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January 24, 3:00 PM ET
Chat with Tim MacMahon

Albert G. (El Paso, Tx)

Is there a bigger surprise than how well Ian Mahinmi has been playing so far this season?

Tim MacMahon
  (3:09 PM)

No doubt that Ian Mahinmi has been the most pleasant surprise fr the Mavs. He looks like he's not just a legitamate backup center, but one of the better backup centers in the NBA. But I'd argue that the biggest surprise has been Dirk Nowitzki's ineffectiveness. The circumstances are uniquely difficult due to the compressed schedule, but it's stunning to see a surefire Hall of Famer who is months removed from being the NBA Finals MVP struggle like this,

Jimmy (LR)

So what exactly is Dirk's schedule like right now? Are they two-a-days? What is doing to get in better shape?

Tim MacMahon
  (3:11 PM)

I know he worked out twice Monday and will do that some other days this week. Rick Carlisle said there is also some "strategically scheduled rest" periods. Dirk is doing a lot of shooting, some lifting to strengthen his legs and a lot of cardio work. Carlisle mentioned that the Mavs wanted Nowitzki to go through this personal training camp while they were home in part so he could use all their facilitiesk, such as the underwater treadmill, hyperbaric chambers, etc.

Greg S (Rowlett, TX)

I feel like the Mavericks picked up Lamar Odom as a bargaining chip to get a big name this season or next season. Do you agree with me, and if so, what big name do you think the Mavs have the best chance of obtaining in the near future?

Tim MacMahon
  (3:12 PM)

Lamar Odom isn't a bargaining chip. He's a good player - or at least the Mavs thought he was - whose contract can be bought out for a fraction of his salary next season. (The buyout is $2.4 million). That means he can be off the books to allow the Mavs to pursue Deron Williams and/or Dwight Howard this summer.

Mike (Dallas)

Who is going to be the future point guard in Dallas? Will it be by committee? Is this position something they'll sign or have to trade for? What are the chances that they land an elite (young or old) PG in the offseason?

Tim MacMahon
  (3:14 PM)

As the Nets continue to further stink up New Jersey, it becomes more and more likely that Deron Williams will come home to Dallas next summer. If that happens, the Mavs will have a top-five point guard in his prime. Jason Kidd, who shares an agent and often a tee time will Williams, has said he'd like to be Williams' backup next season. Another interesting name on the free agency market this summer: Steve Nash. Would he agree to a reasonable, short-term deal to team up with his old pal Dirk? Even as an NBA geezer, Nash is still among the league's best point guards.

Ray (Dallas)

Jason Kidd hit so many big shots last year i.e. Boston, Oklahoma City (Game 4) and was a great quarterback, but his shot is awful this year. Not only is his shooting bad but he's had some bad turnovers (Utah). Has father time caught up with him, is he some sort funk, or is his back still hurting?

Tim MacMahon
  (3:16 PM)

Kidd has really struggled this season, but I'm hesitant to award the win to Father Time just yet. The reason I say that is because Kidd really struggled a lot last regular season. The Mavs made sure he was rested and ready for the playoffs, and the rest is history. Rest will be the priority for Kidd throughout this regular season. The Mavs just hope he finds his stroke at some point. As far as the bizarre mental mistakes go - he has the highest turnover rate among starting point guards and made a rookie mistake to let Chauncey Billups get wide open for a game-winning 3 - I don't have a decent explanation.

Joe Cates (New Mexico)

How does Yi Jianlian look in practice and what is the celing for his potential? Wasn't he supposed to be a lot like Dirk coming into the league, but a lot stronger?

Tim MacMahon
  (3:18 PM)

The media only sees the end of practice, which is basically a bunch of guys shooting free throws, so I can't tell you how Yi has looked. Rick Carlisle has good things to say about Yi, but I'd be surprised if he ever becomes a rotation regular here. There just isn't room for him. Sure, he was supposed to be Dirk-like coming into the league. And Harold Miner was "Baby Jordan."

Bryan (Springdale, AR)

No way you are on time today...I don't mind that you guys are late sometimes, but can't you just at least apologize?

Tim MacMahon
  (3:19 PM)

Sorry, we had technical difficulties today.

Rebekka Kramen (Garland)

Hello Tim thanks for taking the time to do the chat. What are the rumblings around Mavs practice and the play of Ian and Brandon? Those guys are instant energy off the bench and not having to play 30 minutes a game, they can play all-out and not have to worry abou foul trouble - both of these guys are special players and are just coming into their own like a lot of big guys...takes a little time to adjust and adapt!

Tim MacMahon
  (3:20 PM)

The Mavs are pleased with their center tag team so far. I blogged about the Haywood-Mahinmi combo in this morning's 3-poiner. The loss of Tyson Chandler hasn't crippled this team, no matter what you hear from some national analysts.

Zoe Garai (Addison)

Is Brandon Wright going to be invited to participate in the slam dunk contest? He reminds me of Blake Griffin on some of his dunks

Tim MacMahon
  (3:22 PM)

I doubt it, just because Brandan Wright isn't a big name these days. But there's no doubt that dude can fly. Maybe the most athletic play of last night's game was him catching a ridiculously overthrown halfcourt lob pass from Jason Terry. Wright didn't dunk the ball, but the fact that he caught a pass that looked like it was headed for the 12th row was pretty amazing.

Landon Macool (Dallas)

I heard from a legit source that Devin Harris is not happy in Utah and the Jazz would like to move him in a deal to clear cap space or bring in a solid veteran. With the inconsistency we have seen from our PG play, do you think the Mavs could bring back Harris in a trade, possibly involving Roddy B? Even if we acquire him as just another trade piece down the line for upcoming FA Deron Williams or someone else?

Tim MacMahon
  (3:24 PM)

The Mavs aren't going to trade for anybody who is on the books for big money next season. Harris will be due $8.5 million. Forget about that. They'll take their shots in free agency. If that doesn't work out, then they'll explore the trade market as a way to upgrade.

Ronnie (Little Elm, TX)

Do you see the Mavs making any moves before or at the trade deadline or just standing pat?

Tim MacMahon
  (3:25 PM)

I'd be surprised if the Mavs made any significant additions. If anything, they might do some salary dumps, like the deal that sent Rudy Fernandez and Corey Brewer to Denver for basically a bag of peanuts.

Jason Terry (Dallas)

Am I in the Mavericks future plans? What would my market value be? How much you be willing to re-sign me for?

Tim MacMahon
  (3:27 PM)

Thanks for joining us, Jet. Hate to tell you, buddy, but you're not going to be a priority for the Mavs this summer. I'd love to see you stay, but I think you'll have to give the Mavs a hometown discount for that to happen. It'll be a test of your on-the-record desire to retire in Dallas. Don't know what the market will be for an undersized shooting guard in his mid-30s with this new CBA. Good thing you have a good agent. He'll be talking to the Mavs a lot, seeing how he also reps Dwight Howard.

Sloane Scrotamitch (Arlington)

Do you know what the Mavs will be handing out to fans who come to the game for the ring ceremony? Fake rings for fans was a rumor, have you heard anything?

Tim MacMahon
  (3:29 PM)

Sorry, don't have that info handy. Just know the Mavs want folks in their seats by 7:00.

Dave (Canada)

Heywood's and Marion's stock are on the rise because of their outstanding play recently. Do you think this increases the odds of Dallas moving both (amnesty one, trade the other) to create room for Deron W and Howard?

Tim MacMahon
  (3:31 PM)

It no doubt helps their trade value. I'd be surprised to see the Mavs dumb either in a deal before the deadline. They're key players for this team and Cuban definitely doesn't want to forfeit the season. But if the Mavs can get the Williams/Howard duo, Haywood and Marion would have to go this summer.

Zach (Austin)

Is dirk sitting just so we can get more minutes for Odom and cater to his feelings? What's the point if he's as good as gone after this season?

Tim MacMahon
  (3:32 PM)

Did you watch Dirk play in the first 16 games? He was a shell of himself. He's sitting so he can get right. Odom's feelings have nothing to do with it.

Steven (DC)

Any reason to doubt that the mavs can continue playing top 5-10 defense for the course of the year? Seems like a well kept secret and the mavs arent getting much kudos for it despite losing tyson and deshawn.

Tim MacMahon
  (3:35 PM)

I'm a believer in this team's defense. They're third in the league despite two terrible games to start the season. The system works, and defensive coordinator Monte Mathis deserves tremendous credit for filling Dwane Casey's big shoes.

Bryson (Dallas, TX)

Let's pretend/hope that the Mavericks win another NBA title this season with the roster as is currently constructed. Do you still go after Deron Williams and/or Dwight Howard or do you re-sign West, Mahinmi, etc.

Tim MacMahon
  (3:38 PM)

Hmmm, let's see ... a top-five point guard and the best big man in the league or a couple of minimum-salary bargains that you'd probably have to pay much more to keep? Pretty easy decision. No matter what happens, the Mavs will try to make major upgrades aroundd Dirk this summer. It's the smart move. You can't expect him to be the lone star of a dynasty as he enters his NBA golden years. Williams and Howard would make the Mavs contenders for a long, long time.

Chad (Rogers, AR)

Any the Mavs use the personal training camp strategy with other players like Odom,Terry to get them on track if Dirk shows positive results?

Tim MacMahon
  (3:40 PM)

They've sort of done it with Odom, but he didn't sit out games. He just didn't play many minutes. They'll pick and choose times to give some of their key, older players rest throughout the season. Mark Cuban said the Mavs will treat it like a baseball schedule, giving guys days off here and there to make sure they're fresh when it matters most. I'd be surprised if Jason Kidd plays more than 55 games.

Bryan (Springdale, AR)

Can you quit taking questions about Howard or DWill unless a true update occurs?

Tim MacMahon
  (3:40 PM)

Whoops, did this one count?

Enyi (Denton Texas)

What do you think the chances of getting D-Will or D12 and what are the chances of getting both? Hypothetically if we were to get both, what players would we have to let go.

Tim MacMahon
  (3:45 PM)

I like the Mavs' chances to get Williams unless Howard gets traded to New Jersey, and I doubt that happens. The Magic can get a better deal for Howard if they decide to move him. If Orlando doesn't trade Howard, it'll come down to whether he wants to get paid as much as possible and stay in Orlando or take less money to come to Dallas. I think there's about a 25 percent chance the Mavs end up with both. If that happens, pretty much everybody has to go except for Dirk. The rest of the roster next seasonw ould consist of a mini-midlevel player (Terry? Kidd?), rookies and minimum-salary guys.

Tim MacMahon
  (3:45 PM)

Appreciate all the questions. Gotta go now, but feel free to hit me up on Twitter @espn_macmahon if I didn't touch on your topic.