Chat with Jeff Caplan
Welcome to SportsNation! On Wednesday, 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 Wednesday at 2 p.m. CT/3 p.m. ET!
Jeff Caplan (3:00 PM)
Welcome back everyone. I'm not Nostradamus, but I've got a good idea there will be more than one question about Dwight Howard and the fear that he is headed to New Jersey. Well, let's talk about it.
Chris Fiegler (Latham,NY)
What Dallas Mavericks Players do you think will be either traded or Cut at the End of this season?
Jeff Caplan (3:01 PM)
Chris, how are you up there in New York? This question is totally unanswerable right now. If the Dwight Howard and Deron Williams hit free agency and the Mavs believe they have a shot at both, Dirk Nowitzki could be the only man standing on the current roster. If one or the other signs, then that changes. For instance, if Williams comes here, but Howard does not, then Haywood will be here. He won't if Howard is here. It just all depends on what happens and we might have a good idea once the trade deadline arrives in 24 hours.
If Plan B this summer are guys like Nash, Kaman, Batum, Eric Gordon, and Ilyasova, how many of those guys could you sign vs. Howard/Williams?
Jeff Caplan (3:03 PM)
It all depends how much cap space the Mavs will end up with what market sets the price for those players. The Mavs still have their amnesty clause to create more cap space, so Mavs could have more than $20 million in cap space to sign free agents...And they can create more than that if Williams and Howard become true options.
How will history judge Mark Cuban if the Mavs fail to acquire Dwill and/or DHoward. While Mark delivered the only championship in Mavs history, he may have squandered Dirks last few formidable years by not re-signing the key components (namely TC) for another Championship run. Dirk gave money back to the organization when he signed his extension, should Mark not have rewarded his loyalty by giving Dirk every opportunity to win now. Not speculating on the future?
Jeff Caplan (3:05 PM)
Who knows. Look, if the Mavs get neither Williams nor Howard, then we just have to wait and see how the Mavs rebuild the roster and how things progress from there. I do believe that the Mavs could have re-signed Chandler and still had the ability to sign a Deron Williams. But, Cuban rolled the dice. Does he come up empty? We might soon find out. I understand Cuban's reasoning for not bringing the title team back because of the rules set under the new CBA.
Hey Cap. Roddy B played excellent last night, granted it was against a pretty bad team. Why can't we see any consistency out of him?
Jeff Caplan (3:08 PM)
We've seen some really good performances from Roddy against some pretty bad defenses. As for consistency, Roddy is a raw player and fans have to remember that. This kid was playing in a B-level league in France before joining the Mavs. He had the strong rookie season, but did not receive consistent playing time. Then he had the foot injury and everyone knows how that went. He didn't get back to playing at 100 percent until training camp opened for this season. So, consistency might be too much to ask from him when he's still not getting consistent PT.
I agree with what I heard on the Ben and Skin Show this morning. It's pretty clear that the way Dwight Howard is playing the trade deadline it's clear he wants to go to NJ. What happens with the Mavs when this happens? Whats plan B cause we are no where near being able to compete for another championship right now.
Jeff Caplan (3:10 PM)
I've always believed Howard would end up with the Nets in Brooklyn. Think about it: Him and D-Will take a franchise to a new city -- New York City -- and raise it beyond anything its ever done before. They'd be heroes. If they come to Dallas, they join Dirk's team. Then there's the endorsements, etc. It's NYC!! As for a Plan B, the Mavs have always known they might not get either one. Then it's time to scour the free agents this summer and figure out how to rebuild this roster.
Chief (Frisco, TX)
Hi Jeff, would the Dallas be involved in small trade before the deadline just to make this roster more respectable going to the playoffs?
Jeff Caplan (3:12 PM)
Chief, I don't really see it. The Mavs, unless blown away by a trade for an impact player, are not going to take back salary beyond this season. There just doesn't seem to be a trade for them to make. Anyone they could trade now could also be traded in the summer, so nothing makes sense right now simply because they won't take back salary and an expiring contract for an expiring contract makes no sense unless two teams believe swapping those players is of some benefit to their causes this season.
If Dwight to NJ works out, which would mean Deron and Dwight most likely stay in NJ, how deep a hole are the Mavs in? It seems all their moves have been made with the assumption that those two would be free agents this summer.
Jeff Caplan (3:15 PM)
Hey Web...the Mavs' motives for freeing cap space was not based solely on the belief they could nab Williams and/or Howard. The strategy was based on the new CBA and the new CBA will greatly cripple teams in the luxury tax from signing free agents AND from making trades. Cuban was afraid of bringing back the title team and then being stuck with an old and expensive roster with no flexibility to make changes over a four or five-year period. So, yes, the Mavs' ultimate goal is to have a shot at the two big fish, but they surely knew that chance was not guaranteed.
Kaman for Odom Mahimni and Jones.Beasley for first round pick(what the Lakers were offered) and Yii?
Jeff Caplan (3:17 PM)
Saher, I really like Kaman..but why would NOLA trade Kaman for players that still have salary owed to them? Jones has not proven he can play in this league. Although he's cheap, he's got a couple more years on his deal. Plus Odom has $2.4 mil guaranteed on his deal next season.
At what point, do we say Lamar Odom's just not a good player anymore? It can't be as simple as just blaming his struggles on him not caring or trying. I don't think he's intentionally missing shots. The guy just isn't any good.
Jeff Caplan (3:19 PM)
Great question, Jason. Odom was awful last night against Washington and he did very little on the road trip. Still, Carlisle on Monday defended Odom, saying he was pleased with the way he's been playing. Carlisle had a quick hook for Lamar against Washington. Look, when Delonte West gets back, if Lamar hasn't shown any improvement, I think he could get squeezed out. You can't keep playing a guy that does nothing for you. Marion is capable of playing minutes at the 4, just like he did last year and with West back it alleviates Marion's duties guarding PGs.
If Jet doesn't commit to sign extention with the Mavs for next year for the mini mid level, why not to try and trade him with other expiring contracts along with Roddy and Jones for Howard and Turkuglo or for Deron. Orlando will still be able to compete this year and next year they will have tons of cap space to rebuid.
Jeff Caplan (3:22 PM)
I'm sure the Mavs have, but to me it really makes no sense for Orlando to make a deal like that. What do they get? If they are going to trade Howard, to me they have to get a legitimate player, a building block in return as well as being able to dump salary. Nothing makes much sense to me for them except for Andrew Bynum. I guess Brook Lopez has some appeal, the guy has a nice low-post game. But, I just don't see anything the Mavs have as being exciting to the Magic.
Stephen (Plano,TX )
Would the Mavs pick Gerald Wallace in the deadline or offseason?
Jeff Caplan (3:24 PM)
I believe Wallace has a player option next season for $9.5 million. So, I would think he will exercise that and remain with Portland. He won't get that much on the open market.
If Dwight isn't traded, good or bad for the Mavs? Because If he is traded for any team but Nets, Deron is a lock in Dallas next year but if he isn't then Mavs could stay empty from both sides.
Jeff Caplan (3:25 PM)
Well, if he's traded to the Nets, it's bad. If goes, then he and Deron are staying to take that team to Brooklyn. If he's traded anywhere else, then the chance remains for him to opt out of his deal and become a free agent. At that point he can sign a free agent deal with New Jersey just as easily, but the Mavs would have a fighting chance to woo him and Deron to Dallas.
Are the Mavs praying that Dwight Howard doesn't get traded tomorrow to NJ or is the writing on the wall that he's going to end up there in the offseason anyway?
Jeff Caplan (3:26 PM)
Justin, I don't believe any writing on any wall until the ink is totally dry. I do believe Howard wants to play with Deron in NY. To me it just makes too much sense. So, yes, Mavs are praying Orlando does not trade Howard to NJ.
If I am Dwight , I say publicly where I want to play next year and finish the trade speculations. Why not to do it?
Jeff Caplan (3:27 PM)
Sam, He has said made that known: NJ, Dallas and LA Lakers. a week ago or so he said he would no agree to an extension with the Lakers. The tea leaves say he wants to go to the Nets.
Any chance of a trade tomorrow? Or are there any players that might be picked up like peja and brewer last year?
Jeff Caplan (3:28 PM)
Mavs have 15 players on the roster so if they were to pick up a player they would have to cut someone currently on the roster. Not seeing that happen at this point.
What did you make of JET's comments after the game last night? Is he just being brutally honest about the way all the players feel, but he's the only one with the guts to publicly say it?
Jeff Caplan (3:30 PM)
Josh, Jet is a highly emotional player. He says a lot of things. But, those comments, which was in a conversations between him and me, was Jet being honest. This guy wants to stay here badly and he knows this might be his last rodeo here. Think how crazy this season has been. The title team is broken up, the crazy schedule, the free agency ramifications and oh yeah, you're supposed to be defending a championship.
MsLetti (Dallas TX )
How likely Mavs get DHoward in the next 24hrs?
Jeff Caplan (3:30 PM)
Less than 1%.
Weren't many fans and "experts" saying Dallas was not a contender LAST YEAR? Didn't Ben Rogers call them the "one and done boys?"
Jeff Caplan (3:31 PM)
This is true. Who is counting them out? I consistently say that the state of the West means the Mavs have a chance. There is not one team right now, even as poorly as the Mavs are playing, that I consider easy favorites over Dallas.
Derek (Fort Worth)
Do you know or heard that if Cuban and Donnie have talked to Orlando or is Mark crossing his fingers hoping Dwight doesn't get traded by tomorrow?
Jeff Caplan (3:32 PM)
Of course they have talked, just like every team has probably talked to Orlando. But, who on this roster are you taking if you're Orlando?
I'm still confused about the Odom trade, well just the draft pick part do we keep this years first round pick or no? This is a very deep draft and to my understanding that if its a pick in the top 20 we get to keep it? If the Mavs dont get D-Will or Howard do we keep this pick and hope that we get a star in the making deep in the draft?
Jeff Caplan (3:33 PM)
The pick to L.A. is top 20 protected. So, if the Mavs finish the regular season with a record that puts them in 1-20 draft order, then Mavs hold onto it. If out of the top 20, then L.A. gets it.
Austin (Fort Worth)
Can you turn auto update on so we can see questions and answers?
Jeff Caplan (3:33 PM)
You are only seeing the answers?
At the end of the season if it comes down to seeding or rest, which one will be the top priority?
Jeff Caplan (3:35 PM)
Scot, this whole season has been about rest. Seeding won't matter. Sure, they'd like to finish as high as possible and get home court for the first round, but they're not going to to be terribly upset if that doesn't happen, but they have their health and are considerably rested.
Bryan (Springdale, AR)
Do you get the feeling that some media members want Dwight traded so that he will not land in Dallas next year?
Jeff Caplan (3:36 PM)
No. Why would media care where he lands. I'm all for him landing here. Would drive up interest in the Mavs and would be great for business at espndallas.com.
Joseph (Charlottesville, VA)
We've played 4 more games than teams like the Spurs and Clippers. How much does that factor into our record at this point?
Jeff Caplan (3:37 PM)
Joseph,I don't think that can be overlooked and Mark Cuban brought that up last night, saying he hopes that the Mavs run into more tired teams the way teams ran into the Mavs. No other team in the West has had to play 9 games in 12 nights like the Mavs just finished up. They are looking forward to the stretch ahead in which most games have a day off in between.
Where does Roddy's trade value stand right now?
Jeff Caplan (3:39 PM)
Jason, that's a good question. I don't think it's great, still based on upside. I think the Mavs would still like to hold onto him. What if Deron Williams isn't coming here? Mavs have to have a point guard next season. Jason Kidd simply can not start next season. He has been brutal. Roddy needs to keep playing and keep developing.
The Mavs are flirting with 7th or 8th seed which would mean it's either The Spurs or Thunder. Would Dallas drop from 7 to 8 at the end of the season, on purpose, to avoid the Spurs in the 1st round? They seem scarier.
Jeff Caplan (3:40 PM)
Jason, you just got lucky with back to back questions...As close as the Mavs are to eighth or even ninth, they're pretty close to sixth as well. And the way the clips are going lately, who knows. It only takes a quick hot or cold streak to move up or down. Now, I do think they would rather play OKC than San Antonio, as funny as that might sound. I'm looking forward to Saturday's game against the Spurs. They're healthy and so are the Mavs with out the exception of Delonte West.
Bryan (Springdale, AR)
What are the chances you get trades to ESPN LA by the deadline tomorrow?
Jeff Caplan (3:41 PM)
Bryan, is that your way of saying you want me out of Dallas?
What do yoy think the Mavs will do with Lamar Odom? If it's a trade, who do they get for Odom?
Jeff Caplan (3:42 PM)
don't hold your breath on a trade. not sure why anyone would want him in this state for this season or deal with his $2.4 mil next season. Figure he's going to be here and either contribute or sit on the bench.
how much does no state tax matter? would that put our offer in the vicinity of NJ's? obviously, if dwight doesn't land in NJ with a trade this week?
Jeff Caplan (3:43 PM)
I don't think state income tax matters at all. If all that stuff mattered, Dwight would stay in Orlando where he'd make $28 mil more than anywhere else. He can sign for $81 mil here or with Nets. At that point, does income tax really matter?
do you think dwight purposely let the Magic know his intentions? Seems a little insane that he would blatantly state it and force Orlando's hands. With the added puzzlement of the fact that he didn't have to say anything at all?
Jeff Caplan (3:44 PM)
I think Howard knows exactly what he's doing. If he stays with Orlando, he can go for a title this year, not that I think they stand a chance, but then sign with the Nets without them having to give up some young players and draft picks.
Jeff Caplan (3:45 PM)
OK, everyone, thanks for all the questions. Hope I was able to shed some light on things. Mavs play at home tomorrow night against the Bobcats, another game they must have.Get ready for that with a chat with Chuck Coopestein tomorrow afternoon. Check espndallas.com for show times.Take it easy.