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If season lost, what will Mavs look like?

11/17/2011

Jason Terry has acknowledged that the Dallas Mavericks team that will defend the championship could look quite a bit different from the one that won the title because of a more punitive luxury tax if a labor deal ever comes to pass.

But how different would the Mavs look if the 2011-12 season fades to black with no deal?

Could Dallas be looking at Nick Calathes running the point? Rodrigue Beaubois as his backcourt mate? Corey Brewer as the starting small forward and Dominique Jones as the sixth man?

Realistically, probably not. But it could.

Six Mavs are under contract for approximately $45 million for the 2012-13 season. That does not include Calathes, a second-round pick in the 2009 draft who has been stashed in Greece since.

Mavs under contract include: Dirk Nowitzki, Shawn Marion, Brendan Haywood, Brewer, Beaubois and Jones.

A cancelled 2011-12 season would see the contracts of Jason Terry and Jason Kidd expire. Rudy Fernandez might never make an appearance in a Dallas uniform after the Mavs traded their first-round pick in June to Portland for the Spanish shooting guard. Ian Mahinmi's contract is also up after this season.

Those players would join Tyson Chandler, Caron Butler, Jose Juan Barea, DeShawn Stevenson, Brian Cardinal and Peja Stojakovic as free agents, meaning more than half of the championship roster would be free agents next summer.

Of course, whenever the lockout is lifted, there will be a free agency period in which the Mavs can try to re-sign their own players and go after others, plus trades can happen, so rosters are impossible to determine. That's especially true at this moment with the details of a new collective bargaining agreement murkier than ever, although we do know a new salary cap structure will be more restrictive because of a more punitive luxury tax.

What is known is that the defending champs are already bracing for a roster shakeup for this season. If the season is lost, the chaos will only build next summer -- assuming the lockout is lifted.