Dallas Mavericks: Ian Mahinmi
Breaking up a championship team wasn't a popular decision by the Dallas front office at the time, to put it politely. And the Mavs brass’ CBA forecast is still easy fodder for critics more than two years later, with Dirk Nowitzki still the lone All-Star on the roster.
But Mark Cuban and Co. were absolutely right about one thing: Keeping that roster intact would have only guaranteed a large luxury-tax bill. All due respect to Tyson Chandler, who the Mavs will see Monday night at Madison Square Garden, but it’s delusional to believe that Dallas was denied a potential dynasty.
Peja Stojakovic, Jason Kidd and Brian Cardinal have retired. Rodrigue Beaubois and Dominique Jones can’t get NBA jobs. Brendan Haywood, an amnesty clause casualty in Dallas, is collecting checks in Charlotte while sitting out the season following foot surgery. Nowitzki and Shawn Marion -- who combine to make $32 million this season -- are the only 2011 champions who remain on the Mavs’ roster.
Here’s a look at what’s happened to the rest of the title team:
Dallas departure: signed four-year, $55.4 million deal with the New York Knicks
Chandler was the finishing piece of the Mavs’ championship puzzle, but he’s an outstanding role player, not a star capable of being a centerpiece of a title contender. That’s evident by the fact that the Knicks, who feature a legitimate superstar in Carmelo Anthony, have won only one playoff series since signing Chandler in December 2011 and are a long shot to make the playoffs this season. Injuries have limited Chandler to 32 games this season, and he is averaging 8.7 points and 9.3 rebounds, numbers that certainly don’t justify a $14 million salary.
The Mavs declined to make Chandler a multiyear offer after the lockout, much less match the Knicks’ deal. That will always leave the Mavs’ front office open to a couple of second-guess hypotheticals: Could the Mavs have done a respectable job defending their title with Chandler anchoring the 2011-12 Dallas defense? By dangling Chandler, could Dallas have pulled off a blockbuster deal to land Dwight Howard instead of helplessly watching the Los Angeles Lakers use Andrew Bynum to get the league’s best big man in the summer of 2012?
Dallas departure: signed three-year, $15.7 million deal with the Boston Celtics
Jet is a journeyman now, having been traded twice over the last eight months. His brief tenure with the Brooklyn Nets was an unmitigated failure, as the 36-year-old Terry averaged only 4.5 points on 36.2 percent shooting before being shipped to the NBA equivalent of Siberia. He’ll sit out the rest of the season instead of reporting to the Sacramento Kings. The hope is that focusing on rehabbing his left knee -- he apparently never fully recovered from summer surgery -- will allow Terry to contribute again next season. However, it’s painfully clear that Jet’s days as an elite bench scorer are over.
Dallas departure: signed four-year, $18 million contract with the Minnesota Timberwolves
Barea is a quality backup point guard, but that’s a steep price to pay for that type of player. Barea’s stats have dipped this season (8.7 PPG, 3.6 APG), but his contract is the primary reason Barea’s name was floated in trade rumors before the deadline.
Dallas departure: signed three-year, $24 million deal with the Los Angeles Clippers
This was a crazy contract to give a then-31-year-old who was coming off a serious knee injury that ended his 2010-11 season on New Year’s Eve. Butler is a high-character guy, but he’s a low-efficiency offensive player at this point of his career. The Clippers insisted on including him in the three-team deal that sent Eric Bledsoe to the Phoenix Suns and Jared Dudley and J.J. Redick to the Clippers. The Bucks are stuck with an expensive part-time starter who is shooting less than 40 percent from the floor for the NBA’s worst team.
Dallas departure: traded to the Denver Nuggets along with Rudy Fernandez for a future second-round pick
The Mavs dumping Brewer’s reasonable salary before the 2011-12 season made little sense, considering Dallas needed all the energy and athleticism it could find on the cheap. The Mavs made creating salary-cap space their priority, but they could have easily found takers for Brewer the next summer if need be. However, the Dallas front office didn’t see a role for Brewer after signing Vince Carter. After a couple of quality seasons coming off the Nuggets’ bench, Brewer signed a three-year, $14.1 million deal to become the Minnesota Timberwolves’ starting small forward.
Dallas departure: signed four-year, $16 million deal with Indiana Pacers
If the Pacers were confident in Mahinmi, they wouldn’t have rolled the dice on Bynum. Mahinimi is averaging 3.2 points and 3.3 rebounds and making $4 million this season.
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Wright, like Brandon Bass and Ian Mahinmi in recent years, was a minimum-salary reclamation project whose value increased significantly during his two-year stint in Dallas. Wright, the eighth overall pick of the 2007 draft, had the league’s 20th-best player efficiency rating (21.03) in a limited role last season. The 25-year-old fell out of the rotation for a stretch in the middle of the season, but he finished on a high note, averaging 11.2 points, 5.7 rebounds and 1.7 blocks in 24 minutes per game to help the Mavs got 15-8 down the stretch.
The Mavs own Wright’s Early Bird rights, which would allow them to exceed the salary cap to sign him to a multi-year deal worth up to 104.5 percent of the average player salary (more than $5 million per year). The cutoff point for the Mavs’ bidding could be the four-year, $16 million deal Mahinmi signed with the Pacers last season.
Ian Mahinmi is the last member of the Mavericks’ championship team left standing in these playoffs.
With Mahinmi watching all but four minutes from the bench, his Pacers eliminated the Knicks in Game 6, ending a miserable series for two integral pieces of the 2011 title team.
Indiana’s Roy Hibbert dominated Tyson Chandler before the Knicks big man fouled out with 3:12 remaining. Jason Kidd was benched for the second half for the second straight game and went scoreless for the 10th consecutive game, dating to Game 2 of the first round.
Hibbert had 21 points, 12 rebounds and five blocks in the series finale. Chandler had two points and six rebounds, limited to only 23 minutes because of foul trouble.
For the series, Hibbert averaged 13.3 points, 10.3 rebounds and 3.2 blocks, compared to 6.2 points, 6.0 rebounds and 1.7 blocks for Chandler. The Knicks were outscored by 23 points with Chandler on the floor in the series, including 17 in Game 6.
The 40-year-old Kidd had a historically horrible offensive performance during these playoffs. He averaged 0.9 points and shot 12 percent from the floor, the lowest postseason field goal percentage for a player with at least 25 attempts since 1947.
This might not quiet the outcry about Mark Cuban opting to break up the Mavs’ championship team – that’d probably require signing a superstar this summer – but it definitely deadens the angry mob’s factual ammunition.
Here is what Cuban feared: The Mavs would look a lot like the Boston Celtics or New York Knicks, veteran teams who weren’t good enough to be true contenders and have extremely limited avenues to improve because of their bloated payrolls and the restrictive rules of the new collective bargaining agreement.
Imagine if the Mavs paid the price to keep all of their championship pieces. Chandler, Kidd, Jason Terry, J.J. Barea and Caron Butler will cost a total of $35.1 million next season, which would put the Mavs in luxury-tax territory, handcuffing them this summer. Only Butler’s $8 million salary would come off the books in 2014-15.
With a Dirk Nowitzki as the lone star surrounded by an supporting cast of players who are primarily also on the decline, do you really believe the Mavs would have been a threat to come out of the West?
You can make a strong case that it’d have been better for the Mavs to have kept the title core together and at least be a playoff team than the mediocre mess the franchise put on the floor this season. But this really isn’t a Chandler vs. Chris Kaman conversation. It’s a risk/reward discussion.
In Cuban’s opinion, the potential reward didn’t justify the risk of sacrificing roster flexibility if they kept the championship team intact. Finances were only a factor in the post-lockout decisions as they related to limiting the Mavs’ upgrade options.
Cuban decided to dream big, putting immense pressure on him to pull off a superstar acquisition this summer. That ultimately needs to happen to justify stripping down the title team as a good decision.
But if you think the Mavs broke up a dynasty, you clearly didn’t watch much of the first two rounds of these playoffs.
Jason Kidd: It’s gotten to the point that Knicks coach Mike Woodson is being widely praised for benching Kidd during the second half of New York’s series-extending Game 5 win over the Pacers.
Kidd failed to score for the ninth consecutive game, missing a layup in the second quarter. The missed shot was the only stat Kidd recorded during his 5:20 of playing time.
Woodson opted to play rookie Chris Copeland instead of Kidd. Copeland responded by giving the Knicks a much-needed spark, scoring 13 points in 19 minutes. Kidd has scored a total of 11 points in 11 games this postseason, shooting 12 percent from the floor.
Tyson Chandler: Chandler told reporters he’d be fine for Game 6 despite a nasty fall on his back when he got his shot blocked by Indiana’s Roy Hibbert.
Chandler didn’t put up impressive numbers (two points, 1-4 FG, eight rebounds, two blocks), but neither did Hibbert, who had nine points on 3-of-7 shooting and seven rebounds. Both big men got in foul trouble, limiting Chandler to 27 minutes and Hibbert to 31.
Ian Mahinmi: With Hibbert in foul trouble, Mahinmi played 17 minutes, his high this postseason.
Mahinmi had five points, three rebounds and a blocked shot, but his plus-minus illustrated Hibbert’s importance as Indiana’s defense anchor. The Pacers were outscored by 10 points with Mahinmi on the floor.
Jason Kidd: The drought continues.
Kidd went scoreless for the eighth straight game. He’s 0-of-16 from the floor and 0-of-10 from 3-point range over 177 minutes during that span. The Knicks have been outscored by 25 points with the 40-year-old future Hall of Famer on the floor in those eight games.
Kidd’s numbers in the Knicks’ Game 4 loss to the Pacers: three assists, one rebound, one steal, two missed shots and a minus-9 plus-minus in 16 minutes.
Tyson Chandler: The Knicks gave him a lot more help, but Chandler more than held his own in the big man matchup after being dominated by Roy Hibbert in Game 3.
Chandler put up his first double-double of the postseason, scoring 12 points and grabbing 10 rebounds. He also matched high during these playoffs with three blocks.
Hibbert’s line: six points on 2-of-8 shooting, 11 rebounds, three blocks and two assists.
Ian Mahinmi: Mahinmi gave the Pacers 10 energetic minutes off the bench, grabbing six rebounds, blocking two shots and scoring two points.
Tyson Chandler: The Knicks are in trouble if Chandler keeps losing the big man matchup in such lopsided fashion. He had nine points and five rebounds in New York’s Game 3 loss, compared to 24 and 12 from Indiana center Roy Hibbert.
A sample of ESPNNewYork.com's take on the Chandler-Hibbert matchup:
Mike Woodson hardly ever criticizes his players in public.
But the New York Knicks coach broke protocol following Game 1 of the Indiana Pacers series.
After he watched Indiana's Roy Hibbert outplay Tyson Chandler in the series opener, Woodson said, "I've got to get Tyson (Chandler) playing better than Hibbert."
So far, Woodson's fallen far short of that goal.
Hibbert's been one of the best players in this young series. And some of his success has come at Chandler's expense.
In the Pacers' Game 3 win, Hibbert poured in 24 points and pulled down 12 rebounds (eight offensive); the Pacers outscored the Knicks by 20 with their big man on the floor.
"He kind of had his way," Woodson said after Game 3, "and that's got to change."
The Knicks say that they failed to execute their defensive schemes against Hibbert in Game 3. They intended to trap Hibbert and the other Pacers bigs, just as they had in Game 2.
Instead, they left members of their front line vulnerable in one-on-one matchups and left the rim exposed thanks to poor rotations.
The Knicks' lax approach helped Indiana dominate the boards (53-40) and beat New York on second-chance points (20-10).
"We’re not trapping (the Pacers' bigs), then we’re in a tough spot," Chandler said.
That's a big problem that the Knicks need to handle heading into Game 4.
But they also need a better effort from Chandler if he gets matched up against Hibbert.
Hibbert scored on at least three post moves in which Chandler was matched up with him, one-on-one, in Game 3.
It was hard not to notice Hibbert scoring directly over Chandler, the 2011-12 Defensive Player of the Year.
Jason Kidd: The scoreless streak is up to seven games and 31 quarters after Kidd missed his lone shot in Game 3.
Kidd had six rebounds, two assists and two steals in 20 minutes, but it’s hard to make a case that the 40-year-old future Hall of Famer helped the Knicks with another doughnut in the points column. Kidd matched Carmelo Anthony for the worst plus-minus (minus-16) in the loss to the Pacers.
Ian Mahinmi: With Hibbert dominating, the Pacers didn’t need much from their backup big man. Mahinmi only played six minutes, scoring two points and grabbing four rebounds.
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Kidd, who hasn’t scored since the first quarter of Game 2 in the first round, did manage to make an impact on the Knicks’ series-evening win over the Pacers despite missing all three of his shots. Kidd’s contributions aren’t reflected by his unimpressive numbers (four assists, two rebounds, two steals in 24 minutes).
The Knicks were plus-20 with Kidd on the floor. He made a few critical hustle plays to help the Knicks go on their 30-2 run in the second half that put away the Pacers, including an offensive rebound and pretty feed to Tyson Chandler for a dunk at the end of the third quarter.
Tyson Chandler: Like Kidd, Chandler didn’t put up impressive numbers, but his presence was felt in the Knicks’ Game 2 win.
Chandler had only eight points and four rebounds, but the Knicks were plus-21 in his 31 minutes. He played a key role in holding Pacers center Roy Hibbert to six points on 3-of-7 shooting.
Ian Mahinmi: The only statistic Mahinmi recorded in five Game 2 minutes was one turnover.
Jason Kidd: The Knicks didn’t sign Jason Kidd for his scoring, but it’d sure help New York’s cause if the 40-year-old point guard put the ball in the basket every once in a while.
Kidd went scoreless for the fifth consecutive game in the Knicks’ Game 1 loss to the Indiana Pacers. He was 0-of-1 from the floor in 17 minutes, grabbing two rebounds, dishing out one assist and committing one turnover.
Kidd’s last points came on a 3-pointer in the first quarter of the Knicks’ Game 2 win over the Boston Celtics in the first round. He has played 137 minutes and missed 11 shots since then.
Tyson Chandler: ESPNNewYork.com described Chandler as “practically invisible” in Game 1.
Chandler’s line in the loss to the Pacers: four points, three rebounds, two blocks, two turnovers and one steal before fouling out after 28 minutes. Round 1 of the heavyweight battle between Chandler and Roy Hibbert (14 points, 6-9 FG, eight rebounds, five blocks, four assists) was a knockout.
Ian Mahinmi: Maybe the most stunning stat of the Pacers-Knicks series opener was that Mahinmi didn’t commit a foul in his nine minutes.
He didn’t do much else, either: no points, no shots, one rebound, one block and one turnover. The Pacers did outscore the Knicks by eight with Mahinmi on the floor, though.
Tyson Chandler: This looked like the Chandler who played such a critical role in the Mavs’ title run. This was the Chandler the Knicks envisioned when they signed him to a rich four-year deal.
Chandler came up with nine points, 12 rebounds, two blocks and a handful of clutch plays that didn’t necessarily show up in the box score to help the Knicks close out the Celtics for their first playoff series win since 2000.
“I felt 100 percent tonight,” Chandler told reporters. “It’s absolutely the best I’ve felt the entire playoffs, obviously coming off the neck injury. Tonight was the first time I came in the game feeling 100 percent and being able to go through my regular routine.”
Jason Kidd: Kidd’s scoreless drought reached four consecutive games. He averaged only 1.8 points per game in the series and hasn’t scored since hitting a 3-pointer during the first quarter of Game 2.
At this point, Kidd is the Knicks’ third point guard behind Raymond Felton and Pablo Prigioni. The Knicks were outscored by nine in Kidd’s 16 Game 6 minutes, with him contributing three rebounds, one steal, one assist and three turnovers.
Jason Terry: JET at least went out with his pride intact.
Terry got off to a slow start in his first playoff series with the Celtics – including a scoreless Game 1 – but he finished strong. He scored 14 points on 4-of-6 shooting in 24 minutes in Game 6. In three elimination games, Terry averaged 16.3 points on 53.1 percent shooting.
However, Terry and the Celtics weren’t able to pull off a historic comeback. Not from an 0-3 series deficit or from a 26-point hole in Game 6, but they gave the Knicks a serious scare in both cases.
“That’s what the definition of a true Celtic is. Never say never, never say die. I’m proud to wear this uniform.”
Caron Butler: Butler scored 14 points on 7-of-16 shooting in the Clippers’ season-ending Game 6 loss to the Grizzlies.
Butler had a pretty disappointing series, averaging 8.5 points, 2.5 rebounds and failing to dish out a single assist in six games.
Ian Mahinmi: Mahinmi had no points on 0-of-3 shooting, three rebounds and two blocks in 10 minutes off the bench as the Pacers closed out the Hawks.
DeShawn Stevenson: He was DNP-CD’d as the Hawks’ season ended. Stevenson played a total of 61 seconds in the final four games of the series.
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Terry followed up his Game 4 overtime heroics with a 17-point, four-rebound, three-assist, no-turnover, multi-wing performance in the Celtics’ win over the Knicks that forced the series back to Boston. Terry’s 5-of-9 shooting from 3-point range was critical to the Celtics building a double-digit lead that was too large for the Knicks to overcome.
"I'm a 14-year veteran," Terry said on TNT moments after the win. "If you don't know who I am by now, you will after this series."
That was apparently in response to Knicks sixth man J.R. Smith, who was suspended for Game 4 because of an elbow that connected with Terry’s head and stunk it up in Game 5, claiming that he didn’t know who Terry was.
Of course, JET has always been one of the league’s best at jawing. Case in point: He repeatedly referenced the Red Sox’s comeback from a 3-0 deficit against the New York Yankees in the 2004 American League Championship Series, quoting “the great Kevin Millar” about the pressure shifting with a Game 5 win.
Jason Kidd: Mouthy sixth man Smith’s miserable performance got a lot of attention, but Kidd didn’t exactly bring much off the bench, either.
In fact, this ranked among the worst playoff performances of Kidd’s Hall of Fame career.
The 40-year-old went scoreless in 21 minutes, missing all four shot attempts. His only other stats: two rebounds, one block, one turnover and one foul. No assists. His plus-minus was a team-worst minus-14.
Tyson Chandler: Having chipped off rust and worked his way back into shape after a neck injury caused him to miss 16 of 20 games entering the playoffs, Chandler came up with a typical Chandler outing.
The big man had eight points on 3-of-5 shooting, 11 rebounds and three steals in 34 minutes. The Knicks were plus-8 with the 7-footer on the floor.
"I felt great," he said. "This game is probably the best I've felt. I felt lively, my legs felt good."
DeShawn Stevenson: Stevenson played a grand total of 16 seconds in the Hawks’ tie-breaking Game 5 loss to the Pacers. He did manage to get up a shot that he missed.
Ian Mahinmi: Mahinmi played only 9:27 in the Pacers’ win. He probably would have seen more minutes if he didn’t pick up five fouls. He finished with two points, two rebounds and a block.
Brandan Wright would like to be back with the Mavericks.
The Mavs would like to keep Wright, a young, athletic center/forward who took advantage of his return to the rotation in the final month and a half, averaging 11.2 points, 5.7 rebounds and 1.7 blocks as a 24-minute-per-night part-time starter in the final 23 games. Wright was a major reason why the Mavs went 15-8 during that stretch and probably earned millions in the process.
“The truth is Brandan is a very unique player. He fits in with us. He fits in with our personnel,” coach Rick Carlisle said. “There’s some teams that he really plays great against. That’s been consistent for both years. There’s other teams where it’s tougher for him because of the physical strength, some of the bruising type teams. But we like him. He has continued to get better.
“We met with him (the day after the season ended) and told him that we definitely wanted him back here. These decisions are going to come down to the money and the market and so on and so forth, but he’s a guy that we like.”
It could be more complicated than just the money. Timing of negotiations with Wright could be tricky, too.
Wright feels a sense of loyalty to the franchise that picked him up off the scrap heap after the lockout, but he’s facing the first major business decision of his career. He understands, however, that he won’t be the Mavs’ top priority this summer.
What if Wright gets an offer he likes while the Mavs are pursuing Dwight Howard or Chris Paul or whoever their Plan C, D, E, etc. might be? Wright might not have the luxury of waiting to see whether the Mavs would be able or willing to match.
There is strong mutual interest in Wright returning to the Mavs. Now, it’s a matter of whether the business of basketball gets in the way.
2012-13 stats: Averaged 8.5 points, 4.1 rebounds and 1.2 blocks while shooting 59.7 percent from the floor in 18.0 minutes per game. His player efficiency rating (PER) of 21.03 ranked 20th in the league.
Brandon Bass – Averaged 8.7 points, 5.2 rebounds and 0.8 blocks while shooting 48.6 percent from the floor in 27.6 minutes per game. Signed three-year, $19.4 million deal in 2012.
JaVale McGee – Averaged 9.1 points, 4.8 rebounds and 2.0 blocks while shooting 57.5 percent in 18.1 minutes per game. Signed four-year, $44 million deal in 2012.
Ed Davis – Averaged 7.7 points, 5.7 rebounds and 1.0 blocks while shooting 53.9 percent in 20.1 minutes per game. Has one season remaining on rookie contract.
Amir Johnson – Averaged 10.0 points, 7.5 rebounds and 1.4 blocks while shooting 55.4 percent from the floor in 28.7 minutes per game. Signed five-year, $30 million deal in 2010.
Estimated contract: Bass got $18 million over four years after his two-season stint with the Mavs. Ian Mahinmi, another two-year Mavs project, got $16 million over four years. The bidding for Wright figures to start in that range.
DeShawn Stevenson: He dropped out of the rotation when the series went to Atlanta. After a DNP-CD in Game 3, Stevenson played 45 seconds in Game 4. He did at least manage to avoid a trillionire stat line, grabbing one rebound in the Hawks’ series-tying win.
Ian Mahinmi: Mahinmi got his most playing time of the series, logging 12 minutes in the Pacers’ loss. He had three points, four rebounds, a block, a turnover and four fouls.
DeShawn Stevenson: Stevenson hit one of his two 3-point attempts and grabbed five rebounds during 19 minutes off the bench in the Hawks’ lopsided loss to the Pacers. The problem was the defensive stopper couldn’t stop Indiana star Paul George, who torched the Hawks for 27 points.
That’s a two-game trend. According to NBA.com, George has 31 points on 12-of-21 shooting in 53 minutes against Stevenson this series. George has scored 42 points on 14-of-37 shooting in 106 minutes when Stevenson was on the bench.
Ian Mahinmi: Mahinmi made his Pacers playoff debut, checking in with 3:10 remaining and Indiana up by 33. He had a dunk and three rebounds during his garbage-time stint.
DeShawn Stevenson: Stevenson had six points, four rebounds and an assist in 25 minutes off the bench in the Hawks’ loss to the Pacers. He busted out the 3 monocle twice, knocking down both of his shot attempts. His most memorable plays, however, were a couple of hard fouls.
Ian Mahinmi: DNP-CD.
The proof: The Mavs are 18-10 when Wright plays at least 20 minutes. That includes a 7-4 record in games that Dirk Nowitzki missed.
Wright, who was a fringe rotation player for much of the season because of Rick Carlisle’s concerns about his rebounding, averaged 11.8 points on 61.4 percent shooting, 5.9 rebounds and 1.6 blocks in 25 minutes during those 28 games.
Wright’s production and the Mavs’ success with him playing significant minutes raise two questions: 1) Should Carlisle have given him consistent minutes all season? 2) What kind of offer should the Mavs make him as a free agent this summer?
“To me, this is not a time to be analyzing the entire year or the future,” Carlisle told reporters Tuesday. “We need to stay in the now. We need Brandan to do what he does, which is give us activity, give us a slippery body, play above the rim, give us some length defensively with shot blocking and position defense. He’s one important puzzle piece to our collective group.”
We should note our hesitance to criticize Carlisle’s rotation decisions. Call it the Roddy B. effect. Remember when Carlisle was ripped for not playing rookie sensation Rodrigue Beaubois enough? We discovered later that a big part of the reason Beaubois was so successful in a limited role was because Carlisle did a masterful job of picking and choosing the best matchups for him to play.
That very well could be the case as well with the slender Wright, who has struggled recently against the big front lines of the Pacers, Lakers and Jazz. However, there are also examples of Wright playing well against big centers, such as the Clippers’ DeAndre Jordan, the Rockets’ Omer Asik and Sacramento’s DeMarcus Cousins.
Carlisle has at least reached the point of playing Wright every night and determining his minutes based on his performance. That’s a significant step for a player who routinely was a DNP-CD or garbage-time guy during the middle of the season. And it's been a major benefit to the Mavs, who are 12-6 since Wright rejoined the rotation on a permanent basis, with him averaging 12.0 points, 6.3 rebounds and 1.6 blocks in 24.3 minutes per game in that span.
Regarding Wright’s worth in free agency, he’s certainly made himself some money in the last month, seizing the opportunity of getting regular minutes again. He’s displayed the athleticism and touch around the basket that made him the eighth overall pick of the 2007 draft. Teams will be concerned about the durability of Wright, whose 59 games played this season are by far a game high, but there tends to be a market for athletic frontcourt players.
Case in point: Ex-Mavs backup center Ian Mahinmi, who signed a four-year, $16 million deal with the Pacers last summer. Considering that Wright is a much better scorer and shot blocker and a comparable rebounder, it’s not too difficult to envision him getting that kind of deal.
Would it be worth it to the Mavs to pay Wright that kind of money? It’s not too steep of a price to pay for a winning piece.
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