Chat with Tim MacMahon
Welcome to SportsNation! On Tuesday, Dallas Mavericks reporter Tim MacMahon stops by to chat about the team.
MacMahon joined ESPN in September 2009 and covers the Cowboys and Mavericks. He has covered the local sports scene from high schools to colleges to pros during his six-year tenure at The Dallas Morning News. MacMahon is a graduate of UNT.
Send your questions now and join MacMahon Tuesday at 2 p.m. CT/3 p.m. ET!
Tim MacMahon (3:01 PM)
The formerly-mighty Mavs have lost nine of 10. Dirk doubts the front office's grand plan. Mark Cuban and Rick Carlisle are complaining about officiating. We've got a lot to chat about. Fire away.
Deven (Dallas, TX)
What was Mark Cuban thinking about breaking up the championship team? I know he wants to look ahead into the future, but come on. What's your take?
Tim MacMahon (3:03 PM)
The results are a disaster, but I don't blame him for taking the risk. Remember, when Cuban decided not to make a competitive, multi-year offer to Tyson Chandler, it looked like Chris Paul, Dwight Howard and Deron Williams would all be on the market last summer. Turned out only one actually hit free agency, and the Mavs missed out on their third choice. Having said that, I'd have given them about a 70-percent chance to land at least one of the three. The 30 percent is just a miserable experience, but I understand the thought process.
Is point guard the number one priority this offseason?
Tim MacMahon (3:05 PM)
The Mavs can't afford to be position specific. They need game-changing talent, period. They'll obviously have to address point guard, but that doesn't necessarily mean it's the top priority.
todd (new london tx)
was winning the title bad for the franchise? it looks like mark just gave up after winning it all and stopped caring about being competitive, he knows that he is not the only diehard fan of the mavs right?
Tim MacMahon (3:07 PM)
C'mon, man. Was winning the title bad? Of course not. That was the culmination of 11 great years. The banner will hang forever, and that remarkable run will never be forgotten.As far as Cuban's competitiveness, I see what you're getting at but don't agree with your premise. I don't think he's any less competitive. The whole point of doing what he did is because he wanted to be a contender for another decade. So far, the plan has just backfired in his face. That doesn't mean he cares less.
kevin (wishing for 2011)
do you see the mavs making any moves at trade deadline? if cuban is not changing approach in offseason and he misses will it be another year of one year contracts?
Tim MacMahon (3:09 PM)
Cuban has made it clear the Mavs will be "opportunistic" and try to salvage this season. I think that's the wrong way to approach the trade deadline. Whether he wants to admit it or not -- and he doesn't -- this season is dead. They should only be looking at moves that positively impact this team for next year and beyond. That's why I'm on board with dealing for DeMarcus Cousins, which they'd love to do, even if it doesn't improve the team immediately. They need another big-time talent.
There was a Jared Cunningham sighting last night. D you expect to see him start to get some playing time, or will he be removed from the equation again with the addition of Mike James?
Tim MacMahon (3:12 PM)
Your guess is as good as mine with the Dominique Jones-Rodrigue Beaubois-Jared Cunningham mix. I've got a feeling that'll be kind of like the Texas weather for the rest of the season. If you don't like it, just wait a few minutes for it to change. I think Mike James will get a legit chance to prove he can help. We've all seen how much Rick Carlisle wants to rely on vets -- and how little trust he has in the other point guards on the roster.
With rumors that the Grizz are shopping Rudy Gay due to long term tax implications, that may the Mavs only chance to get new first option who's also young and athletic. How about a package headed by Marion and Carter? Still gives Mem a grind type player in Marion and a decent shooter in Carter, which they need.
Tim MacMahon (3:13 PM)
That deal makes no sense for the Grizzlies. They want a deal loaded with picks. I don't think Gay is good enough to give up the coveted financial flexibility anyway.
Can you give the protection details on the number one we gave up for Lamar Odom which I believe Houston now holds, looks like we are lottery bound this year and to make matters worse over the next 3-4 years were going to have to give up that pick at some point, I still don't know why they didn't do it last year w/ the Cunningham pick.
Tim MacMahon (3:14 PM)
Off the top of my head, it's top 20 protected for five more years. The Mavs can opt to give it up at any point now. And that pick is now the property of Oklahoma City, which acquired it in the James Harden deal. Can you imagine OKC getting a lotto pick out of the deal when Durant and Westbrook are still in their prime? There's your worst-case scenario.
What are the chances we trade for Demarcus cousins or Brandon Jennings?
Tim MacMahon (3:15 PM)
The Mavs want to trade for DeMarcus Cousins. You can search the ESPNDallas.com Mavs blog for an idea of how they might be able to pull off that deal. Here's the problem: The Kings are budging, telling everyone who asks that they aren't moving him.
Why do you think Carlisle went with Roddy or Collison at the end of the game?
Tim MacMahon (3:17 PM)
I wasn't in Utah to ask Rick directly, so all I can do is speculate. But it's not exactly going out on a limb to say that he doesn't trust Darren Collison in clutch situations. Collison's decision-making has cost the Mavs many times this year, including late in the loss to the Hornets. However, it's quite a reach to say Roddy B. is any better. Why do you think the Mavs keep chasing elderly point guards?
Howdy T-Mac, a couple of questions:1. Not re-signing Tyson Chandler to a multi-year deal like he wanted + losing J-Kidd this year Cubes filming his TV show on July 1 = reason for Mavs fall from grace? 2. % chance of making the playoffs this year? My bet would be 7%.... but even then lose 4-1 in the first round3. Does it look like Matrix is open to a trade at this time? His disgust at the Mavs team composition is nearly obvious....Thanks in advance.
Tim MacMahon (3:20 PM)
I think you've simplified the fall from grace, but no question the Kidd and Chandler departures were a factor. Can't say for sure that Cuban's TV commitment made a difference with the Deron Williams recruiting failure, but it sure as heck didn't help matters.I'd give this team a 5-percent chance to make the playoffs, and that's just out of respect for Dirk. There are only two teams in the West with worse records.Haven't asked Matrix that question and don't want to put words in his mouth. If I were him, I'd welcome a move to a contender, especially since he has a 15-percent trade kicker in his contract. But, based on what I'm told, the Mavs don't want to move him.
whats the likelihood of mavs making some type of trade during the season? my thoughts are that we cant be this bad and lure free agents here with that powder...
Tim MacMahon (3:22 PM)
The problem isn't whether free agents would sign with the Mavs. It's that there might not be any star-quality free agents on the market. Dwight Howard is the Mavs' best hope, and that's a long shot at best. That's why the Mavs will be active exploring the trade market.
Do you think we will see a lot of surprises on the trading block this year around the league from teams not in title contention with the new luxury tax?
Tim MacMahon (3:23 PM)
The Mavs hope so. One of the advantages of being under the cap is they can make deals in which they take back significantly more money in terms of contracts.
What is the most likely scenario that improves the Mavs, trade at deadline or FA this offseason? Am I right that all of our picks are top 20 protected and that our most attractive assets beyond these picks is the ability to absorb bad contracts?
Tim MacMahon (3:25 PM)
I can throw a bunch of stuff at the wall and see what sticks, but the truth is I have no idea what the most likely scenarios are. Again, the hope is Dwight Howard, but that doesn't mean it's remotely likely. I think the Mavs are in the process of figuring out what options might be available. As far as absorbing bad contracts, that's an option, but they definitely do not want to do anything that affects their flexibility in the summer of 2014, when Jared Cunningham's rookie deal is the only guaranteed contract on their books.
depressed mavs fan (new london tx)
are we headed back to the 90's
Tim MacMahon (3:26 PM)
It might get really ugly here, but I'd bet good money that the Mavs won't be bad for several years. So, no, I don't think this will be a '90s repeat.
tj (Tyler, Texas)
When do you see the Mavericks competing at a high level again? I am 40! Will I be drawing social security?
Tim MacMahon (3:27 PM)
Let's see how this summer goes before we jump off any cliffs.
Is Mark Cuban's stubbornness just getting in the way at this point? How can he dismiss what his superstar said and feel there is no cause for alarm? Dirk is right you can't just build around hope.
Tim MacMahon (3:27 PM)
Did you really expect Cuban to come out and say that Dirk is right and the whole plan looks bad? The man still has to sell tickets.
OJ Mayo has not proved himself to be good in clutch situations in many occasions this past month and a half. Careless turnovers and just plain not making wide open shots. Do you see a change in the crunch time 4th quarter lineup comming especially since Mike James has been signed?
Tim MacMahon (3:29 PM)
Mayo has to be good for the Mavs to have any chance whatsoever of salvaging this season. He hasn't been good for the last month or so. That's a problem, but I don't see him riding pine in crunch time. Dirk and Mayo will be on the floor with the game on the line. Never can be sure which three guys will be joining them, which is part of the problem.
Gabriel (El paso)
Whats the best move the Mavs can make before the trade deadline?
Tim MacMahon (3:30 PM)
Best-case scenario: They get DeMarcus Cousins and a couple of contracts (such as John Salmons and Marcus Thornton) for a bunch of expiring deals. But, again, the Kings aren't budging at this point.
Tom (Denton, TX)
Given Dirk's frustration, and the lack of talent around him, do you see Dirk retiring as a Dallas Maverick?
Tim MacMahon (3:32 PM)
Yes. But I wonder whether he'll retire a little bit earlier than he'd like. He has said he wants to play at least two more years after this deal, meaning through the 2015-16 season. I can't see that happening if the Mavs are bad.Like Dirk said the other night, if he didn't have a ring, he might go elsewhere to try to chase a championship. He has a ring, so he plans to finish his career here. But he wants to do it on a competitive team.
Grant (Arlington TX)
Of the current players on the Mavericks roster, who do you think will be back next season in a Dallas uniform?
Tim MacMahon (3:33 PM)
Only guarantee is Dirk. Shawn Marion is very likely.
What did Dominque Jones do that got him so far in the dog house that he can't even see daylight?
Tim MacMahon (3:34 PM)
He made some harsh comments, including wondering why fans still pay to see the Mavs, that might have had something to do with it. I also expect his "like a dog chasing cars" approach got on Rick's nerves. Jones was banished to the end of the bench around the time that Rick threatened to suspend players for basically being idiots. I'd wager he's one of the guys who got screamed at during practice and/or shootaround.
Do see Dirk and Bernard play together in the future? Dirk and Kaman won't work well together on D, and James brings defense toughness that Dirk lacks.
Tim MacMahon (3:36 PM)
I'd like to see more of Bernard James. This team needs defense, toughness and rebounding. He can provide those things, although he's awfully raw offensively. This is a rebuilding year. He should get some minutes to develop. But that opinion apparently isn't shared by Carlisle.
Brennan (Doback's House)
Could the Mavs beat Portland in a 7 game series?
Tim MacMahon (3:36 PM)
Sir, the Mavs have lost nine out of 10. I'm not sure they can beat Kimball High in a series.
It seems like a high lottery selection and adding future picks will do more for the franchise than an eighth seed? What's your take?
Tim MacMahon (3:37 PM)
I'd agree with that. But there's no guarantee of getting a high lottery pick, and this is supposed to be one of the weakest drafts in years.
Brian (Ft. Worth)
Has a losing mentality already sunk in with this team? I can't fault their effort most nights and Carlisle seems to be coaching his butt off but are the players at the point where they know this is a lost season?
Tim MacMahon (3:38 PM)
Hard to say it hasn't, given the results. It's something players have been honest about fighting. The front office and coaching staff definitely aren't going to let it happen without a fight.
Any chance of moving Brand now that Dirk is back? There doesn't appear to be enough room in the front-court for Brand ,Kaman and Dirk?
Tim MacMahon (3:39 PM)
Elton Brand is ineligible to be traded. Amnesty waivers claims can't be traded for one year. I could see Kaman being moved. He has flaws, but he might be attractive to a contender who could use a scoring big. Or he could be attractive as an $8 million expiring contract.
Justin Clark (Van Alstyne, Tx.)
Is there any way we can go back in time and relive April-June of 2011 again?
Tim MacMahon (3:40 PM)
Just pop in that DVD any time the mood strikes.
After seeing Mayo for 35 games, is he a guy you want to resign to a new deal this summer? Seems unless his jumper is on, he's a liability in a lot of other area. Weak defender, poor decision maker and not really capable of attacking the basket regularly.
Tim MacMahon (3:41 PM)
All depends on the money. I still think Mayo can be a very good third or fourth option. But can't say he's cut out to be a go-to guy after his recent struggles.
Why has the organization repeatedly traded away draft picks? It seems there is no young talent on the team. Crowder seems the only decent pick up.
Tim MacMahon (3:43 PM)
They traded away picks because they were a veteran team in win-now mode. Can you complain about the three picks they gave up for Jason Kidd? (Yes, you can definitely complain about the pick they gave up for Lamar Odom, but that pick hasn't turned into a player yet.)The fact that the Mavs' draft picks haven't developed is a major problem. Remember when Roddy B. was supposed to be a big part of the foundation? It's funny to think of that now.
Bob (Irving )
Why is don't we see more of Wright playing? Has one amazing game then we don't any of him for a couple of games. Seems to be pretty good.
Tim MacMahon (3:44 PM)
Wright is dealing with a quad injury now, but you're right that he was a fringe rotation player at best before then. His poor rebounding drives Carlisle crazy.
How long a leash does Cariisle get? Would a fresh voice make any difference with this team? It seems like Carlisle has tried all of his tricks to get this team to respond.
Tim MacMahon (3:45 PM)
Carlisle is two years removed from a title and two-plus months into a new four-year deal. There is no hot-seat situation here. And I don't care if you get Phil Jackson -- this team isn't any good.
What chance do the MAVS have at getting the number 1 pick in the lottery? Do you think the MAVS will have a top five pick this year?
Tim MacMahon (3:48 PM)
Their chances improve with every loss, so I guess the situation looks a lot brighter than it did a few weeks ago. There are seven teams with worse records (better lotto chances) than the Mavs right now.
Tim MacMahon (3:48 PM)
That's it for today, folks. Appreciate all the questions. If I didn't get to yours, hopefully I at least hit on the topic.