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February 23, 2:30 PM ET
Chat with Time MacMahon

Tim MacMahon
  (2:34 PM)

Welcome to ESPNDallas.com's weekly Mavs chat. Much has changed in the last week, with the Mavs reeling off four straight wins. On to the questions ...

Jim B. (Plano, TX)

What is Dallas' chances of locking up Heywood at the end of the season, assuming this trend of his keeps rolling forward? I know it may be premature to say this, but he is showing signs that he could be our long lost Center for a long time. Thanks!

Tim MacMahon
  (2:36 PM)

The Mavs' brass has made it clear that they want Haywood to be here for a long time. Haywood has made it clear that he'd like to stay here for a long time. And the Mavs own his Bird rights, meaning they can pay him whatever the market bears. I'd be surprised if Haywood doesn't sign a long-term deal with the Mavs this summer.

Warren (Little Rock, AR)

When, if at all, do you think Tim Thomas will rejoin the Mavs rotation?

Tim MacMahon
  (2:37 PM)

The Mavs could certainly use Thomas right now, but he is on indefinite leave to deal with a serious family matter. There is no guarantee that he will rejoin the team at all, although the Mavs would welcome him back with open arms at any time.

Adam (Los Angeles)

If Ilgauskas is bought out, he's going back to Cleveland right? The Mavs wouldn't be able to promise him much PT...

Tim MacMahon
  (2:38 PM)

The Mavs understand that they have a slim chance of signing Ilgauskas. It's assumed that he'll go back to Cleveland after sitting out 30 days. ESPN.com's Marc Stein reports that the Mavs are addressing their need for big man depth by auditioning D-League rebounding machine Dwayne Jones.

Derrik (Nacogdoches,Texas)

Do you see all these minutes hurting Kidd in the playoffs?

Tim MacMahon
  (2:40 PM)

That is a concern, which is why Kidd sat out the entire fourth quarter last night. The easiest solution is to soundly beat the inferior opponents on the schedule, which would allow Kidd to rest and Roddy Beaubois to learn on the job during garbage time.

niazi (arlington)

How long till we see dampier back on the court? And who do you think will start when both are healthy?

Tim MacMahon
  (2:43 PM)

Doctors will re-evaluate Dampier's finger next week. We might have a firm timetable then. The estimates I've heard from those in the know is that he'll probably miss three to five weeks. As well as Haywood is playing, it'd be awfully hard to put him on the bench. Rick Carlisle hasn't asked for my advice, but I'll give it anyway: Start Haywood and play him about 28 minutes per game with Dampier manning the middle the rest of the time. That would give the Mavs two fresh true centers come playoff time.

Burke S. (dallas)

Given the big free agent market coming up in the summer of 2010, what position are the Mavs in to make a move, other than signing Haywood to a long term deal?

Tim MacMahon
  (2:45 PM)

The Mavs have positioned themselves to be very aggressive as sign-and-trade suitors in the free agent market. They have three major chips that could make sense if, for example, LeBron makes it clear to the Cavs that he isn't coming back to Cleveland. Those chips are: 1) Erick Dampier's unguaranteed salary, which a team can wipe off its books without paying him a penny; 2) Caron Butler, who will be entering the final season of his contract; 3) Roddy Beaubois, an excellent prospect with a small salary by NBA standards. I wouldn't bet on the Mavs landing LeBron or one of the other big free agent fishes, but Mark Cuban and Co. will give it their best shot.

Scott (Galveston)

Last night bob and mark were discussing the possibility of having damp and Haywood on the floor at the same time when damp is healthy again...can you envision a scenario in which this is useful/productive?

Tim MacMahon
  (2:46 PM)

I think that's a lineup we might see in certain, specific situations, but I doubt they'll play extended minutes together. Neither is skilled enough to play power forward on offense.

Reccan (Gainesville, FL)

Hey Mac, it's great to see finally see Roddy Bobo in a game with valuable experience but it seems to me he stills has plenty to learn. I saw a couple of Jason Kidd assists in him in the Pacer game but still has those impulses that make him take bad shots and commit silly turnovers. How long do you think it will take for him to mature out of his rookie mistakes and progress?

Tim MacMahon
  (2:48 PM)

Be patient with Beaubois. You have to understand that he played in a French league last season that's only slightly better than over-35 YMCA ball. But he has the benefit of learning from Jason Kidd, who has embraced the role of mentor to the rookie.

harpua (dallas)

in the last 24 games, Barea has played 328 minutes and has a -109 /- in that time. Only in 5 of those games has he had a positive point differential. I know Roddy is a rookie and will make plenty of mistakes, but my god i just can't see why they would keep Barea in the rotation after he has been so consistently bad. Do you see most of those minutes going to Roddy in the upcoming future or am i going to have to keep watching teams outscore us when Barea is on the floor?thanks for the time

Tim MacMahon
  (2:50 PM)

I'll just provide the link to Rick Carlisle's answer of a similar question I asked before last night's game. http://espn.go.com/blog/dallas/mavericks/post/_/id/4666274/carlisle-benched-rookie-beaubois-is-ready

Jason (Dallas)

Hey Tim, what do you think is the plan for the rest of the season is to get Kidd some more rest? Do you think he can still last for a deep run?

Tim MacMahon
  (2:51 PM)

The plan is to rest Kidd as much as possible while winning as many games as possible. But winning is the priority. Kidd said this afternoon that he feels great physically, but Rick Carlisle understands that it's asking for trouble to play a 36-year-old point guard 40 minutes on a regular basis. The problem is that the Mavs' backup point guards aren't that good. Beaubois is still very raw, and Barea is really an undersized shooting guard.

Nima (Austin)

Once everyone get acclamated and the chemistry improves, how far do you see the Mavericks going? Can we take Denver or Utah in a 7 game series? If we get to the Conference Finals against the Lakers, how far do we push them?

Tim MacMahon
  (2:53 PM)

We've got to let it shake out a bit, but I could see the Mavs winning a playoff series against anybody in the West other than the Lakers. Not sure that I'd pick them to beat the Nuggets, but it wouldn't be a stunner for Dallas to win that series. This team has a legit shot to go to the West finals.

Grant (Plano)

do you think Caron Butler will start hitting a higher percentage of shots or will he continue to have to be a volume shooter to put points on the board?

Tim MacMahon
  (2:55 PM)

Caron Butler won't keep shooting 37 percent from the floor. His career track record indicates he'll be in the upper 40s, although he wasn't having a good shooting season in Washington. Give him a little time to get comfortable with the Mavs' halfcourt sets. He'll be an efficient offensive player with Dirk drawing defensive attention and Kidd getting him open looks.

Steve (Dallas)

do you believe the Mavs will make a hard push toward obtaining LeBron when his contract expires?

Tim MacMahon
  (2:57 PM)

Put it this way: Mark Cuban is well aware that LeBron is a huge Cowboys fan. You think that factored into Cuban floating the idea of playing occasional games at Cowboys Stadium? Of course it did. The Mavs will do everything in their power to try to get LeBron to come to Dallas, but there's a slim chance of that happening ... and none if the Cavs win it all this season.

chad (high point)

better than YMCA 35 and older? The French pro league is much better than that and the teams in Pro A France would win the Big 12 if in it. Get some sports knowledge my friend.

Tim MacMahon
  (2:58 PM)

Get a sarcasm detector. And, according to my sports knowledge, Beaubois played in a lower-level European league. Rick Carlisle has mentioned repeatedly that the leap Beaubois has made in competition is enormous.

Brandon Todd (Allen)

How long do you see the Mavs contending with their core getting up there in age?

Tim MacMahon
  (3:00 PM)

As long as Dirk is in his prime, the Mavs will be at least a playoff team. Mark Cuban and Donnie Nelson have proven over the last decade that they can consistently retool their roster around Dirk. They do a fine job of maintaining financial flexibility despite being way over the cap because of creative structuring of contracts and their opportunistic nature. How long will Dirk's prime last? Maybe another four of five years, considering that his game isn't based on athleticism.

Charlie D. (ATX)

Is the impending signing of Von Wafer going to limit Jet's minutes?

Tim MacMahon
  (3:01 PM)

No. Von Wafer will give the Mavs another practice player. Don't count on him making an impact this season. Maybe he shows enough to fit in the Mavs' future plans.

Sconch McBonchyBonch (Hurst)

Will Haywood ask for "Dampier" money when negotiating with the Mavs in the offseason?

Tim MacMahon
  (3:02 PM)

Wouldn't you? If he keeps averaging 12 and 12, he might get it. Productive big men in their prime don't come cheap.

Tim MacMahon
  (3:04 PM)

Gonna run now. Thanks for joining me. Tune into ESPN 103.3 at 5:10 Dallas time today to hear Brendan Haywood's appearance on GAC.