don't see either as likely.

Posted by: kalo_rama

Honestly, I don't really either, just playing the What Would I Do game. If they were willing and able to shell out the money, Lee and Scola make more sense than Boozer, because both play some C (even though both are undersized). Plus, both come with less 'tude than Booz. But even though I floated the idea, not really sold that it would be the answer for them.

Posted by: ts35 | April 30, 2010 3:48 PM | Report abuse

And really, going after Boozer or Scola or Lee would basically be another stop gap measure, just like going after Haywood and Butler.

Posted by: kalo_rama | April 30, 2010 4:05 PM | Report abuse

And really, going after Boozer or Scola or Lee would basically be another stop gap measure, just like going after Haywood and Butler.

Posted by: kalo_rama

Well, it's pretty much the mode they're in until Dirk retires, moves on, or they trade him. Unless you have a good, well-rounded C who addresses the issue of having a jump-shooting "4", you're playing mix-and-match with the other pieces trying to accomplish the same thing. At least it would give them a different look at the "5" than Haywood / Dampier.

Obviously they have to get younger and more athletic on the wing, but that's generally easier to do than filling in the middle.

I keep looking over their roster and just going......blech.

Posted by: ts35 | April 30, 2010 4:15 PM | Report abuse

"Well, it's pretty much the mode they're in until Dirk retires, moves on, or they trade him."

Exactly why I think it may be time for a parting of the ways. Unless they can get a legit star player to pair with him, they aren't going to win a title with Nowitzki as the centerpiece, as good as he is. He may be the best jumpshooting big man in the history of bball, but he's still a jumpshooting big man. Trying to fill in the holes with a rotating cast of B-listers is a proven to fail strategy. Clearly neither Cuban nor Nowitzki is happy with Winning 50 games every season only to bow out of the playoffs early. but if they stick to the same team-building strategy they've been using for the past decade, it's hard to see any reason why the results would change.

Posted by: kalo_rama | April 30, 2010 4:28 PM | Report abuse

Nash played in Dallas until he was 30, fair to say he was primetime already. The problem isnt lack of talent, it's that Dirk is soft and plays no defense whatsoever and when a guy like that is the best player on your team you will not win the Championship.

Doesnt mean Dirk isnt a great player, obviously he is. But he's been overrated for a long time in the sense that he's closer as player to Jamison's level than he is to Lebron's or Kobe's

Posted by: divi3 | April 30, 2010 4:48 PM | Report abuse

but if they stick to the same team-building strategy they've been using for the past decade, it's hard to see any reason why the results would change.

Well, Tim Duncan has to eventually retire.

I don't see Cuban changing his ways. Has he ever admitted that letting Nash go was a bad move? More likely he goes after an overpaid 2 like Hamilton. And Ray Allen will probably go to whoever pays him the most, so he's a possibility too.

Posted by: djnnnou | April 30, 2010 4:52 PM | Report abuse

Dirk needs to a tough inside scoring presence like Carols Boozer to take the Mavs to the next level. Caron may have replaced some of the missing scoring and Marion is a great at scoring garbage baskets, but the Mavs are still a perimeter team. Haywood was a step up from Dampier, but they still don't have the tough presence down low on the offensive end. Also, both Terry and Kidd are starting to show their age and were exploited by Hill and Parker.

If I was Cuban, I'd let Haywood leave and any other UFA's to try to sign Boozer who is likely to leave Utah this summer. The Mavs showed they were too soft against an aging, but experienced San Antonio team. Great series by CB3 but he wasn't the missing piece the Mavs needed.

Posted by: wizfan89 | April 30, 2010 4:58 PM | Report abuse

in the sense that he's closer as player to Jamison's level than he is to Lebron's or Kobe's

You can't really compare power forwards to wing players. I'd say Nowitzki is as good as KG, but not even close to Duncan's level.

Posted by: djnnnou | April 30, 2010 5:03 PM | Report abuse

"Dirk needs to a tough inside scoring presence like Carols Boozer to take the Mavs to the next level. "

Not necessarily (and not just because Boozer isn't really a "take a team to the next level type). What he does need is another player on the floor who commands a double team, so that defenses can't load up on him and force the other guys to beat him (which they can't), preferably someone who can create his own shot. I don't think it has to be a big man. If it does, then the Mavs are screwed, because players like that are few and far between and without a high lottery pick, a spare All-Star in his prime to trade, or a lot of cap room (none of which the Mavs have) the odds of getting one are very slim.

Playing some consistent defense would help too. Down the stretch of game 6, the Spurs got pretty much any shot they wanted.

"Well, Tim Duncan has to eventually retire. "

Unfortunately for Dirk, it'll probably be about the same time he does.

Posted by: kalo_rama | April 30, 2010 5:08 PM | Report abuse

"If I was Cuban, I'd let Haywood leave and any other UFA's to try to sign Boozer who is likely to leave Utah this summer"

Not going to happen. The Mavs have the 2nd highest payroll in the NBA. They're way over the luxury tax threshold, let alone the salary cap. Unless Nowitzki opts out, Haywood and JJ Barea are the only UFAs the Mavs have, and that'll barely make a dent in their payroll. Hell, even if Nowitzki opted out and they renounced him, they'd still be over the projected cap for next season. They aren't signing any big money FAs.

Posted by: kalo_rama | April 30, 2010 5:20 PM | Report abuse

"Dirk needs to a tough inside scoring presence like Carols Boozer to take the Mavs to the next level. "

Not necessarily (and not just because Boozer isn't really a "take a team to the next level type). What he does need is another player on the floor who commands a double team, so that defenses can't load up on him and force the other guys to beat him (which they can't), preferably someone who can create his own shot.
Posted by: kalo_rama

I kind of think it does have to be a big. It has to at least be someone who can consistently get high percetange opportunities in the half court. Maybe that ends up being a wing player who can drive to the rack, but certainly they need a C option who at least commands single coverage, let alone a double-team.

They are hard to come by, but the Mavs are one of the teams for whom it should be possible, given Cuban's willingness to take on salary and live in Luxury Tax land, when most others aren't. Maybe they find a way to get Marc Gasol out of Memphis or something like that. Memphis and Minnesota have young bigs, and are prone to bad deals. That's probably where I would start, if there's not a FA they can land. (Yes, I know Washington is also prone to bad deals involving bigs, but I don't think AB solves their problems.)

Posted by: ts35 | April 30, 2010 5:24 PM | Report abuse

"If I was Cuban, I'd let Haywood leave and any other UFA's to try to sign Boozer who is likely to leave Utah this summer"

Not going to happen. The Mavs have the 2nd highest payroll in the NBA. They're way over the luxury tax threshold, let alone the salary cap. Unless Nowitzki opts out, Haywood and JJ Barea are the only UFAs the Mavs have, and that'll barely make a dent in their payroll. Hell, even if Nowitzki opted out and they renounced him, they'd still be over the projected cap for next season. They aren't signing any big money FAs.

Posted by: kalo_rama

If I understand what I was reading earlier (always a dicey proposition), Dampier's 13mil is not guaranteed for next season, so (I think) they could cut him to create space or trade him and get something done that way.

Posted by: ts35 | April 30, 2010 5:28 PM | Report abuse

correction, they probably couldn't create cap space, but they could trade Dampier.

Posted by: ts35 | April 30, 2010 5:32 PM | Report abuse

You can't really compare power forwards to wing players. I'd say Nowitzki is as good as KG, but not even close to Duncan's level.

Posted by: djnnnou | April 30, 2010 5:03 PM

KG was a dominant defensive player who led the league in rebounding 4 straight years while also sporting a career 19.8 scoring average. Dirk was never that good(imo)...but offensive machine type players are often perceived as such.

Posted by: divi3 | April 30, 2010 5:33 PM | Report abuse

Boozer would be perfect for the Mavs I think...but dont see them getting him. Dirk might as well be a 3, so I dont see an issue with he and Boozer on the floor together even if he lineup was light in the handle

Posted by: divi3 | April 30, 2010 5:39 PM | Report abuse

"If I understand what I was reading earlier (always a dicey proposition), Dampier's 13mil is not guaranteed for next season, so (I think) they could cut him to create space or trade him and get something done that way."

Where'd you read that about Dampier's contract?

Even if it's true, they couldn't get Boozer. Boozer's going to be an UFA this summer, so it wouldn't make sense for the Jazz to do a sign and trad deal for him in which the only thing they get back is cap space. They could accomplish the same goal by letting Boozer walk for nothing. (I wouldn't be surprised if he ends up staying in Utah.) It's unlikely that any team would give up a real impact player (esp. a low post big) for what amounts to nothing in return. At least in the Gasol deal the Grizzlies got the rights to another skilled young big in return. The Mavs don't have much in the way of sweetener to throw into a deal.

Posted by: kalo_rama | April 30, 2010 5:40 PM | Report abuse

I was wondering: Suppose you're an owner. How do you know when to replace the head coach or GM of your losing team?

A subject that’s coming up very soon now, with Ted Leonsis as the triggerman.

You could look just at the won-loss record, along with mitigating factors, and decide on that basis alone. Say when asked that “the GM/coach is ultimately accountable for the team’s performance.”
However this Draconian attitude might scare away some good replacement candidates (‘geez, they’re going to give me a crap team and then fire me when the f***kers lose?’). Plus there’s the danger of Belichick Syndrome, where the guy you fired goes to another city and establishes a dynasty, making you look the complete fool.

Or you could take a more measured approach, analyzing film and team stats in an effort to decide if the club was improving enough at the end of the season to merit another stab at success with the same management team. There’s a downside here as well; if the club stumbles out of the gate the following season, you look like an even bigger idiot.

It would help if there was a model for assessing GM/HC job performance versus the rest of the league. Something more sophisticated than wins and losses. But there isn't. Somebody could develop one, I suppose.

When a veteran coach is hired, we hear about the ‘coaching carousel’. But I wonder if that exists because teams keep hiring bad coaches, or in part because they keep firing good ones.

At present, I don't know how you could tell.

Posted by: Samson151 | April 30, 2010 5:53 PM | Report abuse

KG was a dominant defensive player who led the league in rebounding 4 straight years while also sporting a career 19.8 scoring average. Dirk was never that good(imo)...but offensive machine type players are often perceived as such.

KG has tended to disappear in the 4th quarter. Especially in tight games.

Posted by: djnnnou | April 30, 2010 6:13 PM | Report abuse

Michael that Mavs team wasn't the first no.1 seed to lose in the first round. The Sonics loss to Denver in '94. And Haywood isn't a Wizard anymore, so you don't have to keep making excuses for him.

Posted by: djnnnou | April 30, 2010 2:35 PM | Report

Mike should have been more clear but he is right bcos that nuggets team that beat the sonics was in a FIVE game series not 7 game series...and ANY dallas team that fails is great news for me! now we know there isnt a wizards curse....Caron Butler, Brendan Haywood and Debrocks are all losers.

Posted by: mrhney03 | April 30, 2010 6:42 PM | Report abuse

and what is all of this talk of boozer to the mavs? boozer is a 4 not a 5...who will boozer guard that haywood cant? yao ming? andrew bynum? sheesh...even Marc Gasol? Boozer is not a 5 so stop all of that...

Posted by: mrhney03 | April 30, 2010 6:51 PM | Report abuse

Where'd you read that about Dampier's contract?
Posted by: kalo_rama

djnnnou brought it up in the last thread. I googled it and it seemed to say that Dampier needed to play 2100 minutes this season to guarantee the last year (or have made 3 All Star teams over the course of the contract.....uh, yeah).

If we have learned nothing else this year, it's that teams (or perhaps more accurately owners) value the ability to dump salary. Being able to trade $13 mil of guaranteed salary for $13 mil of non-guaranteed salary might be enough of an enticement, especially for smaller market or shallower pocket teams.

Anyway it's all just random chatter. I haven't read anything about Dallas trying to get rid of Dampier, and I'm not 100% sure that last year is unguaranteed.

Boozer was the first name that popped into my head, but ultimately I don't think he makes sense for Dallas.

Posted by: ts35 | April 30, 2010 8:20 PM | Report abuse

"The trade looked more lopsided when the Mavericks reeled off 13 consecutive wins, and some joked that President Ernie Grunfeld should get executive of year since he put two teams - including Cleveland, which acquired Antawn Jamison before the deadline - closer to an NBA championship". Michael Lee
They werent joking they were being sarcastic dude, as it turns out Butler and Haywood and the DeShawn turn out to be losers like they were here............ ...... So long GRUNFELD!

Posted by: habari2 | April 30, 2010 8:25 PM | Report abuse

and what is all of this talk of boozer to the mavs? boozer is a 4 not a 5...who will boozer guard that haywood cant? yao ming? andrew bynum? sheesh...even Marc Gasol? Boozer is not a 5 so stop all of that...

Posted by: mrhney03

"All this talk" was idle chatter about what the Mavs needed to do to not get bounced in the first round next year. Part of the discussion was about acquiring a low-post scorer who's not totally inept on D. Having Dampier and Haywood, both offensively challenged, makes no sense. They should have an offensive alternative. It's not about finding a better defender, it's about finding someone who can get his own shot in the halfcourt offense to help Dirk. And it wouldn't be instead of Dampier (or Haywood, if they find a way to keep him instead), it would be in addition to Dampier or Haywood.

Since "5"'s who can score and are also available are kinda rare, I was just talking about bigs who can score. Since Boozer, Scola and Lee are FAs, they were the first names I thought of. Boozer is big enough and strong enough to defend a center (and has).

Which concludes way more effort than I should have put into explaining an idle thought.

Posted by: ts35 | April 30, 2010 8:33 PM | Report abuse

Suddenly it’s a series.

The Milwaukee Bucks made sure of that by winning two home games in front of lively sellout crowds at the Bradley Center on Saturday and Monday.

And the Bucks’ players and coaches know they have to win at least one game in Atlanta, either today or in a possible Game 7 on Sunday, if they want to move on to the next round to meet Superman Dwight Howard and the Orlando Magic.

Bucks point guard MM/FOYE said the team has to keep moving the ball and attacking the Hawks defense.

MM/FOYE sliced through the Hawks and the Bucks posted a gaudy 55 percent field-goal shooting line in Game 4. Milwaukee also got to the free-throw line with regularity and converted 28 of 32 attempts.

But even more will be needed to end the Hawks’ 14-game home winning streak, which includes the first two games of the series.

“Our defense has been good the last two games,” MM/FOYE said. “I think we have to go into Game 5 and just win the defensive game.”

MM/FOYE said the Bucks’ confidence has not wavered, even without injured center Andrew Bogut out of the lineup and after losing the first two games of the series.

Now comes a major test in Game 5.

“We just have to try to not let the crowd get to us, and if things don’t go our way, don’t panic,” MM/FOYE said"

I am not sure why the AP writer was refering to MM/FOYE. Did he mean Jennings?

Posted by: Utilityman1 | April 30, 2010 8:36 PM | Report abuse

I didn't realize we got Thornton for Gooden. I thought we got Thornton in the Jamison deal somehow, and we just waived Gooden... but I guess that makes more sense.

So we acutally got Howard, Singleton, Ross, AND Thornton for Haywood, Butler, Stevenson.

Anyway we got to figure out what we are gonna do now that Ted has taken control!


What do we have that we wanna keep??

Blatche is probably the only sure fire keeper, and even he has question marks.

McGee has tons of potential... but we he ever have the stamina and strength to really be a factor?

Singleton can be a solid role guy off the bench.

Thornton, along with Blatche, is a promising young multi-skilled forward and a potential builiding block for this team. Personally I love the size and athleticism we have with a Blatche/Thornton front court, especially after the past couple years with Jamison/Butler.

Miller seems to like it here for some unexplainable reason. I think we need to keep him for his versatility, his mindset and veteran leadership, his ability and willingness to move the ball and rebound. And his 3 pointers come in handy too!

Nick Young would be tough to give up at this point. He still has loads of talent and upside. But he's at the point of his career where he either steps up and emerges or is content with a career as a role player journeyman off the bench.

Gilbert is the star of the team. I do believe he will come back and probably have his best season.

Livingston... a true pg and just getting better and beter running this team as he played more and more. I really hope to see him back next season subbing for Gil and at time playing along side him.


That's 8.


Posted by: Darnell1 | April 30, 2010 9:07 PM | Report abuse

I think where you draft Derrick Favors depends on how big he turns out to be when he finally gets measured by somebody in the NBA. Coming out of HS he was generally portrayed as 6'8" to 6'9" and from 205 to 215 pounds. Now he's usually listed as 6'10" and 245-250. Doesn't appear to have much fat on him, so could a kid put on 30 pounds of muscle in a year?

Because if it's true, he could be something really special. Reminds me (and I haven't seen the comparison elsewhere) of the young Dwight Howard. Same 60% FG %, same inept foul shooting, same dominance of the boards, particularly on offense.. I think he has better hands than Dwight, and is also an explosive leaper who extends toward the roof on shot block attempts.

No offense to speak of, but why should he be different than most young big men entering the NBA?

If he turns out to be as big and strong as now advertised, I don't know how you could justify taking Cousins ahead of him.

He turns 19 in July.

Posted by: Samson151 | April 30, 2010 9:16 PM | Report abuse

Next is the draft.

The player I most want is Turner.

What do we do if we pick lower??

Favors is a PF with center ability like guys like Antonio McDyess or C Web. Monroe is actually a true center, although he could stand to add some bulk, with skills and superb passing ability. Cousins could be a cross between Alonzo Mourning, Erick Dampier, and Derrick Coleman.

I gotta say a Monroe, Blatche, Thornton frontcourt could be intriguing. Or Cousins.

But Turner is the guy. He can step right in at that starting 2 spot. He'd be a great fit with Gil and/or Livingston, and can slide up to SF at times as well. And Turner will be very good right away.

Posted by: Darnell1 | April 30, 2010 9:18 PM | Report abuse

"Miller seems to like it here for some unexplainable reason. I think we need to keep him for his versatility, his mindset and veteran leadership, his ability and willingness to move the ball and rebound. And his 3 pointers come in handy too!"

IMO Miller is mainly looking to make sure he has a job for next year. Hard to believe he wouldn't prefer a real contender to a rebuilding club at this point in his career. He didn't have a good year statistically and I'm sure that would come up in any GM's evaluation. He's the sort of player that stronger teams would really covet if they could answer some of the questions about the sag in his performance over the past two seasons. Was it just the craziness in Minneapolis and DC, or is he on the downslope?

Posted by: Samson151 | April 30, 2010 9:22 PM | Report abuse

Mike Lee: "...the Wizards dealt that trio to Dallas in a deal that brought back Howard, Drew Gooden, James Singleton and Quinton Ross"

In other words, an injured player, another who wanted no part of Washington, and two bench warmers. Worse yet, Howard goes on IR shortly after. Maybe he comes back strong next season. If he doesn't, then it was just a terrible trade. I understand why Grunfeld had to make it, but honestly, folks, that's what they call a fire sale.

Posted by: Samson151 | April 30, 2010 9:25 PM | Report abuse

"Favors is a PF with center ability like guys like Antonio McDyess or C Web. Monroe is actually a true center, although he could stand to add some bulk, with skills and superb passing ability. Cousins could be a cross between Alonzo Mourning, Erick Dampier, and Derrick Coleman."

Monroe doesn't seem to me a 'true' center at the NBA level. I think he's a natural face-the-basket type who's developed some interior moves. I would have a hard time picking three big men less like Cousins than the three you mention.

Posted by: Samson151 | April 30, 2010 9:30 PM | Report abuse

Then we have an offseason where we can actually be a playa in the Free Agent Market!! Amazing! I can't remember us ever being a contender in free agency, except the year we landed Arenas!

I am probably most interested in David Lee. If nothing else he plays hard, and that is something we need, and a guy we can just depend on that's consistant and gives the effort every night. At least you know he'll try to earn his money.

Rudy Gay is also of interest, if just because he's and ideal up and coming player from a small market team that you may get at lower cost and higher reward. A player that is still reaching his potential.

Amare Stoudamire could be a fit at center for us, but will come with a high price tag and a history of injury and questionable drive. I'd rather get Lee.

Kyle Lowry is a restricted FA 6ft PG who could add quickness, D, and legit PG skills. Another young up and coming player that could be a value.

Channing Frye is a Forward still on the verge of reaching his potential.


Posted by: Darnell1 | April 30, 2010 9:32 PM | Report abuse

As far as our later draft picks.... I would love to land Duke's center Zoubeck and MD's G Vasquez!

I like some other guys, but those are the 2 I really want.


My ideal offseason overall is as follows:

Draft Turner, Zoubeck, Vasquez

Free agents David Lee, Rudy Gay, Kyle Lowry

Keep Singleton, Miller, and Livingston


Wizards 2010/11

Zoubeck
McGee
Lee
Blatche
Singleton
Thornton
Miller
Young
Turner
Vasquez
Arenas
Livingston
Lowry

Posted by: Darnell1 | April 30, 2010 9:38 PM | Report abuse

Oops forgot Gay..


Zoubeck
McGee
Lee
Blatche
Singleton
Thornton
Gay
Miller
Young
Turner
Vasquez
Arenas
Livingston
Lowry

Posted by: Darnell1 | April 30, 2010 9:44 PM | Report abuse

That's 14.

Posted by: Darnell1 | April 30, 2010 9:44 PM | Report abuse

From my murky crystal ball, players who probably won't stay in the draft pool:

Devin Ebanks, W. Virginia
Etwaun Moore, Purdue
JaJuan Johnson, Purdue
Chris Wright, Dayton
Keith Benson, Oakland College
Malcolm Delaney, VA Tech
Mike Davis, Ill.

The main fence-sitters who might be available for selection:

Gordon Hayward, 20, SF, Butler - only 20. Hard to imagine him coming back after last year. But then, I didn't think Singler would, either.

Jordan Crawford, 21, SG, Xavier - he's 21 and already went through that Indiana craziness. Probably go higher if he stayed another season.

Samardo Samuels, 21, PF, Louisville - only about 6'8", which could work against him at draft time. But there's been so much uncertainty around Pitino...

Posted by: Samson151 | May 1, 2010 9:09 AM | Report abuse

"Favors is a PF with center ability like guys like Antonio McDyess or C Web."

See, IMO, Greg Monroe is more the Chris Webber type. That still bodes well for an NBA career, provided he winds up on the right club.

Posted by: Samson151 | May 1, 2010 9:15 AM | Report abuse

Got to see the Atl-Milw game -- 83 to 69. The three I've watched so far make me think the Hawks have been losing games more than the Bucks have been winning them.

There weren't that many assists, obviously, but I was interested in who got them -- for Atlanta, Joe Johnson had 6 and PG Mike Bibby 1; for Milwaukee, SG Salmons had 4 and titular PG Jennings 1.

Posted by: Samson151 | May 1, 2010 10:56 AM | Report abuse

Avery Johnson interviewing for the Sixers and Hornets vacant job's as reported by Espn radio,if Ted can get over the Cap's choking against the Canadiens and focus on turning the Wiz around he can get a coach that will make a difference with this franchise,please don't bring those two losers(Flip&EG)back to DC.

Posted by: dargregmag | May 1, 2010 11:24 AM | Report abuse

The strategy that will work for the Mavericks, and the Wizards, and any other team is what the Cleveland Cavaliers have done (even if I don't like them) over the past few years: every year upgrade and improve at every position, even if you still have to keep your old player at that position. That takes a lot of player ego management, but the players need to understand the team is built around winning the championship and in Cleveland's case the only irreplaceable player is LeBron James. The Cavaliers have not really developed any of their younger players in the past few years, except perhaps Varejao. the other kid who seemed to be slated for a future was Gibson, but he's now a sub behind Mo Williams. They could have kept some folks like Gooden and Boozer over the years, but for whatever reason because they were not deemed to be the best for their team, the team hired others to replace them.

Posted by: rickgonz | May 1, 2010 12:20 PM | Report abuse

".... if Ted can get over the Cap's choking against the Canadiens and focus on turning the Wiz around he can get a coach that will make a difference with this franchise,please don't bring those two losers(Flip&EG)back to DC.

Posted by: dargregmag

Amen dargre, amen to that!

Posted by: habari2 | May 1, 2010 1:07 PM | Report abuse

@dargregmag

Flip and EG are losers? Check your stats again, dar. Your boy Eddie Jordan is the loser. As a head coach, he's had a dismal record at each stop...lost big-time in Sac and big-time at Philly. Truth be told, the only time he's had success is under one Ernest Grunfeld. Stated differently, Ernest is the only GM who has made a winner out of Jordan, the head coach. That's not conjecture. That is a fact.
Conversely, Ernest won in Milwaukee and New York (without Jordan). Flip won in Minny and Detroit (without Jordan). Get your facts straight before posting out of, apparently, pure emotion. I attribute your latest post to your getting the vapors. All is forgiven.

Posted by: melodious_thunk | May 1, 2010 2:02 PM | Report abuse

Zoubeck
McGee
Lee
Blatche
Singleton
Thornton
Gay
Miller
Young
Turner
Vasquez
Arenas
Livingston
Lowry

Posted by: Darnell1 | April 30, 2010 9:44 PM


you need to be the next gm!!that roster is great

Posted by: kanderson2385 | May 1, 2010 2:17 PM | Report abuse

If [Favors] turns out to be as big and strong as now advertised, I don't know how you could justify taking Cousins ahead of him.

He turns 19 in July.

Posted by: Samson151

If I were the Wiz, I would take Favors over Cousins, but it just as easy to justify taking Cousins. Especially if you're convinced that AB is your PF going forward. Cousins seems to be more of a natural C than Favors. Favors may end up playing some C in the pros, but he's a PF.

I wouldn't draft Cousins over Favors mainly because of perceived attitude issues with Cousins that the Wiz can't afford to gamble on. But talent-wise, there is plenty to like about both players. And Cousins is only a year older.

Hopefully we'll be in the position of having to choose between them (or better).

Monroe doesn't seem to me to have the demeanor to play C. He seems like a PF to me. He actually strikes me a lot like AB (and also C Webb), skilled, but not overly physical.

If they Wiz do draft a big with the top pick, IMO they need to draft a big who can bang a little.

Posted by: ts35 | May 1, 2010 3:45 PM | Report abuse

Note to M.Thunk: Let's see............. when was the last time this franchise went to the playoffs and who was the coach? Ernie undermined Jordan's authority when he coached this team and didn't get him any real depth in terms of personel,like he did for Flip who promptly parlayed that into another fifty plus loss season by losing control of the team that had scandal running rampant, i don't want to hear about EJ in Philly he would have been fine here if we had a GM with a clue,that same GM who you seem to think is so qualified allowed a non descript so called cornerstone player(Andray Blatche) to insult the H/C during a game no less by refusing to return to the lineup and there was not one repercussion from that incident, no fine, no suspension, no nothing, EG didn't even back his coach gotta love that huh? Grunfeld nor Flip is qualified to run this franchise and if Ted Leonsis is smart he'll send them both on a long and permanent summer vacation!!

Posted by: dargregmag | May 1, 2010 5:52 PM | Report abuse


Jordan has never accomplished a thing as a head coach without Grunfeld as his GM, pre- or post-Wizards, and he will never be a head coach again in the NBA. My two cents on the great Eddie Jordan.
That being said, Flip is more suited to coach a veteran group of players, imho.

Posted by: gimmedat | May 1, 2010 6:33 PM | Report abuse

Good scouting teams are going to do well in this draft.
The only lotery team that could pass wall or trade down for Favors or cousins or Turner is Sacramento.
Washington need to take favours if wall and turner are not found.I think 80% of teams will do the same.favours is progressing well, he is still growing,he will be a minimum 6.10 with a potential to dominate the board.WJ can help any team but his potential is not as good as favours.

Posted by: gtefferra | May 1, 2010 6:36 PM | Report abuse

About Favors: seems to me the distinction between a 'natural' 4 and 5 has been eroded over the past seasons. When Tim Duncan and Dirk Nowitzki both get classified as PFs, it ceases to mean much. If those measurements are accurate (a big IF), then Favors is perfectly capable of matching up with most of the league's centers, with his back to the basket. And given his length and athleticism, he probably has the bigger upside compared with Cousins.

Not that I'm criticizing Demarcus, who looks like a terrific inside offensive player. But he'll be at a disadvantage in terms of quickness against a number of other big men.

Wiz would be lucky to get either.

Posted by: Samson151 | May 1, 2010 9:45 PM | Report abuse

lol, Dar is back at it. Avery Johnson is not even a top 15 NBA coach and EJ should not/probably won't coach again. Comparing the seasons that EJ coached and this past season that FS coached is about as moronic as it gets and completely intellectually dishonest. I won't even go into the reasons why bc it should be obvious to everyone except someone named Dar. by the way Dar, I highly doubt there is going to be a cleansing of either EG or FS. Ted is one of the least rich owners in the NBA and has been bleeding money with the Caps. Not sure about EG, but firing FS would be costly unless there is some agreed upon mutual buyout. And if you keep the coach what is point in changing GM's especially one that is still pretty good. Looks like we didn't get as fleeced as initially thought by most. I never did think such!

I will say I agree that FS might not be my first choice to coach a young rebuilding team. It's not that I don't think he could do it. It's that I don't think he really wants to at this point in his career. We'll see.

Posted by: rphilli721 | May 2, 2010 12:02 AM | Report abuse

Let my ask you this Dar...why do you always harp on one or two minor incidences as if it is a totally indictment of someone's entire career? That, and you harp on the fact that EJ had no bench while he was coach, which at face value is true. However, you fail to acknowledge the team was still in the process of being built with THREE all-stars in the prime of their careers starting. That is exactly why EJ had success for the only time in his career. Even he couldn't screw that one up too bad. And it's better than having three ex all-stars with a deeper bench particularly when one all-star has had three knee surgeries and the combination had grown tired of playing together. It should be fairly obvious, but apparently it's not.

Posted by: rphilli721 | May 2, 2010 12:15 AM | Report abuse

From where I sit, the Wiz are in a better position than Dallas is at the moment. We have a lottery pick and plenty of cap space. Dallas has a team that has one of the highest payrolls in the league that is aging and can't get past the first round. Ted has some tools to work with right off the bat.

Posted by: rphilli721 | May 2, 2010 12:27 AM | Report abuse

About Favors: seems to me the distinction between a 'natural' 4 and 5 has been eroded over the past seasons. When Tim Duncan and Dirk Nowitzki both get classified as PFs, it ceases to mean much. If those measurements are accurate (a big IF), then Favors is perfectly capable of matching up with most of the league's centers, with his back to the basket. And given his length and athleticism, he probably has the bigger upside compared with Cousins.

Not that I'm criticizing Demarcus, who looks like a terrific inside offensive player. But he'll be at a disadvantage in terms of quickness against a number of other big men.

Wiz would be lucky to get either.

Posted by: Samson151

The line has been eroded in part because of a dearth of true 5's. There is still a distinction, which is why guys like Haywood, Pryzbilla, Big Z, Dampier get paid good money.

You made the key points for me yourself "if" Favors' measurements are accurate, he can match up with "most" of the league's C's.

With Cousins, there's no question he has the size and strength to match up at both ends of the floor. And length isn't an advantage Favors has over Cousins. Both are deemed to have excellent length. Cousins *may* have trouble with some of the quicker centers, but those same centers will likely have trouble with his strength and heft. Plus it's not like Cousins is some plodding behemoth.

I'm not making the case that Cousins (speaking just as a player) is better, just that they are equally valuable, and bring different things to the table. And, imo, Cousins is a better fit at C and Favors at PF.

Posted by: ts35 | May 2, 2010 12:45 AM | Report abuse

"If we have learned nothing else this year, it's that teams (or perhaps more accurately owners) value the ability to dump salary. Being able to trade $13 mil of guaranteed salary for $13 mil of non-guaranteed salary might be enough of an enticement, especially for smaller market or shallower pocket teams."

Oh, I don't doubt that some team will be willing to trade a guaranteed salary for $13 mill in cap relief. I just doubt that they'll be anyone willing to trade the kind of player you say they need (a "tough inside scoring big") to make Dallas a contender.

As for "smaller market or shallower pocket teams . . . " I could possibly see the Pacers trading Hibbert or the Clippers trading Kaman. But while both are good players, do you really think either of them would put Dallas over the top? Of course not.

Unless they can get another true star to come in and suck some of the defensive attention away from Nowitzki, they're not going to make the leap. Trading for more overpaid 2nd tier guys is not going to get it done.

Posted by: kalo_rama | May 2, 2010 2:38 AM | Report abuse

"From where I sit, the Wiz are in a better position than Dallas is at the moment. We have a lottery pick and plenty of cap space. Dallas has a team that has one of the highest payrolls in the league that is aging and can't get past the first round. Ted has some tools to work with right off the bat."

Yes and no. The Mavs have a centerpiece player and top flight organization that would be very attractive to top players, but no assets to acquire said players. The Wiz have assets to acquire players, but don't have anything (other than cash) to entice tip players. And since top players are going to get paid wherever they go, there has to be something else.

Posted by: kalo_rama | May 2, 2010 2:43 AM | Report abuse

Oh, I don't doubt that some team will be willing to trade a guaranteed salary for $13 mill in cap relief. I just doubt that they'll be anyone willing to trade the kind of player you say they need (a "tough inside scoring big") to make Dallas a contender.

As for "smaller market or shallower pocket teams . . . " I could possibly see the Pacers trading Hibbert or the Clippers trading Kaman. But while both are good players, do you really think either of them would put Dallas over the top? Of course not.

Unless they can get another true star to come in and suck some of the defensive attention away from Nowitzki, they're not going to make the leap. Trading for more overpaid 2nd tier guys is not going to get it done.

Posted by: kalo_rama

1. In and of itself, trading for someone like Kaman probably isn't enough to get it done, but it lowers the bar for what you need that second piece to be. Defenses have to play Kaman more honestly than they do Haywood or Dampier. Kaman also gets them high percentage buckets in the low post that they don't get now. In Game 6 against SA, DampWood gave the Mavs a grand total of 2 points. Game 4, which they lost by 3, 10 pts. Game 3 which they lost by 4, 4 pts. If Kaman can get 10-12 pts a game, how much does that change the series dynamic?

Posted by: ts35 | May 2, 2010 4:02 AM | Report abuse

2. Having a $13 mil get-out-of-lux-tax-hell-free card theoretically puts Dallas in the FA running for big stars. To wit: Dallas can use Dampier's salary as part of a sign-and-trade. Why would the player do it? Because their current team can pay them more than anyone else. Why would the team do it? Dallas would have to sweeten the deal enough. Draft picks and taking on a bad contract might be enough. But if a team feels like they're going to lose the player anyway, why not get some assets or extra relief in return? Especially if it assures the FA you let go doesn't stay in your division?

Bosh would be an interesting choice for an inside presence, but it would probably take a more creative coach than Carlisle to get that to work. They would still struggle on D, but would be a match-up nightmare. From your side of it, though Wade probably makes the most sense. If Miami couldn't attract a running-mate for him and he's going to bolt anyway, likely to Chicago, why not get something for him, and ship him to the West?

2a. Or perhaps a team in the running for one of the top FAs needs to trade away a good piece to create salary space to sign a better piece.

3. Your argument is predicated on teams always doing the 'smart' or 'sensible' thing when we know that isn't the case.

Point being there are a wide variety of reasons teams decide to make moves and having a $13 mil 'instant cap space' chip should be a valuable and very trade-able asset, especially when combined with Cuban's willingness to absorb bad contracts.

Posted by: ts35 | May 2, 2010 4:04 AM | Report abuse

About Ed Jordan: we still have no objective way to measure a coach's performance.

Jordan came into Philly to a club that played pretty well last season and they seemed to get worse. So it's his fault.

Then again, Jordan came to Washington and a poor team seemed to get a lot better, and stay that way for several years. He has to get credit for that, right?

Instead, we get this argument. Some insist the Wiz won in spite of EJ, while Philly lost because of him. Which inspires somebody else to argue the reverse -- that Philly (and Jordan's last Wiz club) were flawed teams that nobody could have led to success.

It just illustrates the flaw in evaluating coaches on their won-loss records. Really, what's the coach's contribution to winning or losing? Plus they keep changing jobs. If Larry Brown was a great coach in Detroit, wasn't he also a great coach in NY? But he did some very strange things in both places.


Posted by: Samson151 | May 2, 2010 9:05 AM | Report abuse

"I'm not making the case that Cousins (speaking just as a player) is better, just that they are equally valuable, and bring different things to the table. And, imo, Cousins is a better fit at C and Favors at PF.Posted by: ts35"

LOL I thought I was the one with long diatribes around here. Looks like I've been topped.

Not to beat a dead horse, but you observed that there are fewer and fewer classic centers in the NBA (true). More combo types. That'll probably increase even more with the popularity of penetration schemes that require big men that don't clog the lane. So if Cousins matches up well against players like Shaq, and players like Shaq are perhaps a dying breed, doesn't that make Favors a more practical choice?

Because the quicker player is more in the the Dwight Howard mold, and Howard's the standard now, not O'Neal.

An academic discussion at this point, because nobody's had a chance to measure anybody yet.

Last point: no fair saying Cousins has the advantage in some matchups, because that's always the case with matchups. A quick center will always have an advantage over Cousins on the offensive end.

Posted by: Samson151 | May 2, 2010 9:15 AM | Report abuse

I think Kaman would be a superb pickup for Dallas, but in terms of winning the whole enchilada it's moot because they arent going to. Dirk isnt getting any younger and for them to be legit contenders they'd need to acquire a player even better than him. Hard to envision that happening.

Posted by: divi3 | May 2, 2010 11:06 AM | Report abuse

one of the question marks about cousins (to me) is will he stay in nba shape? The kid is 19 and already looks like he's 300 pounds...if he's in any way unmotivated lord knows how big he could get!

Posted by: divi3 | May 2, 2010 11:14 AM | Report abuse

If you put best scouting teams like sours, in a lotery position this year they are not going to pick cousins in the 1st 5 lotery positions. We have to learn from big men like oden.

Posted by: gtefferra | May 2, 2010 12:22 PM | Report abuse

This is pretty cool. Ginobili has a black mask for his broken nose.

Manu

I thought it would look more like this.

Venetian Mask

Posted by: djnnnou | May 2, 2010 12:29 PM | Report abuse

If you put best scouting teams like sours, in a lotery position this year they are not going to pick cousins in the 1st 5 lotery positions. We have to learn from big men like oden.

I think the lesson learned comes from Beasley and Thomas. They're the last two top 5 talents with maturity issues.

Posted by: djnnnou | May 2, 2010 12:46 PM | Report abuse

"2. Having a $13 mil get-out-of-lux-tax-hell-free card theoretically puts Dallas in the FA running for big stars. To wit: Dallas can use Dampier's salary as part of a sign-and-trade. Why would the player do it? Because their current team can pay them more than anyone else. Why would the team do it? Dallas would have to sweeten the deal enough. "

And that's exactly why the other team isn't likely to do it, because Dallas doesn't really have any sweetener. They'll be a playoff team for as long as Dirk is there, so their draft picks aren't worth much in exchange for a big star. As for taking on bad contracts . . . in that scenario, the only thing the other team gets in exchange for its big star is cap space (by taking on Dampier's non-guaranteed deal and unloading their own bad contracts). What team is likely to trade a difference making big star to Dallas for nothing but cap space (again noting that the Grizzlies got the rights to Marc Gasol in the deal with L.A.)?

"But if a team feels like they're going to lose the player anyway, why not get some assets or extra relief in return? Especially if it assures the FA you let go doesn't stay in your division?"But if a team feels like they're going to lose the player anyway, why not get some assets or extra relief in return? Especially if it assures the FA you let go doesn't stay in your division?

But that presumes that other team wouldn't be able to swing a deal with another team that allows them to get some tangible assets in return for said player. And any player that's good enough to make the difference between winning and not winning a title is going to be in demand enough that they'll be able to get more than what amounts to empty air for him, which would take Dallas out of the running because (by your own scenario) that's pretty much the best they have to offer.

By way of example: When Shaq was forcing his way out of L.A. a few years ago, it was reported (repeatedly) that Dallas was at the top of his destination wish list. He really wanted to play with Dirk. One of the reasons a deal didn't get done (along with the fact that the Lakers didn't want to trade him in conference) is that the Mavs didn't have the pieces the Lakers wanted in exchange. They're still in a similar situation.

Posted by: kalo_rama | May 2, 2010 4:42 PM | Report abuse

And it's really all moot anyway because the Mavs need a "tough inside scoring big" right? Well, looking at the list of this summer's FAs (and since you're talking about sign-and-trades, one presumes we're focusing on FAs here) there are at best 3 players on the list that come close to fitting that description: Boozer (whom we both agree isn't the right fit for Dallas), Yao (who has an opt out clause that he isn't likely to exercise, given that he's coming off an injury lost season and needs to prove he can still produce and stay reasonably healthy), and Stoudemire (who also has an opt out clause that he may or may not pull the trigger on, and even if he does, it's (A) questionable whether he can be considered either "tough" or a real "inside scorer" and (B) a given that there will be much better deals out there than just clearing cap space). Outside of those guys, who are the players that would fit the specific need you say Dallas has?

It's a supply and demand issue, and when the supply is low (as it is for tough inside scoring bigs in the NBA) the bidding becomes more competitive, and the Mavs just can't match what other teams can offer. They're strategy of cycling big name B-list vets with big contracts to surround Dirk has boxed them in.

"Bosh would be an interesting choice for an inside presence . . ."

He would be if he were actually an inside presence, but he's not. He's primarily a jump shooter. The big difference this season is that he brought his range in, cutting out so many long ones and taking more in the mid-range area. But he is hardly a "tough inside scoring big."

"2a. Or perhaps a team in the running for one of the top FAs needs to trade away a good piece to create salary space to sign a better piece."

But a "good piece" isn't going to get it done. Butler is a "good piece." Terry is a "good piece." Marion is a "good piece." Kidd is a "good piece." Every summer Dallas swaps out one "good piece" for another and the results are always the same. They need a near great piece to open things up for Nowitzki.

Posted by: kalo_rama | May 2, 2010 4:44 PM | Report abuse

"3. Your argument is predicated on teams always doing the 'smart' or 'sensible' thing when we know that isn't the case."

Your argument is predicated on teams intentionally making bad deals that don't really help them, so I guess there's no real response for that. But my argument is based on teams making deals that make sense for them, regardless of what other people think of them. And the deals you describe don't make much sense for the other teams, at least not other teams that have the kind of player to offer that would really make a difference for Dallas.

"Point being there are a wide variety of reasons teams decide to make moves and having a $13 mil 'instant cap space' chip should be a valuable and very trade-able asset, especially when combined with Cuban's willingness to absorb bad contracts."

And, as I have already said, I don't dispute that they'll be able to trade Dampier for something. I simply don't see that they'll be able to use him to get the kind of player (big tough inside scorer) that you say they need (or the kind that I think they need) to make them a legit contender. Your argument fails to convince me otherwise.

Posted by: kalo_rama | May 2, 2010 4:44 PM | Report abuse

Dallas is now 'perennially' bounced in the 1st round and has a bloated, aging roster. Who says they're a choice destination for big-time FAs looking to win any longer? Cuban just needs to sign Joe Johnson to a max deal and he's firmly in Snyder territory.

Posted by: divi3 | May 2, 2010 7:22 PM | Report abuse

Your argument fails to convince me otherwise.

Posted by: kalo_rama

Honestly Kal, has anyone here ever convinced you of anything? =)

First, let's separate up the arguments because they are getting mixed. First, I said the Mavs really need an inside scoring presence who can get them easy baskets in the half court. You said, I believe, that they need someone who requires a double-team, and preferably a wing player (right?). And then we both agreed that they missed someone like Brandon Bass for his toughness. Wizfan89 was the one who mentioned a 'tough inside scoring presence'.

The second part of your argument was that Dallas has no avenue for acquiring the type of player either one of us think they need. All I'm saying is that technically there is an avenue. They have a mechanism by which they could make a trade. You don't think there are any that make sense for other teams..... even if that's true, do I really need to pull out the long list of NBA trades that make no sense?

Finally, just to defend the idea of the Mavs acquiring a star through sign and trade. None of the big time UFA's would agree to a sign and trade at all unless the trading partner is predetermined and a destination they agree with. So they have that much leverage in where they go. If the team doesn't agree with that, the player just signs wherever he wants and leaves the original team with nothing. Presumably UFA's want to go to a situation where they have a chance to win immediately, but most of the playoff teams are near or at the cap already, meaning in any sign-and-trade, the original team would have to take back comparable salary, which that team likely wouldn't want to take back. Dallas offers a unique (I think) opportunity for a sign-and-trade deal to a contending team where the original team doesn't have to take bad salary back.

And you say that Dallas' sweeteners aside from that wouldn't be good enough, but at that point they are bargaining against the prospect of a team getting zero in return (as in the player just signs elsewhere). How hard is it to beat zero? Is an end-of-the-first-round pick great compensation? No. Is it better than zero compensation?

Is it likely? Probably not. But it is possible. And that's as far as I'm taking it, because beyond that, we get into the same area I was in with divi and AB trades, trying to find a trade that makes sense to you....

Posted by: ts35 | May 3, 2010 9:29 AM | Report abuse

iLOL I thought I was the one with long diatribes around here. Looks like I've been topped.

I would say on any given day it's a horse race between you, me and Kal =)

Not to beat a dead horse, but you observed that there are fewer and fewer classic centers in the NBA (true). More combo types. That'll probably increase even more with the popularity of penetration schemes that require big men that don't clog the lane. So if Cousins matches up well against players like Shaq, and players like Shaq are perhaps a dying breed, doesn't that make Favors a more practical choice?

A) Way to jump right to the extreme in Shaq to make your case. B) Most teams don't gravitate to a combo type for advantage, they do it because they have no choice. Most teams, when given a choice, grasp at any player close to a classic 5. Hence Thabeet going #2. But in terms of young guys in the league who actually play....Bogut, Bynum, B. Lopez, M. Gasol, Al Jefferson, Kaman, Kendrick Perkins, Hibbert, Yao (if healthy), Oden (if healthy).

Because the quicker player is more in the the Dwight Howard mold, and Howard's the standard now, not O'Neal.

C'mon, really? Quickness is Howard's big advantage? I thought it also had something to do with being the strongest player in the NBA. So when he's moving combo F/Cs (or C's, or pretty much everyone else) out of the way and dunking on them....that's quickness? I'm sure teams will be looking for the next Howard...and I wish them luck, as I do the teams looking for the next Jordan, Kobe or LeBron. Teams looking to match up with Howard aren't usually aiming for quickness first. So essentially, you're drafting Favors hoping he can become as strong as Howard?

Last point: no fair saying Cousins has the advantage in some matchups, because that's always the case with matchups. A quick center will always have an advantage over Cousins on the offensive end.

That wasn't my point, that was your point. That Favors would have the quickness advantage in 'most' match ups. My point was that Cousins would also have advantages. Also, IF a C has a quickness advantage on Cousins on the Off end, Cousins has a size and strength advantage at the other end. Also, again, it's not like Cousins is Mark Eaton or Muresan or something. While not the 'elite' athlete that Favors is, he's a good athlete.

Quickness is not the end-all be-all advantage in basketball, it's how you apply the advantages you have. Favors definitely has some, Cousins definitely has some. There are plenty of reasons to like Favors and draft him. Being an empirically 'better' center prospect just isn't one of them.

Posted by: ts35 | May 3, 2010 10:37 AM | Report abuse

@Kal

Btw, I grant that neither Stoudamire nor Bosh are classic back-to-the-basket style 4s, but let's not make like they're Antawn Jamison either. Both can and do operate close to the basket and paired with Dirk, would likely see less defensive attention they have seen in a long time.

Posted by: ts35 | May 3, 2010 11:48 AM | Report abuse

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