Mavs with Jeff Caplan
Welcome to SportsNation! On Tuesday, Dallas Mavericks reporter Jeff Caplan stops by to chat about the team.
Caplan covers the Mavericks, Stars and colleges for ESPNDallas.com. He joined ESPN in December 2009.
Send your questions now and join Caplan Tuesday at 2 p.m. CT/3 p.m. ET!
Jeff Caplan (2:59 PM)
Hello everyone and thanks for joining me, Jeff Caplan, for Mavs chat, offseason-style. We've got plenty to talk about and the good majority of you, judging by your questions have LeBron James on your minds. That's fine, but maybe we should start to think in real terms...let's get to it...
Why haven't the Mavs brass convened a meeting between Dirk, Kidd and themselves, and said "Alright guys, go out and do/say whatever it takes to get Lebron here." because they could and shouls be pretty convincing people in that department, and all I have heard up to this point is that nothing like that is happening.
Jeff Caplan (3:00 PM)
Sloan, as far as recruiting the King, I think everyone's in good hands. Dirk is dealing with his own contract situation and Kidd is in Phoenix resting his old bones for next season. Kidd knows LeBron well, really all these guys know each other. LeBron knows what each team has (at the moment) and I have a pretty good feeling LeBron knows where he wants to play next season (I don't think it's Dallas). But, if there are phone calls and pitches to be made once July 1 rolls around (remember no one is allowed to talk before the market opens) I am sure Dirk and/or Kidd will place the call.
Nick S (Arlington, TX)
How can the Mavericks keep Roddy B and still make an appealing offer to Cleveland for a sign and trade involving LBJ?
Jeff Caplan (3:02 PM)
Good question, Nick. Roddy will be the first player Cleveland asks for. And if we're talking LeBron, I'm sure Cuban will give up the youngster. Anybody else and I suspect Roddy is in a Mavs uniform next year. Now, when Cleveland asks for Roddy, the first thing the Mavs will say is, How about Caron Butler? When the Cavs balk, the conversation will come back to Roddy and at that point, you do it. I just don't think it's ever going to get to that point.
Is there a chance Chris Bosh comes back home? What are the scenarios that bring him to Dallas?
Jeff Caplan (3:04 PM)
Eduardo, it doesn't appear that Bosh wants to play in hometown. He has said before that he's not interested in playing in Dallas because there would be too many distractions with family and friends (you know, wanting tickets, money, favors, hanging out, etc). So, scratch Bosh off the wish list at least until he says otherwise. I really believe you'll Bosh stay in the Eastern Conference.
Josh Young (Fort Worth TX)
I think LBJ should come to dallas everyone is talking about him going to chicago but do you think he can win a championship there when he couldnt do it with shaq and jamison?? i dont think so. i am a die hard mavs fan and seein him here would be amazing, bein around an all-star in dirk and a hall of famer in kidd that chemistry would be locked for a championship. I hope the cubes does the right thing and brings him over here. What do you think Jeff?
Jeff Caplan (3:06 PM)
Of course he can win a title in Chicago. Mo Williams is no Derrick Rose. The kid point guard is phenomenal, can penetrate, finish, dish and Noah is a hustler and is getting better offensively. Put a few more pieces around and why can't they contend for the finals out of the East? Can you name me LeBron's teammates on the Cavs' 2007 Finals team? I can't. Plus, this year Shaq is washed up and I've never been a huge fan of Jamison's game. Had the Cavs landed Amare instead, that would have been very interesting.Does LeBron want to come to Dallas to play with a 37-year-old Kidd for two more seasons? I think there are better situations.
What is your opinion on the rumor that Dirk will opt-out of his contract?
Jeff Caplan (3:07 PM)
I think that rumor, as reported by ESPN.com's Mark Stein, is going to be fact, but I don't think it's anything to worry about. Dirk is making a good business decision because of the expiring CBA after next season. Dirk, 99%, signs a new contract to stay in Dallas another four years.
Chad (Rogers, AR)
If Dirk signs a new deal to free up some money, which FA's do you see being the best fit alongside Dirk and Kidd to make a run at a championship?
Jeff Caplan (3:09 PM)
Chad, the idea that Dirk is going to free up money to help the Mavs sign other players is misguided. All Dirk will do by signing a new contract for less than the $21.5 mil he's due next season, would only save Mark Cuban luxury tax dollars. The Mavs will be over the salary cap, so it won't help sign free agents per se. The Mavs must do sign-and-trades to get any big names.
Amare to Mavs?
Jeff Caplan (3:11 PM)
JoePro, very interesting thought, right? But, highly unlikely. First, Amare has to opt out of his deal with Phx for next season. I think he's due something like $17 mil, in that neighborhood, so I think he opts in, but hey, even he said recently he hasn't decided. Now, if he opts out, again the Mavs have to do a sign-and-trade. Who do think Phx is willing to take back for Amare? How about Dirk?
Mark M. (SA, TX)
If we can't get Lebron would a trade with Philly for Iggy and the #2 pick be an option? What would we have to give up to get that package?Is Haywood signed for next coming season yet?
Jeff Caplan (3:14 PM)
Hey Mark, interesting scenario, but again this is a tough one to get done. The big problem is what can the Mavs offer for the No. 2 pick, which will either be John Wall or Evan Turner, two guys who are considered to be franchise guards? Philly will not just want expiring contracts. The Mavs won't want to move Roddy in that situation, I mean the whole dream would be a Turner/Wall-Roddy backcourt right? If Cuban is willing to take on a ton of salary (ie Philly will want to rid itself of Elton Brand's monstrous deal) then you might be on to something. And Cuban just might do it to keep the franchise in contention in the future.
What's the story on Tim Thomas? Is he under contract for next season? I really think he could have made a difference in the SA series especially against Tim Duncan.
Jeff Caplan (3:15 PM)
Brandi, Tim Thomas left the team midseason to care for his ill wife (we don't know what the illness is/was, but clearly it was something quite dire)...Thomas signed a one-year deal, so he becomes an unrestricted free agent. I would assume he won't be back.
If Dirk opts out and Damp is off the books, how much will the Mavs be under the cap to offer D-Wade or LeBron? They can still resign Dirk after signing a big time guy, right?
Jeff Caplan (3:17 PM)
Brad, just remember this: no matter what, the Mavs will not be under the cap. You can't factor in Dirk opting out because he's not going anywhere. He'll sign a new contract and likely make no less than $16 million next season. Under his current deal, he's set to make $21.5 million. The only way the Mavs can get a big-time guy is for LeBron or D-Wade or even Joe Johnson to agree to a sign-and-trade with their current teams. Joe Johnson is the most likely of the three.
Andy (Dento TX)
Is Drew Gooden looking to come back to the Mavs after spending time in basketball purgatory with the Clippers? He seemed like a good fit, worked hard and brought toughness.
Jeff Caplan (3:18 PM)
Andy, Drew Gooden is an unrestricted free agent and he seemed to fit in pretty well with the Mavs. The Mavs had interest in bringing him back last season had the Clippers waived him, but they kept him. They might re-sign him, I don't know. But, if he's out there, the Mavs could look at him as a cheap addition, of course, that also depends on what the Mavs plan to do with Eduardo Najera.
Jacob Hollomon (Sherman, Tx)
Hey Jeff, I spoke to you earlier. Dont you think that if Lebron does decide to do a sign and trade that would bump our chances up of getting him? Because we have a pretty good package to offer. And i think the only way NY or Chicago will get him is if he decides to go out as a free agent and decides not to do a sign and trade.
Jeff Caplan (3:20 PM)
hey Jacob...got my start in Sherman at the old Democrat, good times....anyway, yes, if LeBron decides to do a sign-and-trade it helps the Mavs since that's their only way to go. I'm not sure Cleveland will do a sign and trade, there's valid arguements on both sides. But, yes, Mavs must have LeBron want to do a sign-and-trade, and more than that the Mavs need LeBron to insist the Cavs trade him to Dallas.
What does Dirk need more? A center who can score or a guard who can create their own shot? What options are there in free agency/trades?
Jeff Caplan (3:23 PM)
Great question Chance. I mean right now he has neither. You look at the contenders left and look what they've got. Obviously, L.A. has a great inside-outside attack. The Suns have Nash and Amare working an terrific pick-and-roll and a bunch of shooters around them. Boston and Orlando can go inside and outside with point guard that can penetrate. The Spurs, too, and to a lesser extent the Jazz, who have a great PG, but not a powerful inside game besides Boozer. The Mavs need a swingman type that can create and get in the lane. I don't see how they get a center who can score that's any better than Brendan Haywood. That being the case, they need to get scorers and hope that Roddy B develops into just that type of slasher who can finish and also drain it from the perimeter.
why no is taking about terry not living upto his contract i think because of Terry's lack of scoring we lost in first round, is there anyway we can trade him for someone who can play little bit D and can score as a solid SG.
Jeff Caplan (3:25 PM)
Great point. Jason Terry has been awful the last two postseasons, and he admits it. Terry is definitely a one-dimensional player these days and if his shot isn't falling, wow, he's a liability, no doubt. Many thought Rick Carlisle should have stuck with the kid Roddy B in the fourth quarter of Game 6 at S.A., but Carlisle went with his veteran and Terry didn't produce. I don't see how you trade Terry at this point. He's still an expensive guy for the coming season. That changes for 2011-12 and he could be a trade piece at the trade deadline or next summer. But, until then, he'll be on the runway right here.
Angel (Grand Prairie)
Mr. Jeff Caplan, would you give up Roddy B. to the hawks for Joe Johnson for you can have a chance to win the championship the way the lakers did when they went out to get Pao for Kobe or would you wait and keep roddy to see if he can become a point gaurd?
Jeff Caplan (3:26 PM)
Angel...no way. I would not give up Roddy for Joe Johnson. I like Johnson and I think he'd be a nice fit on this team, but to me he's rather one-dimensional as a shooter and he performed poorly in the playoffs, which might hurt him this summer. Roddy has way too much potential to trade for a player of Johnson's ilk. The Mavs are desperate to get younger and more athletic and that's Roddy B.
Brian M. (Lake Highlands HS Annex)
Hey Jeff If the Mavs can't lure LeBron to Dallas, do you think that they would go after another big time free agent like Joe Johnson or Carlos Boozer?
Jeff Caplan (3:27 PM)
Carlos Boozer has very little chance of coming here. It would take a sign-and-trade and then you're talking about, what, playing him at center? As long as Dirk is here I don't see how Boozer would fit.
How about we go in a different direction ? New Orleans seems to be on shaky (if not oily) grounds. Would they entertain sign and trade for Chris Paul/Okafor for Roddy B and Damp ? Paul could take pressure off of Kidd and Dirk.
Jeff Caplan (3:29 PM)
Cliff,New Orleans -- the basketball franchise at least -- will soon be on much more stable ground. They're getting new ownership and I see no way in you know what that they get rid of Chris Paul. As long as he's healthy, he assures of you making the playoffs for years to come. And with the right ownership, they can get guys to come play with Paul and they'll be right there in the West as they were just a few short years ago. You might remember when they beat the Mavs 4-1 and then lost to S.A. in 7 games.
Who are the Mavs top 3 targets?
Jeff Caplan (3:32 PM)
It's hard to say at this point with so much unsettled. Now, I don't believe the Mavs land LeBron or D-Wade. Joe Johnson? Maybe. This is a great free agent class, but what the Mavs really need, a good-sized athletic, young swingman is not in great supply. Rudy Gay is restricted, would you take a chance on Tracy McGrady? Otherwise, there's guys like Portland's Travis Outlaw, I think he's a nice fit, Orlando's Matt Barnes, a guy I thought the Mavs should target after the '07 playoffs, Richard Jefferson could opt out, is he better here reunited with J-Kidd?Lots of poossibilities, but until LeBron makes a decision, all plans are on hold.
Hey Jeff, I know we as Mavs fans keep talking about what we can acquire through free agency. But what if we look at what we can get through a smart trade. What's your opinion on a Jet for Chris Kaman swap?
Jeff Caplan (3:34 PM)
Mike, sure let's do it. But, why would the Clippers make that deal? No way. Centers are hard to come by and Kaman is a very good player as you know. He improves every season. That Clippers team has talent. Blake Griffin will finally get to play and they could make a push into the top 8 next season with a shrewd summer. Of course, they still need a GM and coach, so who knows. But they're not taking Jet for Kaman.
Jeff Caplan (3:35 PM)
OK, everyone, thanks for all the questions. Mostly more LeBron questions left in the que, so let's leave it here for now and see what happens as we move closer to the draft and the into the draft and what deals go down. The Mavs could be active with some expiring contacts, such as DeShawn Stevenson, so let's hold tight.Thanks for reading espndallas.com and remember to tell your friends that we are here.Follow me on Twitter: ESPN_Caplan.Have a good week everyone.