As far as damage control goes, this was a job well done by the Dallas Mavericks' front office.
Their moves this week certainly don't make the Mavs' summer a success. It was big fish-or-bust for Dallas after Mark Cuban and crew made the December decision that they'd rather chase a superstar than commit to Tyson Chandler.
After Deron Williams didn't take the hook, it's pretty much guaranteed that there won't be another championship parade in downtown Dallas next June. So there shouldn't be any wild celebrations after collecting cost-conscious consolation prizes: center Chris Kaman, point guard Darren Collison, shooting guard Dahntay Jones and maybe forward/center Elton Brand.
But credit the Dallas decision-makers for patching together a roster that should be good enough to keep the franchise's dozen-year playoff streak alive. And, more importantly, the Mavs managed to keep the dream alive.
In fact, this week's quickie construction of a solid yet temporary supporting cast could help Cuban and president of basketball operations Donnie Nelson make the dream a reality next summer.
Not that the complementary pieces picked up this week will necessarily stick around if the Mavs manage to get Dwight Howard or Chris Paul to pair with Dirk Nowitzki. But the rapid roster reconstruction, particularly the sign-and-trade that sent out-of-the-plans backup center Ian Mahinmi to the Pacers for Collison and Jones, offer proof that this front office can piece together a supporting cast on the fly under the new collective bargaining agreement.
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