Print and Go Back ESPN.com: Dallas Mavericks [Print without images]

Tuesday, February 4, 2014
Mavs mailbag: What to make of Evan Turner rumors?

By Tim MacMahon

Sixteen days and dozens of Mavericks rumors until the trade deadline. Almost five months until free agency starts.

But as the Mavs prepare to fight for eighth place in the Western Conference, the remodeling of the roster remains at the front of the MFFL minds.

So let’s dig into some rumors and speculation ...

What do you make of the Evan Turner trade rumors? -- Mac (Chicago)

There’s no question that the Sixers are shopping Turner, a former No. 2 overall pick who is averaging 17.9 points in the final season of his rookie contract. They want future assets. That makes it extremely unlikely that the Mavs would be a fit.

Evan Turner
The Sixers are shopping Evan Turner, but they want future assets, making it extremely unlikely that the Mavs would be a fit.
Remember, the Mavs are handcuffed when it comes to trading first-round picks. That’s because they still owe Oklahoma City a first-rounder (top 20 protected through 2017), a pick that has bounced around the West since the Mavs made the Lamar Odom deal.

Shane Larkin is the most attractive young asset on the Mavs’ roster, and his trade value hasn’t exactly soared this season. Plus, the Sixers have two promising young point guards on the roster in Rookie of the Year frontrunner Michael Carter-Williams and 21-year-old backup Tony Wroten.

Never say never, but for the Mavs to get in the mix for Turner, it’d probably take finding a third team that was motivated to trim payroll.

He will be a RFA, but does Gordon Hayward make sense for the Mavs to pursue in free agency? What would kind of money would he command? -- @JonathanBlick on Twitter

Hayward reportedly wanted a four-year, $50 million deal from the Jazz before the late October deadline for rookie contract extensions. So, as far as his camp is concerned, that’s where the negotiations would start.

The fact that he’s a restricted free agent obviously complicates matters. The Jazz will have a ton of salary cap space this summer, so whether they exercise their right to match won’t be influenced by the fear of the luxury tax. So it might not be feasible for the Mavs to sign him.

As far as a potential fit in Dallas, Hayward would be a huge upgrade offensively at small forward. However, he certainly wouldn’t help the Mavs take steps toward restoring their defensive respectability. Given that the Mavs would have to overpay to have a shot, I think their focus in free agency should be on other targets.

Eric Bledsoe, Lance Stephenson, and Luol Deng are all defensive studs with some offensive potential. If we could get two of the three this offseason, which two would you pick? -- Marc (Lubbock)

You’re getting greedy trying to sign two, but my order of preference would be: 1) Stephenson, 2) Bledsoe, 3) Deng. I’d much rather roll the dice on a young player who has already proven he can make an impact but has potential to get much better than a veteran who has peaked.

Deng would be the easiest to sign since he’s an unrestricted free agent who has no reason to be loyal to a dysfunctional franchise that just traded for him. I have serious doubts that Bledsoe, a restricted free agent, is going anywhere. The Suns will have a ton of cap space and traded for Bledsoe last summer because they wanted him to be a long-term foundation piece.

The Pacers, on the other hand, could be influenced by the luxury tax if the bidding on Stephenson reaches a certain level. I’m on record saying that, from the Mavs’ perspective, the Andre Iguodala contract (four years, $48 million) seems like a reasonable risk for a 23-year-old who stuffs the box score and is a physical wing defender.

What would be the possibility of in the offseason making a sign-and-trade deal with Cleveland? Trading for Kyrie Irving/Luol Deng for Shane Larkin/Monta Ellis/draft pick or Jose Calderon/Ellis. I know that Kyrie Irving says he plans on staying in Cleveland, but it's obvious the chemistry is shaky in Cleveland. Personally the lineup Irving, Devin Harris, Deng, Dirk Nowitzki, DeJuan Blair and Vince Carter/Shawn Marion coming off the bench sounds pretty good to me. -- Tyler (Huntsville)

Sounds great for the Mavs! Only problem is the Cavs would have to agree to it. Why the heck would Cleveland do that? If, and it’s a huge if, the Cavs decide to deal a 21-year-old All-Star point guard, they’ll get a lot better offers than the Mavs can give them.

Does it make sense for Mavs to go after Carmelo Anthony (aka black hole) this offseason? -- Luke (Oklahoma City)

The Mavs would have to seriously consider trying to add one of the league’s top two or three scorers. They’re not in any position to dismiss the pursuit of a proven superstar.

However, it’s hard to envision the Mavs constructing a championship roster around Anthony because he’s a flawed player who is so expensive. Check that. It’s hard to imagine any team constructing a championship roster around Anthony if he has the second biggest salary in the league.

How seriously should the Mavs recruit Anthony if he opts out of his contract this summer? That’s a question for Dirk Nowitzki to answer, at least in private. He’d have to take a massive pay cut to make a max contract possible. We’re talking about less than midlevel money unless the Mavs trim salary elsewhere.

How serious is Shawn Marion's shoulder injury? -- @Swish3Pointers on Twitter

It wouldn’t be surprising if Marion played in Memphis. After participating in Monday’s shootaround, Marion said the shoulder had responded well to anti-inflammatory medicine, but he wanted to be cautious about coming back too soon. It’s not a serious injury. The Mavs are just taking measures to make sure it’s not a nagging injury.

What is Shane Larkin's role moving forward? He's been relegated to the bench with the rise of Devin Harris. Right now it feels like another frustrating draft pick, but he at least has real NBA talent. He isn't much of an asset, though, unless he actually plays. -- Kirk (Washington, D.C.)

I don’t think last week’s one-game stint with the Texas Legends will be Larkin’s last D-League appearance. He might end up playing more minutes on the farm than with the Mavs the rest of the season if the veteran guards stay healthy. As well as Harris is playing, Larkin has just a bit role with the Mavs right now.