Welcome to the weekly Mavs chat on ESPNDallas.com. I'm in OKC for the Mavs debut of Caron Butler and Brendan Haywood (and maybe DeShawn Stevenson). I reckon you folks might have some questions about those guys. Let's go ...
Will the Mavs make any more deals?
That's a possibility, but I don't see the Mavs making another major move. They have a $2.4 million trade exception from their deal with New Jersey earlier this season. They're searching for opportunities to use it by facilitating a trade between two other teams, which in theory would get them a nice young player to add to the bench. But that's far from a guarantee. Odds are they won't be able to use the trade exception until this summer, if at all. I'd be very surprised to see any more Mavs rotation players moved before the deadline.
Could Drew Gooden be out and return to the Mavericks or is he angry we traded him?
I haven't talked to Gooden, but I hear that he's disappointed to be leaving Dallas, but not mad at the Mavs. Washington will be his eighth stop, so he certainly understands the business of basketball. If the Wizards give him a buyout, the Mavs would certainly be interested in bringing him back to Dallas, although he can't rejoin the Mavs for 30 days. They'll miss Gooden much more than they will Howard.
After the All-Star game weekend, do you think it helped us in the quest for Lebron, Wade, Bosh, or Johnson? Rank each in terms of likeliness to come here in th 2010.
Not sure that it helped, but it couldn't have hurt. I wouldn't bet my money on any of those guys coming to Dallas this summer, but the order of likeliness would be:1. Johnson2. Bosh3. LeBron4. Wade
With damp and hayword on the floor at the same time do you think this gives us a better shot at the lakers?
I don't think we'll see Dampier and Haywood on the floor together much, if at all. That's an awfully offensive-challenged post tandem. But Haywood's presence means the Mavs can always have a big man to protect the rim on the floor. That helps against all teams, including the Lakers.
With the mavs' roster sitting at 13, what do you see them most likely doing....1. Send the trade exception money for a player before the deadline. 2. Pick up a veteran off the waiver wire, or 3. Stand pat with 13 players?
All three are possibilities. They'll try to find a good young player for the trade exception. If that doesn't happen, they'll be active in the market of players who receive buyouts. If they can't get who they want (or there isn't anybody they want), they'll stand pat.
If Tracy McGrady or Mike Miller gets bought out do you think the mavericks will pursue either of them? Who do you think might get bought out?
Yes on Miller, no on McGrady if they get buyouts. And I'd just be guessing on who might get bought out.
I know that getting any of these guys next year is a long shot but do you think that getting a scoring center or a star shooting guard would be the better fit for the Mavericks? Chris Bosh being the center and Joe Johnson and Dwayne Wade being the shooting guards. Bosh plays a similar position to Dirk but would provide low post scoring. Johnson or Wade would finally give us a natural 2 guard who is a star.
I think Brendan Haywood can and should be the Mavs' long-term solution at center. He's 30, ranks fifth in the league in blocked shots, 10th in rebounding and finishes around the basket. I believe they'll try to get a legit shooting guard this summer. They'll make a run at LeBron (not necessarily a shooting guard, but he can play wherever he wants). But that's a long shot. Joe Johnson might be a fit. Mark Cuban and Dwyane Wade have a mutual dislike for each other, so can't see Flash coming to Dallas on a full-time basis. Maybe it's a trade for Kevin Martin or another guy who won't be a free agent.
Can the mavericks trade for chris kaman or will he remain a clipper after the trade deadline?
With the Clippers moving Camby, I'd be stunned if they also got rid of Kaman. The Mavs like what they have at center now anyway and want to keep Dampier's contract, which is the key to their summer flexibility.
Will Caron Butler be an upgrade at SG or will we have to try to trade Marion so that Butler can be the SF and we will get a SG?
I don't think there's any question that Butler is an upgrade over Josh Howard, whose time in Dallas needed to end for a variety of reasons. Will Butler be a good fit at shooting guard? We'll find out. He'll still play a lot of small forward with Marion seeing more minutes at power forward. If it doesn't work, Butler will probably be moved again this summer. He'll be a good player entering the final season of his contract, so he'll have a lot of trade value.
If Philly gets desperate do you think they offer the mavs igoudala for nothing?
Philly isn't desperate. The Mavs like Iguodala, but the Sixers indicated they didn't want to trade him after initially shopping him.
What are we going to do with Damp's expiring contract? We still have a chance to move him for something right? Will that happen now or in the offseason?
That's the key to the Mavs' summer plans. They'll try to package Dampier's fully unguaranteed contract with other pieces (such as Roddy Beaubois, maybe picks, possibly Caron Butler) to get an elite player and whatever that teams wants to unload with him. They'll make a run at LeBron. Do I think he'll be a Mav next season? No. My hunch is that LeBron will stay in Cleveland, which has an owner who wants to win as much as Mark Cuban and is willing to spend to do it. If the Mavs can't get an impact player using Dampier's contract, they'll cut him and probably try to bring him back at a significantly reduced salary.
Won't the addition of Caron Butler make Marion's role on the Mavs team less dimished? I mean they might not play the same position but they both do a lot of the same things.
How Carlisle juggles the minutes and roles of Butler, Marion and Terry will be very interesting. Marion might not be on the floor during crunch time, but he'll still play a very important role. He's the Mavs' best defensive player and will almost always guard the opponent's top wing scorer at the beginning of games. They'll also need him to play more power forward with Gooden gone.
I kind of know what to expect from Butler and Haywood, but Stevenson...what can I realistically expect from him? Surely he won't see much of the court early on. He could be a sleeper in this deal.
He's overpaid, but he is a tough dude who has a rep as a defensive stopper. He's in a horrendous shooting funk, but he can play the same role that Quinton Ross did -- not many minutes, but a defensive pit bull off the bench.
Recently, the Mavs have either become tired and/or 'quit' at the end of games, reverting to bad jump shots and not getting the O rebound, then giving up on D. Can Coach C now mitigate the 'energy crisis', manage minutes better and show some more toughness down the stretch?
I believe the negative energy that went to Washington -- and I'm only referring to one player -- will give the Mavs a little boost. "Tough" is the word LeBron James and Kobe Bryant used to describe Butler over the weekend. Haywood, as a true big man, also provides an element the Mavs have been missing since Dampier's knee problems started.
I personally would love to see Haywood slide into the starting spot and have Damp off the bench, especially if the Mavs are considering a long term deal in the offseason. Is Carlisle going to make this move? Damp just seems to do best when motivated, so I like the competition.
Carlisle isn't saying, but I think Dampier will remain the starter for the time being. Their minutes will likely be split pretty evenly. If Dampier's knee problems continue, the starting center decision becomes easy.
How fast can we really expect the new guys to learn and be effective in a new system?
We'll find out this week with four games in five days with pretty much no practice time. It could be rocky, but I think the trade gives the Mavs a better chance to make a playoff run.
Do you believe the Dallas Mavericks are at a level that they can compete with the Lakers?
I still think it's the Lakers and then the rest of the West. But the Mavs might be the best of the rest, and you never know what might happen (key injury?) to change the landscape.
Why are the Mavericks not coming out and telling people the real deal with Tim Thomas? Will you confirm his wife is very, very sick and he is where he needs to be? Let's all say a little prayer for TT and his family.
The Mavs have given Thomas indefinite leave. He's welcomed back at any time, but the team understands that he has much more important matters that need his attention.
Does Cuban plan on retiring any of the following players #s? Derek Harper, Mark Aguire, or Michael Finley? I think Harper should be no question.
There are no plans as of now. I think Harper will be the next number to go up in the rafters. Why hasn't it happened yet? I've asked Mark Cuban that and didn't get much of an answer.
Is Dirks elbow a concern of any magnitude? He is still wearing that brace and has really slowed down the last month or so, what are your thoughts?
Dirk said during the All-Star break that his elbow feels pretty good. He's ditched the really big pad and gone with a sleeve that has a lighter pad in it. I think mental and physical fatigue for Dirk are much biggers concerns than his elbow.
Would there be any way for the Mavs to have a few BIG games such as playoff games at Cowboys Stadium if Mark and Jerry worked out a plan ahead of time? That venue was awesome and would probably be a huge home court advantage since we seem to struggle at the AAC lately.
The only NBA games you'll see at Cowboys Stadium are All-Star games.
Is it true we are now the tallest team in the league?
The Mavs can go with a really big lineup, but not as big as the Lakers when they have Bynum, Gasol and Odom as their frontcourt.
is rodrique beaubois going to get more playing time now?
The trade doesn't really impact Beaubois' situation. He's still competing against JJ Barea for playing time. If Beaubois plays well, he'll get significant minutes. If he doesn't, he'll ride the bench.
Is Caron excited about coming to the Mavs? He seemed pretty upset to be leaving Washington
The guy has been smiling every time I've seen him since he arrived in Dallas. I think he's disappointed things didn't work out better in Washington, but he's happy to be with a team that might be able to contend. He laughed long and hard when ESPN 103.3's Ben Rogers asked some long, strange question about whether he felt like he was living the scene in Shawshank Redemption when the dude escapes and comes out of the tunnel. "I'm chillin' with Morgan," Butler said.
Does this trade revitalize Nowitzki a little? Not that the guy has not played well this season, but he has said he is frustrated and now he has his Robin in butler.
I believe that it will. The Jason Kidd deal had that effect on him. Dirk is too classy to rip Josh Howard, but I've heard from a couple of reliable people that Dirk was sick and tired of Howard's inconsistency and undependability on and off the court.
How does the recent trade effect Dallas's chances in the summer free agency period. Did they just wave good bye to signing a big name free agent?
No, if anything they improved their chances of making that happen. The Mavs will have to go the sign-and-trade route to get an impact free agency, which was always the case. They have better assets now.
Ricky Davis just got waived by Clips. He is a true 2 guard. Should Mavs take a flyer ?
Davis doesn't exactly have a rep as a team-first guy. I'll ask around, but my gut feeling is the Mavs won't be interested.
Is Cuban still interested in owning an MLB team? I would love for him to buy the Dodgers.
Cuban has said he'd be interested in "the right deal," which means a major bargain.
WHAT DO YOU THINK ABOUT JOSH HOWARD'S PARTING COMMENTS FOR YOU?
I reckon it's an honor that one of the biggest underachievers in the NBA believes that I've contributed to his career. Josh is too sensitive to realize that I've written much more positive than negative about him over the course of his career. This season, it's been much more negative because there wasn't anything positive to write.
I heard Donnie say that he plans on the Mavs using a lineup of Dirk at the 5, marion at the 4, Butler at the 3, Terry at the 2, and Kidd at the 1. I know he's not the coach, but is he HIGH? or just stupid. If that is there thinking then why trade for Haywood, plus i'm sorry, but that would not work. Dirk would get killed at the 5, and that scheme would not work against ANY of the top teams in the WEST. If that is their thinking, this trade was a bust.
The Mavs realize the importance of a true big man, which is why they insisted on getting Haywood in the deal. The lineup you mentioned won't be their regular lineup, but it is one that could be effective when used in spots against the right matchups.
What did you think of Dirk's showing in the All Star game?
Nice performance, but you won't see Dirk on the highlight reels. He had 22 points on 8-of-15 shooting with no dunks. Would have liked to have seen him get the last shot, but oh well.
Caron mentioned he and the other two guys are going to bring a nastiness to Dallas. I like that statement and I believe it's an intangible the Mavericks needed. Your thoughts?
Agreed. That's something the Mavs wanted to add this offseason and did with Shawn Marion, but they needed more and got it.
Now that the ball do what it do in DC, do you believe that the jump shot will be toned down some or does that issue go deeper than J-Ho?
That wasn't just a J-Ho problem, but he was a big part of it. Butler is better at creating his own shot, something the Mavs desperately need to take pressure off of Dirk.
As a Nuggets' fan, I don't like the Caron Butler trade at all. If we play in the second round, who do you see coming out on top? Will home court determine the outcome?
Let's wait and see how the ex-Wizards fit with the Mavs until we make playoff predictions. Give me a few weeks.
Dirk proved why he could be the classiest guy in the NBA during the All-Star game. Not only did he address the crowd, but the way he played made me incredibly proud to be one of his fans. He didn't change any part of his game. He got the ball, faded away, and sunk shot after shot using his silky smooth style. Is this why he doesn't garner the highlights? Every player around the league seems to respect him, but he doesn't get the national pub. that he should.
You won't hear Dirk complain about a lack of pubs. He's been on his fair share of magazine covers, etc. He considers interviews and photo shoots part of his job, but they aren't things he looks forward to. He has no problem with other All-Stars hogging the highlights and headlines.
Beabouis is the real deal... dont be speculating trades with him in it!
Cuban recently called Beaubois "pretty much untouchable." The only way Roddy B goes is if the Mavs get back an elite player in return.
Is Dirk respected by the rest of the league? Do Kobe and others view him as soft?
Actually, Kobe has talked at length about how much he respects Dirk's toughness. Guys who compete against Dirk recognize that he's a tough dude with a finesse game. He gets tremendous respect around the league.
Time to wrap it up. Thanks for all the questions. Sorry I couldn't get to more. Check out the ESPNDallas.com Mavs blog for coverage of tonight's game in OKC.