At least, that’s not the way Mavs president of basketball operations Donnie Nelson sees it.
“We’ve got some free agents that we hope to have back, but you just don’t know,” Nelson said Friday on ESPN 103.3’s Galloway and Company. “With D-Steve, he’s been an integral part of what we’ve done here, and so absolutely we’d like to have him back in the fold.”
However, Nelson hinted that Stevenson’s price tag might be too high for the Mavs’ tastes, saying “the price of poker sometimes goes up,” for title teams. The hunch here is that the Mavs would want him to accept a minimum salary to have a chance to defend their championship.
Nevertheless, Nelson doesn’t think the shooting guard position would be too crowded with Fernandez and Stevenson both on the roster in addition to Jason Terry, who gets the bulk of the minutes there. Nelson would consider it an asset to have a defensive stopper in Stevenson and Fernandez’s athleticism to supplement Terry’s scoring ability.
“I don’t think having depth at the 2 guard position is a problem when you’re in it to win it like we were this last year,” Nelson said. “You’ve got a guy like D-Steve who didn’t play for a good chunk of time, was professional about it, then when crunch time came and things fell right, he was a big part of what we did in the playoffs. Ideally, we have a nice three-guard rotation.”
You might notice that leaves no room at the 2 for Rodrigue Beaubois, who started for a third of the season after returning from a broken left foot, only to be benched in the regular-season finale.
Nelson still considers Beaubois a key part of the Mavs’ future, just not as an undersized shooting guard.
“Ideally, as a point,” Nelson said, apparently hoping that Beaubois’ decision-making blunders this season will be valuable learning experiences.