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December 28, 12:15 PM ET
Mavs with Jeff Caplan

Jeff Caplan
  (12:15 PM)

Welcome back to the Mavs chat at espndallas.com. We appreciate you guys reading us and being a part of events such as this. Interesting start to the season, to say the least...Let's get to your questions.

Chris Fiegler (Latham,NY)

How do you think that the Dallas Mavericks Look This Season?

Jeff Caplan
  (12:16 PM)

Chris, first let me ask, have you watched the games? I'll say I don't think the Mavs have looked very good. In fact they've been awful in every phase. No chemistry, no flow, no defense. Sound about right?

Ash (Australia)

Jeff our Mavs looked horrible. Our defence looked too much like the days of old.What timeline are you putting on the Mavericks to shape up?

Jeff Caplan
  (12:17 PM)

Ash, welcome from Australia. What time is it down there? Ah, never mind. Hope you're enjoying your summer. Give this team a month to get its act together. That's what it would have under normal circumstances with a training camp opening first of October and the season opening the first of November. This team lost key pieces and is trying to work new guys in and just haven't had a real opportunity to do that. They basically went into the Miami game cold turkey. A blowout in that game I expected. The Denver rout, I did not.

Sahar (Israel)

Williams for Haywood?

Jeff Caplan
  (12:20 PM)

Hello Sahar from Isreal. Love the international flavor today. Did you see Williams play in Israel? I wouldn't count on a center swap at this time, but Brendan Haywood has got to pick up his play. He's got the starting job again which is what he wants so it's time for him to start playing like a guy who wants to keep his position. Sean Williams was impressive against Denver, but he first entered the game with the Mavs down 31 points so it was full-on garbage time. It will be interesting to see Carlisle's rotation tomorrow night at OKC. The Thunder are up-tempo and Williams should fit well in that game. Is he first off the bench behind Haywood. He just might be.

Marc (Spain)

Should the Mavs try and trade for Howard? If Dallas don't get him, LAL will.

Jeff Caplan
  (12:23 PM)

Wow. These are really the Global Mavs. Thanks for joining us Marc. So, you looking forward to Rudy Fernandez coming home next season for good? OK, I digress... Should the Mavs try to trade for Dwight Howard? Well, sure, yeah, but what do they have that will entice the Magic to do a deal? Look at it this way, the Lakers can offer Andrew Bynum and take back Hedo Turkoglu's awful contract. The Nets can offer center Brook Lopez, who averaged 20 ppg last season. The Mavs can offer Brendan Haywood? not happening. The Mavs have to hope that Howard hits free agency in the summer to have a chance at him. I doubt Orlando lets him walk for nothing.

Jeff (Plano)

Odom doesn't want to play for Dallas? Agree? I can feel it by the way he runs, talks and plays.( not the agressive Odom I know)

Elizabeth (Dallas)

Hi Jeffrey, bang up job thus far. Do you see us unloading Haywood this season? He looks too much like '08 Dampier if you know what I mean.

Jeff Caplan
  (12:25 PM)

Jeff, Sorry for skipping you...Elizabeth, I will get back to you in a second, and thanks for the compliment...I'm not going to say that Odom doesn't want to play for Dallas. He made it clear he didn't want to go to New Orleans, but Odom asked to be traded. Going to the defending champs is better than a lot of places. As for the aggressive Odom, hasn't his deal always been lacking intensity from time to time. He's looked bad, but so has everyone. This team needs time to get to know each other. Maybe a team bowling outing should be on the agenda.

Jeff Caplan
  (12:27 PM)

OK,Elizabeth back to you. No, I don't see Dallas unloading Haywood this season because everything is geared toward next summer and free agency and not repeating. What is Haywood's worth? What could they get back? I will say this, if Dallas could get back expiring contracts or a center they might like (not Dwight Howard), they might do something, but I don't see it. They can amnesty him next summer if they like, but Marion is also a candidate for amnesty. I think you'll be watching Haywood all season.

Kevin (Dallas)

D Jones can help Dallas more than D West .. Agree?

Jeff Caplan
  (12:30 PM)

Kevin, Thanks for participating. I like the signs of improvement from Dominique Jones, but, no, I disagree. He still doesn't have a reliable jump shot and Delonte West can score. I'm not saying Delonte is going to just light it up, and he's not shot well so far, but he has experience and he is a pretty feisty defender. I just don't think Jones is ready to play the kind of minutes they'll need out of West. I think they need to sprinkle him in, same with Roddy and see if down the road he can be a rotation player. Right now I don't see it.

Harris (Allen)

What is the most Dallas can get if they trade Hawood? otherwise I would much rather amnesty him.

Jeff Caplan
  (12:32 PM)

That's a good question Harris. Haywood makes something like $7.6 million this season so they have to come in the vicinity to make a deal. Look at contending teams that really need a center.. Miami? But, what are you going to get in return. It doesn't make a lot of sense to trade Haywood, then you're left with no center and absolutely no chance to do anything. The move the Mavs could have made but didn't, was to amnesty Haywood prior to this season and sign Tyson Chandler.

Chris (Frisco)

Dallas should have amnesty Haywood and sign Dalembert for the same contract he signed in Houston(one year with team option for second one). Right?

Jeff Caplan
  (12:34 PM)

Chris... nah, I mean are you that big a fan of Samuel Dalembert? I don't see a lot of difference there although you might see a little more aggression out of Dalembert, but he really make the difference in this team going all the way? I don't really think so. Houston was desperate for a center and they had to make that move.

Jeff (Euless, TX)

What do you think about Carlisle maybe overhauling the starting lineup to shake up the game play? Say starting Odom over Marion and maybe putting DoJo at the 2?

Jeff Caplan
  (12:36 PM)

Hey Jeff...well, as I said earlier, I don't think DoJo is a candidate to move into the starting rotation (now watch him start at OKC)... as for Odom starting over Marion, I don't know, does it really matter? Not so sure that Marion-Dirk is a better fit than Odom-Dirk, although those two will play together at times. Maybe Odom gives you more versatility in the starting lineup, but I don't think that's a huge issue. Odom is going to see time at the 4 and 5 too when Mavs go small and they might have to do that quite a bit this season.

Zach (Houston)

Met your brother a couple months ago, nice guy and looks like you a little. How about you throw some tickets his way every once and a while. Anyways, let's say Howard and Deron don't sign with the Mavs or get traded here in the offseason. What do the Mavs do then? I feel like Cuban didn't plan for that scenario and could have signed Tyson then traded him if Howard was coming here for a nice return. I'm not knocking Cuban or turning on him, just saying.

Jeff Caplan
  (12:40 PM)

Zach, I don't have a brother..just kidding, plus he doesn't look like me, he's ugly...That's the big gamble, that the big 3 free agents, now the big 2 since CP3 is with the Clips, won't be available. As crazy as it sounds, the Mavs would like to see Dwight Howard traded to the Lakers. That way Deron Williams is left without a power partner in NJ and likely would be very willing to leave as a free agent and Dallas will be well under the salary cap to load him up. Heck, Dallas will be so far under the cap that they can sign Williams and Howard next summer, although I just don't see how Howard gets there. If Howard is traded to NJ then I think Williams and Howard stay up there and then the Mavs have all this cap space to give to every other free agent not named CP3, D-Will or D12.

demavsfan (dallas)

old? out of shape? or both

Jeff Caplan
  (12:41 PM)

The evidence through two games would suggest both.

Jimbo (At the counter)

I took the Mavs over 43.5 regular season wins...

Jeff Caplan
  (12:43 PM)

So, Jimbo, are you reconsidering? I took the under, picking Dallas to finish 40-26. with the new roster and the compacted schedule I just didn't see this team going on any long winning streaks like it did last season. This season is all about getting in the playoffs and going from there. Seeding won't matter. Just getting in and being reasonably rested to make a run are the two key factors.

Ryan (Highland Village)

Do you think Delonte West should start at the 2 guard over Vince Carter? Delonte provides more energy and is a lot better defender than Vince. From what I have seen so far all Vince does is jack up 3's.

Jeff Caplan
  (12:45 PM)

Ryan...This is a real issue in my mind. If Vince is incapable of starting at the two and Delonte West has to do it, then it messes with your backup point position and that might be the most significant position on the team because of how important rest is for Jason Kidd. If West starts at the two, he can slide over for a bit when Terry comes in, but then what? Does Terry have to play the point? Roddy? DoJo? Lamar Odom? I think it gets dicey and the plan was for West to take over for J.J. Barea. If Vince can't play, this team has big, big problems.

Jeff Caplan
  (12:47 PM)

OK, everyone, in the words of Rick Carlisle, that was a "helluva" first half-hour to get this season started. Should be an interesting game at OKC on Thursday, then Toronto in town on Friday followed by a 6 p.m. New Year's Day game at Minny against J.J. and Ricky Rubio. Should be fun. Join me here next Wednesday. Keep a look out for varying times. Thanks again and Happy New Year! Oh yeah, for the best coverage of the Mavs, right here at espndallas.com!