Plan B: Andrew Bynum and a veteran PG?
Really, it’s Plan D, but let’s not get too picky about alphabetical matters at this point. The Mavs whiffed on Deron Williams last summer, never got to sit down with Chris Paul and couldn’t convince Dwight Howard to headline Dallas’ two-year plan.
All the big fish have picked other ponds. So … now what?
Here’s my suggestion: Take one more home run swing. Bet on Andrew Bynum.
The Mavs better hedge that bet, of course. They’d have to insist on language in the contract that includes a team out if Bynum’s knees keep him off the court, as they did all last season in Philadelphia. The easiest way to do that is agreeing to an Exhibit 3 protection, which allows a team to waive a player if he’s unable to play because of specified prior injuries, which is how Minnesota got out of Brandon Roy’s contract this summer. There could also be guarantees based on minutes or games played.
If Bynum and agent David Lee agree to that, go ahead and throw big money at him. He’s the one potential dominant force still available in free agency.
Hold your breath and hope that the 25-year-old 7-footer can return to 2011-12 form, that he can get back to being a big man who puts up 18.7 points, 11.8 rebounds and 1.9 blocks per game. Hope that athletic trainer Casey Smith can help Bynum get his career back on track, just as he did when Tyson Chandler arrived in Dallas as damaged goods a few years ago.
The Mavs should be able to sign Bynum and get a proven veteran point guard. They’ve been in touch with the agents for Jose Calderon, Mo Williams, Jarrett Jack and Monta Ellis.
Add one of those point guards and a relatively healthy Bynum, and the Mavs ought to be back in the playoffs in 2013-14 with a bunch of money to spend again next summer.
And if Bynum is a bust? Well, the Mavs will be right back in the lottery, but maybe they’ll have better luck in a loaded draft next year.
There are no easy answers for the Mavs. All those guys decided they’d prefer to play somewhere other than Dallas.
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Play Podcast Dallas Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle joins Fitzsimmons and Durrett at Mavericks media day to discuss his expectations for the upcoming season.
Play Podcast Mark Cuban joins Galloway and Company to discuss the Mavericks' new GM Gersson Rosas and much more.
Play Podcast Fitzsimmons and Durrett discuss Mark Cuban's comments from Las Vegas about the Mavericks' offseason, how he sees the team without Dwight Howard and more.
Play Podcast Marc Stein joins Ian Fitzsimmons and Tim MacMahon to discuss why the Mavericks didn't want to match Cleveland's offer to Andrew Bynum, what's next for the Mavs and the possibility of Dirk Nowitzki ending his career elsewhere.
Play Podcast Jeff Platt fires quick-hitters at Ian Fitzsimmons and Tim MacMahon in the weekly sports standoff about Andrew Bynum, the Mavs' current backcourt, a potential Nelson Cruz suspension and more.
Play Podcast ESPN Los Angeles' Ramona Shelburne joins Ian Fitzsimmons and Tim MacMahon to discuss why she thinks Andrew Bynum got a bad rap in Los Angeles and how he would fit in with the Mavericks.
Play Podcast Buy, sell or hold? If Dwight Howard goes to another team, what are the Mavs' options? The guys take a look at a list of potential fallback options.
Play Podcast ESPN's Marc Stein joins Fitzsimmons and Durrett to discuss the latest news on the Mavericks' meeting with Dwight Howard.