Dallas Mavericks: Eddie Jones

Mavs close book on unsuccessful Williams trade

June, 2, 2010
6/02/10
3:06
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Where is Shawne Williams anyway? Let's hope he's figuring out how to get on with a life outside of basketball. Quite frankly, he didn't do a very good job of getting on with life while in the NBA, squandering his career.

The Dallas Mavericks finally closed the book on their unsuccessful trade for the troubled forward by sending the Indiana Pacers their 57th pick in the upcoming NBA draft, Mavs president of basketball operations Donnie Nelson confirmed Wednesday.

It leaves the Mavericks with just the 50th overall selection in the June 24 draft. New Jersey owns the Mavericks' first-round pick, stemming from the Jason Kidd trade in February 2008.

Williams had several run-ins with the law while with Pacers and Larry Bird finally had enough (the Pacers were having all kinds of off-court thuggery issues) and traded him to the Mavs for Eddie Jones, cash in the amount of Jones' salary (about $1.9 million) and two second-round draft picks. The Pacers used on last year, the 52nd pick, on UConn guard A.J. Price.

Williams played his rookie season under Mavs coach Rick Carlisle at Indiana, so Dallas figured it'd give it a shot and hope Carlisle could knock some sense into the 6-foot-9 forward, who grew up with lean means in Memphis.

When the Mavs acquired him, they warned him that any trouble and there would be serious consequences. Actually, Carlisle put it like this: "His ass will be grass and me, Donnie [Nelson] and Mark [Cuban] would be the lawn mowers."

The Mavs mowed him -- make that, moved him -- out in January 2009 and he's been out of sight, out of mind since.

Although Williams did prove to be an expensive gamble. In October 2008, the Mavs traded Eddie Jones, a 2009 second-round draft pick, which the Pacers turned into guard A.J. Price, another second-round pick in either 2010 or 2011, plus cash in the amount of Jones' salary, which was about $1.9 million.

2008-09: Carlisle, Mavs push, pull to 50

May, 20, 2010
5/20/10
12:07
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Rick CarlisleTim Heitman/NBAE via Getty ImagesThe Mavs barely kept their 50-win streak alive in Rick Carlisle's first year as coach.
Ninth in a series chronicling the Dallas Mavericks' streak of 10 seasons with 50 or more wins (previous installments).

Avery Johnson was out, and owner Mark Cuban told reporters during the club's media day that a handful of players came to him and told him they wanted to play elsewhere if the head-strong Johnson was coming back.

Cuban wasted little time in hiring the quirky, yet successful Rick Carlisle, who had taken the Detroit Pistons and Indiana Pacers to the Eastern Conference finals in rather short order. Carlisle was the Mavs' lone candidate granted an interview.

[+] EnlargeJason Terry
Matthew Emmons/US PresswireJason Terry thrived coming off the bench and was named Sixth Man of the Year.
Known more for a structured offensive philosophy and a strong defensive disposition, Carlisle came in with the directive to allow Jason Kidd, in his first full season back in Dallas, to do his thing. Yet, things didn't get off to a rousing start as the Mavs dropped seven of their first nine and seemed headed for an early internal showdown before Dirk Nowitzki had a huge fourth quarter and overtime for a come-from-behind win at New York to avoid a 2-8 start.

Dallas would become the first team in the NBA to start 2-7 and go on to post 50 wins. But, make no mistake, it was a struggle. The Mavs never won more than five in a row and that streak started with the early-season rally against the lowly Knicks.

Jerry Stackhouse played just 10 games due to a mixture of injury, overall conditioning and attitude. Josh Howard, coming off his dubious end to the 2007-08 season and the ensuing summer, played just 52 games due to a wrist injury, but mostly a sprained ankle that wouldn't go away.

Nowitzki put up MVP-type numbers for a team that had to have him go for big numbers every night just to have a chance to win. When Howard didn't play, which was often, the Mavs were the only team in the NBA that featured just two players averaging double-digit scoring. Even with Howard in the lineup, the Mavs never knew when a fourth scorer might emerge.

Still, the Mavs managed to snap a two-year skid of first-round defeats, dusting off a beat-up San Antonio team that was without Manu Ginobili. But, Dallas was no match for the Denver Nuggets in the second round, losing 4-1.

Coach: Rick Carlisle
Record: 50-32 (3rd, Southwest)
Playoffs: Defeated San Antonio (4-1); lost to Denver (4-1)
Team payroll: $95.05 million*
Highest-paid player: Jason Kidd ($21.4 million)*

Offseason transactions: Signed C DeSagana Diop (free agent); signed G Gerald Green (free agent); signed F James Singleton; traded G/F Eddie Jones, a 2009 second-round draft pick (A.J. Price) and a future 2nd round draft pick to Indiana for F Shawne Williams.

In-season transaction: Jan. 16, 2009: Traded C DeSagana Diop to Charlotte for C Ryan Hollins and G Matt Carroll.

The high: With Jerry Stackhouse out of the picture early on, Jason Terry gladly accepted the sixth-man role and thrived, averaging 19.6 points, his best as a Maverick. It earned him the league's Sixth Man of the Year award. Terry and Dirk Nowitzki made up the third-highest scoring duo in the NBA at 45.5 points.

[+] EnlargeAntoine Wright
AP Photo/Donna McWilliamAntoine Wright tried to foul Carmelo Anthony at the end of Game 3, but the refs didn't call it and Anthony sank the game-winner for the Nuggets.
The low: It's doubtful it would have changed the outcome of the second-round series against Denver, but the non-call as Antoine Wright tried to wrap up -- but more like flailed at -- Carmelo Anthony, who then buried a 3-pointer at the end of Game 3, goes down as another one of those "what-if" playoff moments for the Mavs. In the offseason, rather than use their mid-level exception to try to sign a much-needed scorer, the Mavs overpaid to bring back DeSagana Diop. His production was so poor that the Mavs traded him midseason to Charlotte for center Ryan Hollins and guard Matt Carroll. Hollins is no longer on the team and Carroll never plays. The Jerry Stackhouse situation was unfortunate. One of the team's prouder players and a key cog in getting the franchise to its first NBA Finals had a foot issue, but as the season wore on either Stackhouse or the organization decided to shut him down. The facts there are still fuzzy, but Stackhouse's days as a Mav were over.

The roster:
F Dirk Nowitzki (25.9 ppg, 8.4 rpg)
G Jason Terry (19.6 ppg, 3.4 apg)
F/G Josh Howard (18.0 ppg, 5.1 rpg in 52 games)
G Jason Kidd (9.0 ppg, 8.7 apg)
F Brandon Bass (8.5 ppg, 4.5 rpg)
G J.J. Barea (7.8 ppg, 3.4 apg, 20.3 mpg)
G Antoine Wright (7.3 ppg, 23.9 mpg)
C Erick Dampier (5.7 ppg, 7.1 rpg)
F/G Gerald Green (5.7 ppg in 38 games)
F James Singleton (5.1 ppg, 4.0 rpg)
G/F Jerry Stackhouse (played in 10 games)
G/F Devean George (3.4 ppg, in 43 games)
C Ryan Hollins (2.9 ppg, 2.3 rpg in 27 games)
G Matt Carroll (1.2 ppg in 21 games)
F Shawne Williams (played in 15 games)
C DeSagana Diop (1.6 ppg, 3.4 rpg in 34 games)

*Source: Basketball-Reference.com

2007-08: Tales of J-Kidd, J-Ho and AJ

May, 19, 2010
5/19/10
12:14
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Devin Harris & Jason KiddGetty ImagesWhen Devin Harris was traded for Jason Kidd in a multi-player trade, the Mavericks' season took a turn for the worse.

Eighth in a series chronicling the Dallas Mavericks' streak of 10 seasons with 50 or more wins (previous installments).

Where to start with this strange season? In the rearview mirror was the double-doozy hammer of the 2006 Finals flop and the 2007 first-round failure. The Dallas Mavericks were considered mentally shot. How could the same core players regroup after consecutive unfathomable, gut-wrenching heartbreaks?

The first order of business was to promote slashing point guard Devin Harris as the full-time starter. Here's what coach Avery Johnson said about Harris before the season:

"The experiment with me trying to make him Jason Kidd, that's not his game. We have an idea now exactly who he is and I think we can maximize him being a certain type of point guard. He has a chance to be in that mold of a [Tony] Parker or even a Kevin Johnson."

Before Harris sprained his ankle on Jan. 27, 2008, he was averaging 14.4 points and 5.4 assists. The Mavs were 30-13 and in contention for the top spot in the West with the All-Star break a couple of weeks away. Yet, there was an undercurrent brewing that management, Johnson and Dirk Nowitzki were unhappy with Harris' ability to create for teammates. That game would be the last one of Harris' career in Dallas.

[+] EnlargeJason Kidd & Avery Johnson
Glenn James/NBAE/Getty ImagesJason Kidd and Avery Johnson didn't work together as well as the Mavericks hoped they would.
With multiple bizarre twists ahead, the season started to slowly slip away. The Mavs shipped Harris to New Jersey for veteran Jason Kidd in a multi-player trade that Johnson and the Mavs billed as finally giving the team a true quarterback. Even that proved to be a strange and prolonged process as Devean George blocked the original deal by utilizing a little-known clause in his contract. Jerry Stackhouse then raised eyebrows around the league when he prematurely talked about being part of the deal, then how he would get waived and then re-sign with Dallas after a 30-day vacation. In the end, neither player was included in the trade.

Oddly, in Kidd's fifth game with the Mavs, Johnson benched his quarterback in the final 30 seconds of a heated game at San Antonio. The Mavs failed to score on their final possession and the Spurs won the game. With Kidd, Dallas finished the regular season 16-13 and dropped to the No. 7 seed. Before the playoffs started, Josh Howard, who was having a career season, averaging 19.9 points and 7.0 rebounds, began one of the weirdest meltdowns in team history.

Howard went on local radio to announce his offseason marijuana use. During the first-round series against New Orleans, he defied Johnson's plea not to party during the playoffs and passed out fliers to teammates advertising his late-night birthday bash. It was the beginning of a long, injury-filled end for Howard in Dallas. During the New Orleans series, Stackhouse went on local radio and for some reason blasted then-Hornets coach Byron Scott. Stackhouse had an awful playoff series, which proved to be the beginning of the end for him as a productive player in Dallas.

It was also the beginning of the end of Johnson's rapid tenure that achieved more incredible regular-season highs and unthinkable postseason lows than can fill most careers. In disarray throughout the 4-1 first-round loss to New Orleans, Johnson's teams went 3-12 in playoff games after leading Miami, 2-0, in the 2006 NBA Finals.

Johnson would never get a chance to improve that record.

Coach: Avery Johnson
Record: 51-31 (4th, Southwest Division)
Playoffs: Lost to New Orleans (4-1)
Team payroll: $101.7 million
Highest-paid player: Jason Kidd ($19.7 million)*; Michael Finley ($18.59 million**)

Offseason transactions: Drafted Nick Fazekas (2nd round, 34th pick); Signed F Brandon Bass (free agent); Signed G/F Eddie Jones (free agent); traded G Greg Buckner to Minnesota for G/F Trenton Hassell.

In-season transaction: Nov. 1, 2007: Signed F Juwan Howard (free agent); Feb. 19, 2008: Traded Devin Harris, DeSagana Diop, Trenton Hassell, Maurice Ager, Keith Van Horn (retired), a 2008 first-round draft and a 2010 first-round draft pick (and waived Nick Fazekas) to New Jersey for Jason Kidd, Antoine Wright and Malik Allen; Feb. 26, 2008: Signed C Jamaal Magliore (free agent); March 4, 2008: Signed G Tyronn Lue (free agent).

The high: The Mavs became just the fourth franchise in NBA history to win at least 50 games in eight consecutive seasons. In the 743rd game of his career, Dirk Nowitzki became the Mavs' career scoring leader (16,644). His 15-foot jumper in the final minutes of a 111-91 win over New Jersey moved Nowitzki past Rolando Blackman. It gave Nowitzki the franchise records in points, rebounds, 3-point field goals and free throws.

The low: Even though Avery Johnson, by all appearances, was behind the trade for Jason Kidd, it seemed the two never meshed. Johnson's need for control vs. Kidd's need to freelance was like oil and water. If the theory was that Mark Cuban traded for Kidd to try to save Johnson's job, that plan backfired horribly. Johnson, it became all the more apparent, was losing his team as the season wound down. The final straw for him was Howard's birthday bash. Johnson was so outraged by it that he canceled practice the day before Game 5, only at the time no one was certain why he had called off the workout on the eve of an elimination game. Cuban wasted no time after the Game 5 debacle in New Orleans and fired Johnson on the plane trip back after just three full seasons and with three years remaining on his lucrative contract.

The roster:
F Dirk Nowitzki (23.6 ppg, 8.6 rpg)
F Josh Howard (19.9 ppg, 7.9 rpg)
G Jason Terry (15.5 ppg, 37.5% 3FG)
G Devin Harris (14.4 ppg, 5.3 apg in 39 games)
G Jason Kidd (9.9 ppg, 9.5 apg in 29 games)
G/F Jerry Stackhouse (10.7 ppg, 40.5% FG)
F Brandon Bass (8.3 ppg, 4.4 rpg, 19.7 mpg)
G Antoine Wright (3.5 ppg, 11.7 mpg in 15 games)
C Erick Dampier (6.1 ppg, 7.5 rpg)
G Tyronn Lue (3.8 ppg in 17 games)
F Malik Allen (3.1 ppg, 0.6 rpg in 25 games)
G J.J. Barea (4.3 ppg, 1.3 apg in 44 games)
G/F Eddie Jones (3.7 ppg, 29.3% 3FG)
G/F Devean George (3.7 ppg, 32.4% 3FG)
C DeSagana Diop (3.0 ppg, 5.2 rpg in 52 games)
G/F Trenton Hassell (2.1 ppg in 37 games)
C Jamaal Magliore (played in six games)
G Maurice Ager (played in 12 games)
F Juwan Howard (1.1 ppg, 1.6 rpg in 50 games)
F Nick Fazekas (played in four games)

*Source: Basketball-Reference.com

**The Mavericks waived Michael Finley on Aug. 15, 2005, taking advantage of a one-time amnesty provision that allowed them to avoid luxury taxes on the $51.8 million owed him over the next three years. Finley became an unrestricted free agent and joined the San Antonio Spurs, although the Mavs remained on the hook to pay his full salary.

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TEAM LEADERS

POINTS
Dirk Nowitzki
PTS AST STL MIN
21.7 2.7 0.9 32.9
OTHER LEADERS
ReboundsD. Nowitzki 6.2
AssistsM. Ellis 5.7
StealsM. Ellis 1.7
BlocksB. Wright 0.9