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December 11, 2:00 PM ET
Chat with Tim MacMahon

Tim MacMahon
  (2:01 PM)

Thanks for joining me for our weekly Mavs chat. Fire away with your questions.

Shawn Jacob (Carrollton, TX)

Safe to say that the Mavs won't retain O.J. Mayo next season correct?

Tim MacMahon
  (2:03 PM)

Why would you jump to that conclusion? It's safe to say that Mayo won't exercise his player option for $4.2 million next season, but he very well could be back with the Mavs. It's a matter of whether they're willing to give up some of their financial flexibility to keep him. If Chris Paul and Dwight Howard don't test their market, who is a more attractive free agent this summer? Mark Cuban mentioned last night that he hopes Mayo stays in Dallas even longer than Jason Terry, who was here eight years. We'll see this summer if Cuban is willing to pay to keep Mayo for the long haul.

Darian (Memphis,TN)

What will be a good trade that can make the Mavs a LIL Better w/o Dirk? That can help the big 3 Mayo, Carter, Marion.

Tim MacMahon
  (2:05 PM)

I can throw out a bunch of unfounded speculation, but that's all it would be. I'll say this about the Mavs' possible trade scenarios: They'll be very careful about acquiring guys with contracts that extend beyond this season.

gnosys (Seattle)

Can you envision a slow starting lineup of Fisher-Mayo-Trix-Dirk-Kaman? I somehow don't see it to work at all - 3 many old legs, not a great rebounding frontcourt (trix an exception) and weak defense as well..... I would start EB instead of Kaman when Dirk returns, and it would be great if DC EARNS back his starting job as well. Also, do you foresee more playing time for Dahntay Jones vs Crowder's? Thanks.

Tim MacMahon
  (2:08 PM)

They'll probably go with the starting lineup you mentioned once Dirk is ready to roll, but we all know Rick Carlisle won't hesitate to make a change or tinker on the fly. As long as Fisher is healthy, however, I'd be shocked if Collison gets the starting job back. Laugh if you want, but Dirk will actually improve the Mavs' defense. He's obviously not a great individual defender, but Dirk is 7-feet tall, smart and knows exactly where he's supposed to be in the Mavs' defensive schemes. Jones/Crowder could be a back-and-forth deal depending on which guy is playing better.

jason (new london tx)

mark and donnie wont let oj walk this summer will they, have they learned any thing about going with talent as opposed to chasing names?

Tim MacMahon
  (2:10 PM)

Again, Cuban said he hopes that Mayo will be with the Mavs for a long time. That guarantees nothing, of course. But the point of having all that financial flexibility is to acquire impact players. Mayo has clearly been an impact player. What's he worth to the Mavs? We'll find out this summer, but someone will pay him eight figures a year, I'm willing to wager.

Brad (Toronto)

How do you see Mayo doing once Dirk is back? Can he excel off of Dirk double teams or will he slow down as the second option on offense?

Tim MacMahon
  (2:14 PM)

The Mavs are excited to see if Mayo and Dirk can develop an instant chemistry. Ideally, they'll make each other's offensive lives a heck of a lot easier. Mayo has been better as a pick-and-roll ballhandler than the Mavs anticipated. It's critical that he keeps that up once Dirk is playing. Mayo is also an outstanding spot-up shooter, which theoretically will put pressure on defenses/create space for Dirk to work in iso situations from his beloved spot just above the free throw line. And Mayo is also a good iso player, which should ease the burden on Dirk as far as carrying the offense goes. Looks great on paper. Let's see how it works in games.

Alan (Dallas)

How do you see the Dirk/OJ combo looking the same and/or different than the Dirk/Jet combo has looked over the past few years (e.g.- pick and roll, etc.)?

Tim MacMahon
  (2:15 PM)

Touched on this in the last answer. Carlisle made a point today to stress that Mayo and Jet are very different players, but I do think you'll see a lot of pick-and-pop with Dirk, as was obviously the case with Jet. One big difference between Jet and Mayo is that Mayo doesn't necessarily need a pick to get his shot. Dirk will need to learn to play off Mayo, too.

Paul (Dallas)

Given the mavs problems getting boards, would they be interested in losing some of the future financial flexibility in making a trade for a multi-year center deal, i'm thinking gortat?

Tim MacMahon
  (2:17 PM)

What are they going to give up? Why would the Suns trade a quality young center who has a very reasonable contract? I think the Mavs would be very interested in Gortat -- remember, his contract was originally an offer sheet he signed with the Mavs as a restricted free agent -- but I don't see a trade match there. The Suns have a ton of financial flexibility, too, so there's no reason for them to dump a decent contract. And the Mavs' only real trade assets are expiring contracts.

Brad (Toronto)

Do you think the Mavs should start to legitimately rebuild this offseason if they can't sign a big name FA, even if it means trading Dirk? Being a borderline playoff team seems pointless.

Tim MacMahon
  (2:20 PM)

It's a nice bar-room (or chat-room) debate, but it's also a moot point. Dirk has a no-trade clause. The only way he'll be dealt is if he demands a trade, which won't happen. The Mavs are trying to go through the rebuilding process without ever being bad. That's awfully hard to do, but that's why they've placed so much value at keeping their powder dry. The worst thing that can happen is that they become a 41-win team on an annual basis. Cuban has said if he ever believes the Mavs are stuck in that rout, he'd be willing to blow it up at that point.

Austin (Texas)

So this O.J. Mayo kid...a pretty good pickup huh?

Tim MacMahon
  (2:20 PM)

As far as $4 million free agents go, Mayo is about as good as it gets.

Tim MacMahon
  (2:21 PM)

Appreciate the questions. I'm heading to Boston in a couple of hours and will have a ton of coverage from the Mavs' meeting against Jason Terry's Celtics.